The San Francisco Giants are holding their heads above water, but they’re teetering in both directions. With a record of 37-38, they could go in either direction. And truth be told, it’s tough to ascertain which direction they are going to go, though. I think a lot of it has to do with how Madison Bumgarner shapes up. He hasn’t pitched at his best since returning, but they are going to need him to be an ace again to get over the hill.
The Giants are within striking distance of 1st in the AL West. Arizona currently have a 4-game lead over the Giants, while the Dodgers are 2 games back of 1st. It’s not going to be easy to reel them in and jump to the top of the division. However, if Bumgarner goes full blown ace mode like we’ve seen previously throughout his career, they’re going to have a chance.
That was four years ago, though. Also, Bumgarner is coming off an injury, and he’s put some miles on his arm. In other words, the likelihood of him suddenly reverting back to pitching like that is going to be difficult. Can he still make an impact for the Giants and help them win some games? Sure. But the velocity on his pitches has noticeably been trending down.
Bumgarner has only had three starts thus far, so certainly not a big enough sample size to derive an accurate conclusion from yet. The San Diego Padres head to San Francisco after getting blasted by the Athletics on Wednesday. Meanwhile, the Giants barely edged the Marlins out by a score of 6-5 in the Bay Area. Head below for our free Padres vs. Giants pick.
San Diego Padres vs. San Francisco Giants Pick
Tyson Ross (5-4, 3.51 ERA) vs. Madison Bumgarner (0-2, 4.67 ERA)
Bumgarner hasn’t been bad by any means, but certainly not looking like we’ve seen from him in his career. In three starts since his return, Bumgarner allowed 2 runs to the Diamondbacks, 4 to the Marlins, and 3 against the Dodgers, none resulting in a win. He was looking good last season, with a 3.32 ERA, before having to go out with just 17 starts under his belt.
The year prior he had a career-high ERA of 2.74. In his lone start at home this season, Bumgarner was solid though, allowing just 2 runs in 6 innings. These Padres are hitting .193 against Bumgarner in 166 at-bats. Note that Wil Myers will likely miss another game tonight, but they hope to get him back later in the series.
The 6’6”, 245 pounder, Tyson Ross, will look to counter Bumgarner with a strong outing of his own. Ross has been more than adequate in 2018. After spending five years in San Diego, and then going to Texas, Ross was hammered for a 7.71 ERA with the Rangers a year ago. Ross rediscovered his stroke in San Diego, where he’s always seemed to be comfortable.
He has posted an ERA of 4.41 in his last three starts, so nothing perfect. The Padres are one of the worst scoring offenses on the road this season, averaging just 3.47 runs per game for 29th in the majors. The Giants are 5th at home, with 5.03 runs score per game. Bumgarner has heard the groans and whispers about his slow start. I think he comes back with a stellar performance against a less than average Padres’ offense and directs the Giants to a win on Thursday night.