Jeff Samardzija (10-9, 4.17 ERA) and Joel De La Cruz (0-6, 4.47 ERA) start in the first of a three-game series between the San Francisco Giants (69-58) and the Atlanta Braves (47-81) at AT&T Park. Action begins at 10:15 p.m. ET on Friday, Aug. 26 and can be seen on KNTV and FSSO.
Samardzija pitched 7.0 innings in his most recent start, surrendering two runs, striking out seven and walking one in a 2-0 defeat to the Mets. Brandon Belt (.274, 60 Rs, 14 HRs, 63 RBIs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one run and one RBI. De La Cruz went 5.2 innings, surrendering six runs, striking out four and walking two in a 7-6 win over the Nationals in his last outing. Freddie Freeman (.288, 76 Rs, 26 HRs, 62 RBIs, 4 SBs) went 1 for 4 yesterday with one RBI.
This one isn't expected to be close when San Francisco, a substantial -190 favorite, takes on Atlanta. The matchup has an estimated Over/Under (O/U) of seven runs. Though the Giants have had a tough season in terms of their overall money line (-500), they have done fairly well as a favorite with a record of 50-32. San Francisco is a disappointing 2-6 as the favorite over its last 10 games. San Francisco is one of the best in the NL in terms of walks, earning an average of 3.6 per game. Turning to the pitching and defensive side, it's been a struggle for opposing teams to score runs against the Giants. The 4.1 runs that San Francisco's pitchers allow per game makes them the fifth-ranked staff in the NL. The Giants are the fifth-best team in the league at limiting hits and walks to their opponents, recording a WHIP of 1.229 so far this season.
In the other locker room, Atlanta is coming in with an overall money line of -1,058 and a disappointing record of 43-70 as the underdog. They played poorly as the underdog over their last 10 games with a 2-7 record and a 2-8 record SU. Offensively, the Braves have really picked up the pace in the last 10 games. They have exceeded their season average of 3.7 runs per game by averaging 5.4 during that stretch. Atlanta is excellent at not striking out on the road with just 7.7 per game, ranking second in the NL. The Braves allow 4.9 runs per game, but have damaged those numbers in the past 10 games, allowing 7.8 runs per game during that span.
The Giants have a 44-42 record against right-handed starting pitchers on the year, which is what they'll be facing when De La Cruz takes the mound. Samardzija (RHP) will be on the hill against the Braves, who have a 33-54 record against right-handed starting pitchers.
Predictions: SU Winner - SF, O/U - Over
Atlanta is 3-9 SU in its last 12 games.
The total has gone OVER in 8 of Atlanta's last 9 games.
The total has gone OVER in 7 of Atlanta's last 8 games on the road.
Atlanta is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games on the road.
Atlanta is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games when playing San Francisco.
The total has gone OVER in 4 of Atlanta's last 5 games when playing on the road against San Francisco.
Atlanta is 3-7 SU in its last 10 games when playing on the road against San Francisco.
San Francisco earned its eighth shutout of the season in its last game. Atlanta has been shut out 11 times this season.
After a weak showing last week where they got in eight hits, the Giants need to step it up. The Braves have a record of 38-28 when opponents get eight hits or less.
When they are outhit, the Braves are 7-56. The Giants have a 12-39 record when opponents outhit them.
Atlanta ranks at the bottom of the league when it comes to home runs, hitting 89 this season. San Francisco ranks near the bottom with 103.
Ranking 10th, Atlanta is in the top 10 of the league in hits, notching 8.43 per game. San Francisco ranks in the top five at fourth with 8.94.
Ranking 30th, Atlanta is at the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.683). San Francisco ranks in the bottom half at 17th with an OPS of .734.
The Braves are 20-62 in games where they allow one or more home runs. The Giants are 31-47 when they allow at least one homer.