MLB Series Outlook: Arizona at San Francisco
ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS (78-59, +22.3 Units)
at SAN FRANCISCO GIANTS (72-65, -5.9 Units)
Sportsbook.com Series Line: San Francisco -170, Arizona +135
The streaky Diamondbacks have gotten red-hot again. They’ll ride a nine-game winning streak into San Francisco with a chance to put the NL West away when the teams meet up for a three-game set starting Friday night.
Pitching hasn’t been a problem for the Giants, especially when Matt Cain, Tim Lincecum or Ryan Vogelsong have taken the hill, and the defending champs are 8-4 against Arizona this year. But this offense has been baseball’s worst. Since acquiring OF Carlos Beltran at the trade deadline, they’ve averaged an MLB-low 2.64 runs per game. Beltran’s DL stint for hand and wrist problems didn’t help, they’ve been even worse in the 20 games he’s been in the lineup (2.35 runs per game, 7-13 record); Beltran’s OPS is just .664 with the Giants after a .904 OPS with the Mets this year. Considering the D-backs will have their top three starters going this weekend, and they took two of three in San Francisco the last time the teams met (with the Cain-Lincecum-Vogelsong trio pitching in that series), there’s no legitimate reason the Giants should be as heavily favored as they are. The FoxSheets provide another trend siding with ARIZONA to win the series.
ARIZONA is 38-21 (64.4%, +17.6 Units) against the money line vs. terrible power teams - averaging 0.75 or less HR's/game this season. The average score was ARIZONA 4.7, OPPONENT 3.9 - (Rating = 2*).
Pitching Probables for Friday, September 2 - 10:15 ET
Friday line: San Francisco -165, Arizona +155, Total: 6.5
ARI: 13-14 (-0.1 Units) when Joe Saunders starts
SF: 15-13 (-0.3 Units) when Matt Cain starts
Saunders (9-11, 3.82 ERA) got back on track last week, throwing seven shutout innings in a victory over the Padres last Saturday. But it was the only bright spot in August, where the lefty posted a 5.04 ERA over five starts in the month. He’s 0-2 with a 5.27 ERA in two starts against the Giants, but he’s fared well on the road overall this year (6-6, 3.28 ERA).
Cain (10-9, 2.87 ERA) has delivered five consecutive quality starts, but has just one win during this streak. The Giants have lost all six of Cain’s home starts since the All-Star break despite his solid 3.63 ERA. The righty has had a lot of success against Arizona over the past two seasons, going 5-1 with a 2.92 ERA in seven outings (six San Francisco wins). But he’s allowed five runs each of the past two times he’s faced them, including a loss at home on August 1 (5.2 IP, 5 ER).
Pitching Probables for Saturday, September 3 - 9:05 ET
Saturday line: TBD
ARI: 20-8 (+12.3 Units) when Ian Kennedy starts
SF: 16-12 (-1.9 Units) when Tim Lincecum starts
Kennedy (17-4, 3.03 ERA) has pitched himself into the Cy Young conversation by going 9-1 with a 2.35 ERA over his past 10 starts. He’s given up just one run over his past two starts, dominating the Nationals and Padres. The D-backs are 10-3 in Kennedy’s road starts, and he’s posted a 0.75 ERA over three starts against San Francisco this year.
Lincecum (12-11, 2.58 ERA) is coming off a shaky outing against the Cubs at home, as he allowed five runs (four earned) over six innings in Monday’s loss. He was on a tear before that, posting a 1.17 ERA over his previous nine starts. Lincecum has actually pitched worse at home this year, where he’s 5-6 with a 3.15 ERA. He allowed two runs over seven innings in a loss to Arizona on August 2.
Pitching Probables for Sunday, September 4 – 4:05 ET
Sunday line: TBD
ARI: 17-11 (+4.6 Units) when Daniel Hudson starts
SF: 13-10 (-0.2 Units) when Ryan Vogelsong starts
Hudson (14-9, 3.61 ERA) threw seven shutout innings against the Rockies on Monday, following up a near-complete game win in Washington in his previous start. The Giants have beaten him twice in three tries this year, though they haven’t exactly lit him up. Hudson has a 3.48 ERA against the Giants and has struck out 20 in 20.2 innings.
Vogelsong (10-5, 2.63 ERA) has been a surprise success story all year, but he seems to be running out of steam. He’s 1-4 with a 4.22 ERA over his past five starts, and he’s given up an additional three unearned runs over 32 innings. He has a 2.27 ERA in 13 starts at AT&T Park this year, though he’s lost his past three home starts while posting a 5.71 ERA. He’s been effective in his two starts against the D-backs this year, allowing three runs over 12 innings while striking out 13.