The San Francisco Giants are on the road at the Arizona Diamondbacks on Saturday in National League West action.
Don’t count the San Francisco Giants out just yet. After a 2-1 win over the Diamondbacks on Friday, they have moved within 4.5 games of first place in the NL West. Even more important for the Giants, they are starting to get healthy. Madison Bumgarner is starting to show his ace status and two of their other prominent pitchers, Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija are nearing returns. For the time being, though, the Giants (43-40) will look to stay hot (they are 8-2 in their last 10 games) when they travel to Chase Field to take on the Diamondbacks (47-35) Saturday night. First pitch is scheduled for 10:10 pm ET.
The moneyline for the game is set at the San Francisco Giants +108 and the Arizona Diamondbacks -118. The over/under on runs scored is set at 9.
One of the reasons that the Giants have been able to hang around thus far is due to strong pitching from starters that they didn’t anticipate having an impact this year. One prime example of that is righty Dereck Rodriguez. In 6 games (5 starts), Rodriguez is 2-1 with a 3.82 ERA, 1.34 WHIP and opponents are hitting .270 off of him. While the opponent’s batting average is high (he has given up 34 hits in 30.2 innings), one of the reasons that he has had some success is due to his ability to stay in the strike zone. He has 28 strikeouts versus only 7 walks. Still, though, if he hopes to continue his success, he is going to have to miss some more bats, as eventually those hits will start manufacturing more runs. In his last start, Rodriguez got a no decision in a 3-2 win over the San Diego Padres. In the outing, he went 7 innings, giving up only 1 run and striking out 6.
Offensively, Brandon Crawford has been on a roll in the month of June. In the last 30 days, he is hitting .326/.416/.558 with a .974 OPS. In that time, he has 3 home runs, 12 runs batted in, 9 doubles and has scored 12 times. Andrew McCutchen has also hit well in the last month adding 5 home runs, 16 runs batted in and 17 runs of his own.
The Diamondbacks are looking to finish off strong in a month that has also treated them pretty well. In June, Arizona is 19-8 and they have won 7 of their last 10. Still, though, with the Dodgers playing significantly better and the Giants getting healthy, there isn’t much room for error for them. Part of their success this month has been the improved play from first baseman, Paul Goldschmidt. After a dreadful start to the season, Goldschmidt has been on fire in the month of June. In the last 30 days, he is hitting .379/.475/.767 with an absurd 1.242 OPS. In that time, he has also added 10 home runs, 23 runs batted in, 8 doubles and has scored 25 runs. He has finally been playing like the perennial MVP contender that we have been accustomed to.
Let’s just say that Shelby Miller’s last start left something to be desired. In his first start of the season after having Tommy John surgery on May 10th of last year, Miller went only 3.2 innings and gave up 5 runs. Still, after over a year off from surgery, a rough first start is understandable. The Diamondbacks are hoping the second is significantly better. After trading away 2015’s number one overall pick Dansby Swanson, outfielder Ender Inciarte and pitcher Aaron Blair for Miller, he hasn’t quite lived up to the expectations they had when they got him. If he can turn into a reliable middle of the rotation starter for the rest of season, though, that might be all the Diamondbacks need to win the division.
There is not a lot of confidence for either starting pitcher in this one. Dereck Rodriguez has not been as good as his record/ERA indicate, and I haven’t been impressed with Shelby Miller for a few years now. As a result, I could see several runs being put up in this one, which makes the over compelling, but when it comes to straight up, I like the offense of the Diamondbacks more than that of the Giants. Thus, I am taking the Diamondbacks at -118.