MLB Picks: Giants at Diamondbacks Series Odds and Predictions
by Darin Zank - 9/23/2011
It's last-gasp time for the San Francisco Giants as they try to defend their World Series title of last season.
Meanwhile, it's almost champagne time for the Arizona Diamondbacks, as they close in on clinching the National League West title.
Combine those two storylines and you've got the makings of some good baseball when the D-Backs host the Giants for a three-game series at Chase Field starting Friday night.
Giants at Diamondbacks: Setting the Scene
The Giants just dropped two of three games to the Dodgers in Los Angeles, falling 8-2 on Thursday. Still, San Fran has won nine of its last 11 games to stay alive in the NL playoff picture. At 84-72, San Francisco trails Arizona by six games in the NL West, and they're four games back of Atlanta in the NL Wild-Card race
Arizona just took two of three games from Pittsburgh, winning the series rubber match Wednesday, 8-5. But the D-Backs are only 3-4 over the course of their last seven games. Still, Arizona is just one win away from clinching the NL West. And they're one game back of Milwaukee in the battle for the No. 2 seed in the upcoming National League playoffs.
Fridays' Pitching Matchup
Matt Cain (12-10, 2.86) is expected to start the series opener for the Giants tonight (Friday, 9:40 p.m. Eastern) against Joe Saunders (12-12, 3.66) for the Diamondbacks.
In his last start Cain gave up three ERs in five innings vs. Colorado, so that's nine straight starts for him of allowing three ERs or less. In five starts this year vs. Arizona Cain has allowed 15 ERs in 34 innings pitched.
In Saunders' most recent outing he allowed one unearned run in 8 2/3 innings in a victory over San Diego. But he's been touched up a bit in his three starts vs. San Francisco this year, allowing 11 ERs on 25 hits in 19 IP.
Eric Surkamp (2-0, 2.95) is slated to throw for the Giants Saturday (8:10 p.m. Eastern) vs. Cy Young candidate Ian Kennedy (20-4, 2.87) for the D-Backs.
The lefty Surkamp has made four starts this season, allowing seven ERs in 21 1/3 innings of work. But he's also walked 11 in that limited time. In his last start he only lasted 4 2/3 innings, walking six, although San Fran rallied to beat Colorado, 6-5. This will be Surkamp's first start vs. Arizona.
Kennedy was wonderful in his last start, picking up his 20th win by holding Pittsburgh scoreless on one hit in eight innings. So in five of his last six starts Kennedy has allowed either zero or one earned run. And he's been lights-out in four starts vs. the Giants this season, giving up just three ERs on 19 hits in 31 innings.
Tim Lincecum (13-13, 2.59) gets the start for San Fran Sunday (4:10 p.m. Eastern, TBS) against Josh Collmenter (9-10, 3.42) for the Diamondbacks.
Lincecum held the Dodgers to two ERs in seven innings Tuesday night, but the Giants lost 2-1. In fact, San Fran has lost four of Lincecum's last five starts. But not all of that can be blamed on him, considering the Giants have scored a total of seven runs in Lincecum's last five outings. In three starts vs. Arizona this season Lincecum has allowed seven ERs in 20 IP.
In his last start Collmenter gave up three ERs in seven innings to San Diego. So he's held his opponents to three ERs or less in seven of his last eight starts. But in his one start this year vs. San Fran he got clipped for five ERs in five IP.
The Season Series
The Giants have taken nine of 15 games from the Diamondbacks so far this season. And eight of the 15 games have played ‘under’ the totals.
Giants at Diamondbacks Betting Odds and Trends
BetOnline is listing Arizona as a -140 favorite to win this series, with the Giants getting +120 as the underdog.
San Francisco is 40-38 on the road this year.
Arizona is 47-28 at home this year.
The ‘over/unders’ are 68-82 in Giants games.
The ‘O/U’s are 72-79 in D-Backs games.
The ‘O/U’s are 32-42 in games played at Chase Field.
MLB Picks: Giants at Diamondbacks Predictions
This is a tough one to pick. If Arizona wins Friday night and clinches the West Division title, they may decide to sit some starters Saturday and Sunday. Then again, they might want to go for that No. 2 seed in the National League. The Giants, meanwhile, are desperate, and they're the hotter team at the moment. So we'll go with San Francisco, with the underdog price, to win this series.
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