MLB Prediction Thursday Night: Cardinals vs Giants

Written by on July 5, 2018

The St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants are largely in the same boat: Both .500 teams likely not good enough to win their division. The teams open a four-game series at AT&T Park on Thursday night with the Giants’ Johnny Cueto returning from the DL. The Giants are MLB betting favorites.

St. Louis vs Giants MLB Betting Odds & Game Info

  • When: Thursday, 10:15 PM ET
  • Where: AT&T Park, San Francisco
  • Probable Pitchers: Luke Weaver/Johnny Cueto
  • TV: MLB Extra Innings
  • Stream:
  • Radio: TuneIn
  • MLB Betting Lines: San Francisco Giants -127 / St. Louis Cardinals +117 (Over/Under at 7.5)

Recent Head to Head (Last 10 Games)

  • Runs: St. Louis Cardinals 4.60 / San Francisco Giants3.50
  • Hits: St. Louis Cardinals 8.90 / San Francisco Giants 7.70
  • Walks: St. Louis Cardinals 3.00 / San Francisco Giants 3.10
  • Strikeouts: St. Louis Cardinals 7.30 / San Francisco Giants 8.10

Why Bet on St. Louis?

Could the Cards’ Mike Matheny be the next manager fired? His team was 43-41 entering the July 4th holiday, nearly closer to the last-place Cincinnati Reds as the first-place Milwaukee Brewers in the NL Central, 6 ½ games out of first place. They are in danger of missing the playoffs for the third consecutive season, for the first time since 1996-99. “That’s embarrassing,’’ says Cardinals outfielder Tommy Pham, one of the Cardinals’ team leaders. “You never want to see something like that happen to this franchise. That’s on us.’’ Dexter Fowler, their highest-paid player, is having the worst season of his career, hitting .171 with a .554 OPS – third worst of any player in baseball. He was just called out by GM John Mozeliak for lack of effort. A case can be made he is fifth on the team’s outfield depth chart behind Tommy Pham, Marcell Ozuna, Harrison Bader and Tyler O’Neill despite having the biggest contract on the team. Yadier Molina hit his 12th home run of the season Monday night, with 11 of them coming on the road this year. Molina ranks T4th in the National League with 11 road home runs. The only catcher in MLB with more games caught over a 15-year career is Jason Kendall, who caught 2,025 over his 15-year career with the Pirates, Athletics, Cubs, Brewers, and Royals. It’s young right-hander Luke Weaver (4-7, 5.16) on the mound. Weaver has failed to reach six innings in any of his last seven starts and turned in his worst outing of the season Saturday against the Braves, allowing eight runs on two hits and two walks over 4.2 frames. Six of eight runs allowed came via home runs, including a Nick Markakis grand slam. Matheny stressed that “execution” remains Weaver’s greatest challenge at the moment. He has posted a 5.00 ERA (4.22 FIP, 4.63 xFIP) away from Busch Stadium and faces a Giants offense that ranks in the top half of the majors this season with a 99 wRC+. Opposite Madison Bumgarner, Weaver struck out 9 with 2 runs allowed over 7.0 IP in his last outing at AT&T Park in 2017.

Why Bet on San Francisco?

The Giants were looking to avoid a three-game sweep in Colorado on Wednesday night. The Giants have won 15 of their last 18 games when facing a right-handed starter, compared to a 4-10 record in their last 14 games when they face a lefty. Overall this season, SF is 27-24 against right-handed starters and 18-17 against left-handed starters. Since June 1, San Francisco pitchers have posted a 2.86 ERA, which ranks as the second lowest ERA in the majors during that stretch behind only the New York Yankees (2.59 ERA). The Giants come in as the MLB Betting favorites against the Cardinals. Co-ace Johnny Cueto is set to return to the rotation on Thursday. Cueto pitched well in two minor league rehab starts at Triple-A Sacramento, allowing zero runs on five hits over 7 2/3 innings while striking out 10. The veteran right-hander has been on the shelf since May 1 because of a sprained right elbow. He had a stellar 0.84 ERA and 0.69 WHIP over his first five starts (32 innings) this season with San Francisco. Cueto led all major league starters in ERA when he was sidelined with an elbow injury that he feared would require Tommy John surgery to heal. Instead, after heading to the disabled list in May, he’s now expected to make two starts before the All-Star break. “He’s set to go,” Manager Bruce Bochy said. “He’s passed all the tests, checked every box off, been throwing the ball well and hasn’t given up a run there. The bullpen went fine, he’s been hitting and bunting and I just got off the phone with him about a half hour ago.” Cueto will be limited to around 85 pitches in this one. Derek Holland will be moved to the Giants’ bullpen to open a rotation spot.

Latest MLB Betting Trends

  • Cardinals are 1-4 in Weaver’s last 5 starts during game 1 of a series
  • Giants are 4-0 in Cueto’s last 4 home starts
  • Giants are 7-1 in Cueto’s last 8 starts
  • Over is 10-4 in Cueto’s last 14 starts overall
  • St. Louis is 12-5 ATS in its last 17 games
  • St. Louis is 2-5 SU in its last 7 games
  • The total has gone OVER in 4 of St. Louis’s last 5 games
  • San Francisco is 5-2 ATS in its last 7 games
  • San Francisco is 10-5 SU in its last 15 games
  • The total has gone UNDER in 5 of San Francisco’s last 6 games

Expert Prediction

Giants would be bigger favorites were oddsmakers sure that Cueto was 100 percent. Take advantage and bet the Giants on the run-line.