Few people expected the San Francisco Giants would be coming out of the MLB All-Star break with the best record in the sport, but that’s the case as the NL West leaders visit the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday night. The Giants will be short MLB betting favorites.
How to Bet Giants at Cardinals MLB Odds & TV Info
- When: Friday, 8:15 PM ET
- Where: Busch Stadium
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Kevin Gausman/Adam Wainwright
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Stream/gameday audio: https://www.mlb.com/live-stream-games/
- Opening MLB Lines: TBA (Giants will be favored)
Why Bet on San Francisco?
The Giants were projected to finish no better than third in the NL West but have an MLB-best 57-32 record and lead the division by two games. We’d still expect the Dodgers to win the West and they remain favored to do so.
San Francisco entered the break on a four-game winning streak. Jake McGee pitched a scoreless ninth Sunday against the Nationals for his 19th save of the year. Although he’s had to share opportunities with Tyler Rogers, McGee has those 19 and only five relievers have more. The Giants’ 33 saves as a team are tops in baseball.
Catcher Buster Posey is among the MLB batting leaders at .328. He was placed on the injured last Friday (actually hurt on July 4) with a left thumb contusion and thus didn’t attend the All-Star Game. Barring any setbacks, it sounds like he’ll be ready to go for the start of the second half.
“Having experienced bone bruises on the heel from running, they can be pretty painful and you can re-aggravate them fairly easily,” manager Gabe Kapler said. “I imagine being back there catching balls that are moving all over the place, one additional ball caught the wrong way can be a setback, so I think this is the cautious, the prudent and the right approach to get him ready for the second half.”
With an OPS+ this season of 165 — his highest since his MVP season — Posey is up to 129 for his career, ranking him fifth all-time among players with more than 1,000 games caught. With Posey unavailable, Curt Casali and Chadwick Tromp have been splitting time behind the plate for the Giants.
It’s ace and All-Star Kevin Gausman on the mound. He fanned nine while pitching six innings of one-run ball Sunday in a win over the Nationals. Gausman ended the first half 9-3 with a 1.73 ERA that ranks second in MLB, but since he pitched Sunday he couldn’t pitch in the All-Star Game.
Only Jacob deGrom, who is in the midst of a historic season with the Mets, has a better ERA among qualified pitchers than Gausman, who is also tied for fourth in fWAR (3.4) and ranks fifth in FIP (2.56) and innings pitched (114 2/3). Opponents are hitting .090 off him with two strikes and Gausman has limited opponents to two runs or fewer in 16 of his 18 starts this season. He has not faced the Cardinals this year.
Why Bet on St. Louis?The Cardinals have been disappointments at 44-46 and tied for third in the NL Central, eight games behind the first-place Milwaukee Brewers. Manager Mike Shildt could be in trouble after this season if the Cards don’t rally to make the playoffs. St. Louis did win two of three in San Francisco early last week, though.
Starting pitcher Miles Mikolas has begun a throwing program. Mikolas has begun throwing bullpens with the hope of embarking on a minor-league rehab assignment by the end of July. The 32-year-old righty has been out since late May due to right forearm tightness. Barring any setbacks, he could be an option for the Cardinals’ rotation at some point in the middle of August. Because of injuries, the Cards have used 27 pitchers this season, 2nd-most in single-season franchise history behind the 30 Redbirds pitchers in 2018.
Closer Alex Reyes has nailed down 22 straight saves to begin his career (20-for-20 this season), tying Tippy Martinez for 2nd-most all-time in Major League history and one behind LaTroy Hawkins (23).
Catcher and future Hall of Famer Yadier Molina is one career hit away from reaching 2,065 and breaking a tie with Hall of Famer Enos Slaughter (1938-53) for 5th all-time in Cardinals history, and one career double from 396 and tying Hall of Famer and Cubs great Gabby Hartnett (1922-41) for 5th all-time among primary catchers in MLB history.
It’s veteran Adam Wainwright (7-5) on the mound here. He was supposed to pitch Sunday vs. the Cubs but it was rained out. The right-hander pitched in San Francisco last Tuesday and allowed three runs on six hits over five innings while taking a no-decision in a Cardinals win over the Giants.
Wainwright pitched sloppy at times, walking four batters against three strikeouts. But he was able to mostly keep out of run-scoring trouble. Brandon Crawford proved to be his nemesis, delivering a two-run single in the fourth inning and an RBI double in the fifth inning before Wainwright called it a day. He has a 3.58 ERA, 1.15 WHIP and 99/31 K/BB ratio (105 2/3 innings).
Expert MLB Prediction
Cardinals 4, Giants 3
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