In: MLB Free Picks9 Apr 2011
Out of the gate, the defending champion San Francisco Giants and the St. Louis Cardinals have struggled. Neither team has a winning record yet – and emphasize the yet – and neither have looked like the team to beat in their division. The only game so far this season where the Giants resembled the team that won it all last year, was in the 10-0 beat down of the Dodgers April 2.
Matt Cain pitched six scoreless innings in which he gave up six hits and struck out three. He threw only 87 pitches in that outing, and 63 of those pitches were strikes. Cain will have to have his good stuff again tonight if the Giants want to win.
The Cardinals have not been hitting the ball well so far this season, and as a result they’re ranked 29 in the MLB in runs scored. Their game against the Giants last night, in which the Giants won 5-4 in extra innings, was the first time this season the Cardinals have scored more than 3 runs in a game. As a team, the Cards are hitting just .223 with only two home runs. The great Albert Pujols has seven started this season out cold as ice. Seven games in and Albert is hitting .179.
Given the way Cain was dealing in his last outing, I don’t see the Cardinals changing their fortune in San Francisco tonight. The only thing working to their advantage is that Jaime Garcia will be on the mound tonight. In Garcia’s last outing, he threw a complete game shutout against the Padres striking out nine batters in the process. Though there isn’t a long enough history yet to determine a trend, it is a fact that in 60 at bats against lefties this season, the Giants have gotten only 14 hits, scored six runs and have struck out 16 times.
With Cain and Garcia pitching, this will likely be a close one, and I still give the edge to the Giants because of these two teams they are the only ones who have been hitting the ball with any authority. The O/U is 6.5 on this one, and ultimately whether the game goes over or under will probably come down to the bullpen. Neither Cain or Garcia will go ninen tonight. That leads me to lean toward the over.
Pick: Take the San Francisco Giants (-155)