After winning eleven out of our previous twelve bets, we hit a road bump yesterday in Oakland. I jumped on the under nine and a half runs as I expected Brett Anderson to shut down this defeated Rangers team that came into the game losers of nine out of their last ten games. I was a bit leery of the under with Rangers starter Ariel Jurado on the bump as the youngster had been quite ineffective recently as a starter.
But I felt that the A’s would hammer Jurado early, build up a comfortable lead and then coast to an easy victory, coming in just under the total. And when the A’s smashed Jurado for three runs in the first, and then seemed content to sit on the lead, I felt like I might have just nailed this one perfectly. Anderson was cruising through four innings, allowing just two hits and no runs and as we hit the fifth inning, it was 3-0 Oakland, right on track to what I had predicted.
And then the wheels fell off for Oakland. The Rangers exploded for eleven runs in the next three innings, spoiling what looked to be a promising bet. Danny Santana delivered the kill shot, a grand slam home run in the sixth, and ended his day with six RBI. What can you do, even the sharpest of sharps are going to lose a game here and there, so I am not going to let it bother me all that much. For today’s pick, we will head down to San Diego for a game between the Padres and the Giants.
The San Francisco Giants are in San Diego Friday for game one of a three-game series with the Padres. The Giants are the hottest team in the game as they are 16-4 in July. They went from sure sellers to likely buyers at the July 31st trade deadline with the recent surge. But now is not the time to let up for the G-men as they are still three and a half games back of the second wild card in the National League and must stay hot if they want to make up ground in a crowded race.
For the Padres, they came into the season looking to compete and made a major splash in free agency when they brought in Manny Machado on a $300 million-dollar deal. While the Padres hung around for the most part in the first half, they have been mired in a nasty slump recently, and are all but out of contention at this point. The Padres have lost seven out of their last ten games.
Starting for the Giants is Jeff Samardzija (7-8 4.08 ERA), and for the Padres it is Joey Lucchesi (7-5 4.27 ERA). The game total over-under is set at eight runs. The Padres are -141 home favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM PST from PETCO Park in San Diego.
What a run it has been for the Giants! After being in last place and looking dead in the water, with many of their top players up on the trade block, they have somehow managed to find a way to turn things around here in July. And guess how this hot streak started? By playing a three-game series in San Diego, against the Padres.
The Giants went on to sweep the Padres in that series, outscoring them 31-14 in the three games, and that sweep was the catalyst to this recent surge up the standings. And when you look at the Padres, that series loss was the start of a skid that has seen them go just 6-13 on the month and fall out of contention. If the Giants find a way to sweep San Diego again this weekend, it will all but officially end their season.
Jeff Samardzija was having a very mediocre season before catching fire just like the rest of this Giants team in July. Through June, he was just 4-7 with an ERA of 4.52. He wasn’t awful, but nothing to write home about either. But when you look at how this guy has pitched recently, he looks a lot like his former All-Star level self.
In July, Samardzija is 3-1 with a 2.70 ERA in four starts. He has faced the Padres twice this season and was excellent both times as he pitched a combined thirteen innings and allowed just two earned runs. Both of those starts came at PETCO Park in San Diego. And when you look at how this Padres team has been hitting in July, they are 29th in the majors, ahead of just the Miami Marlins in runs scored this month, you have to think that Samardzija is going to have a strong outing tonight.
While Samardzija gets to catch the Padres lineup at its worst, Joey Lucchesi has to face a Giants team that is knocking the cover off the ball during this recent run. In the month of July, the Giants are the second-highest scoring team in the big leagues, trailing only the defending World Series champions, the Boston Red Sox. And it couldn’t come at a worst time for Lucchesi as he has really struggled as of late.
In his last three starts, he is 1-1 with a 6.32 ERA. And he is coming off of one of his worst starts of the year as in his last game he gave up a season-high ten hits and got blasted for six runs, all earned. He has faced the Giants three times already this year, with mixed results. Way back in March he tossed five and a third shutout innings against San Francisco. But in his last two starts against the Giants, he has gotten obliterated as he gave up a total of ten runs and the Padres lost both games.
How are the Padres big favorites in his game? They are in free fall right now, and the Giants can’t lose. San Francisco is coming off of a very successful long homestand and got the day off yesterday to take the short trip down the coast to SD. The Padres? They played in New York City yesterday, in a game they got shutout in, and had to travel clear across the country for today’s game.
This number just doesn’t make any sense. I guess I could see this as an even-money, coin-flip type of game at best, but to be completely honest, I feel like the Giants should be favored. The Padres have a losing home record on the year, while the Giants actually have been better on the road than they have been at home. All signs point to the Giants staying hot and taking game one tonight in San Diego. Give me the San Francisco Giants as big road underdogs tonight in game one from PETCO Park!