The San Francisco Giants and Cincinnati Reds are gearing up for a pitcher’s duel on Thursday night and the oddsmakers have adjusted the total accordingly.
An update for Wednesday night is first on the agenda. Miami is a 135 home favorite over St. Louis with Anibal Sanchez facing Joe Kelly. The total on the Don Best odds screen is nine runs.
St. Louis’ Kelly (1-0, 3.52 ERA) is making just his fourth career start, but is coming off his first MLB win over Kansas City. The 24-year-old was a high draft pick and has a 94 mph fastball, but wasn’t striking out a lot of guys at Triple-A (5.60 per nine innings) and is at 4.70 since being called up.
Sanchez (3-6, 3.94 ERA) has been unlucky with a high BABIP (batting average on balls in play). His numbers in June can only be partially blamed for that with 20 earned runs over 22 1/3 innings (8.06 ERA).
Don Best MLB analyst Kenny White likes Sanchez’s stuff and believes he will turn it around. The Miami offense scored 16 total runs on Sunday and Monday after really struggling previously. The ‘over’ is 24-13-3 in Marlins’ home games this year, scoring 4.1 runs per game vs. 3.35 away.
Thursday has Arizona at Atlanta. The Braves are 145 favorites with a total of nine. Arizona’s Trevor Bauer makes his MLB debut as the third pick overall in the draft last year. He was an incredible 11-1 in Triple-A with 116 strikeouts in 93 innings.
Don Best’s White loves Bauer’s electric stuff and he has at least six different pitches. The UCLA alum projects well to this level and the team will also get back shortstop Stephen Drew into the lineup following his rehab from last season's nasty ankle injury.
Jair Jurrjens (1-2, 6.75 ERA) will go for the home team. He had a nice performance at Boston last time out (one earned run over 7 2/3 innings) after 10 Triple-A starts. He was 13-6 with a 2.96 ERA last year, so the talent is there, although he is still something of a wild-card.
Also on Thursday is Cincinnati at San Francisco. The pitching matchup is Johnny Cueto against Madison Bumgarner and San Fran is a 125 favorite with a very low total of six.
Cueto (9-3, 2.21 ERA) had nine strikeouts and seven shutout innings against the Twins last game. He is 4-0 with a 1.47 ERA during June and his ERA is a dominating 2.27 over the last two seasons.
Bumgarner (9-4, 3.10 ERA) allowed 11 hits over six innings at Oakland last start, but still got the win in the 9-8 final. His ERA was around the same last year (3.21), but he went only 13-13. He is benefiting from much better run support this season and he’ll keep winning if the bats stay strong.