Division leaders lock horns on Tuesday night for ESPN's baseball betting battle of the day, as the San Francisco Giants (29-24) take on the St. Louis Cardinals (32-23) at Busch Stadium, with the first pitch coming at 7:05 ET.
This has been lousy period in San Fran's season, as the G-Men have lost five out of seven since the first series of Interleague play. They really haven't done much in terms of get offensive production, though yesterday, they did score seven runs off of Kyle McClellan and the St. Louis bullpen for an upset at +142 on the MLB odds. They did get back to .500 on the road with this win though, and they're hoping that one of their more pleasant surprises for the year, Ryan Vogelsong can continue his hot run and keep the Giants on the winning track. Vogelsong, a man who had a career ERA of right around 6.00 coming into this year, has been surprisingly effective. We're talking about a man that weaseled his way into the back of the rotation thanks to two relatively spotless efforts in relief at the start of the season, and he has just never looked back. Vogelsong has really only had one bad start on the year, and in his last four outings, he has allowed a grand total of one earned run and one unearned run.
The Cardinals probably should have been a team competing for the NL Central crown quite a bit in each of the last few seasons. Little did we know that Albert Pujols would have only hit his ninth home run of the season on Memorial Day and that his 2-for-4 day that day would raise his batting average up to .262. And little did we know that this year, Adam Wainwright wasn't going to throw a single pitch. And even less did we know that Chris Carpenter was going to lead his team to a 2-9 mark over the course of his first 11 starts of the season. And yet somehow, Manager Tony LaRussa has his team comfortably over .500 and a few games up in the division a third of the way through the year. Carpenter, to his credit, really has only had one absolutely atrocious start since the middle of April, but he just isn't pitching anywhere near as effectively as he once did. Yes, in his last start against the San Diego Padres, three runs, two of which were earned over a complete game should have earned him a win and not a loss, but aside from that, there hasn't been a truly dominating effort since April 17th when he allowed just five hits in seven shutout innings. Carpenter hopes that Tuesday is the day that all of this turns around in his favor.
San Francisco Giants vs. St. Louis Cardinals Pick: When we see it, we'll believe it. Carpenter is no better than a slightly above average pitcher right now, and there is no reason to back him on the MLB odds. No, we really don't trust Vogelsong either, but we have no choice on this day but to take him. Go with the Giants +155.