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San Francisco Giants at St. Louis Cardinals
MLB: Friday September 21, 2018 at 8:15 p.m. ET
The Giants are out of the playoff race and while in it for a while a recent 11-game losing streak did not help their cause. Since that dry spell they have won four of their last six games, but they did lose their last game. For the season the Giants pitching has been pretty good, but their lineup ranks 2nd to last in the Majors in runs scored.
The Cardinals have a sliver of hope to win the NL Central 5.5 games out of first place. However, they have the 2nd spot in the Wild Card with a 1.5 game lead over the Colorado Rockies and three games back of the Milwaukee Brewers. If the season ended today they would be hitting the road for the Wild Card game against the Brewers, who they host in their next series.
That’s more like it Bumgarner
Lefty ace Madison Bumgarner (6-6 3.14 ERA) gets the nod in this series opener and he had a solid last start after getting shelled in tow in a row. In his last outing, he did not give up any earned runs and only allowed five hits in six innings in a 3-0 win over the Colorado Rockies. The Giants had lost his previous two starts where he gave up 11 earned runs in 11 innings. Bumgarner faced the Giants in July and he gave up four earned runs in five 1/3 innings and got a lot of help from the lineup in a 13-8 win. He has really been up and down this season pitching like an ace in one start and then looking like a rookie in another. It does not help Bumgarner’s cause that he is backed by a lineup that has struggled to score runs all season. I mean Andrew McCutchen still leads the team with only 55 RBI, but he was traded to the New York Yankees at the end of August.
Gant looks to rebound
John Gant (7-6 3.53 ERA) goes in this Game 1 and in his last outing he had one he would like to forget giving up six earned runs in four 1/3 innings in an embarrassing 17-4 loss to the L.A. Dodgers. The Cardinals had won his previous three starts where he only gave up two earned runs and that was in one of the outings where he totaled 16 2/3 innings. In Gant’s lone start against the Giants this season he gave up two earned runs in six innings in a 3-2 St. Louis loss. The Cardinals have lost seven of Gant’s last 10 home starts and they have also lost his last four Friday starts and four of his last five Game 1 starts. Matt Carpenter leads the team in home runs, but has been cold this month while Marcell Ozuna, who leads the Red Birds in RBI, has been hitting over .320 in September.
The St. Louis Cardinals are:
- 2-6 in their last 8 home games vs. a team with a road winning % of less than .400
- 1-4 in their last 5 home games
The San Francisco Giants are:
- 9-3 in their last 12 games following an off day
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
Bumgarner has not looked like an Ace for many starts this season, but too bad for the Cardinals he will look like one in this game. He will have a great outing while Gant will struggle again and San Francisco will take the first game of this series.
Prediction: PICK: Giants
Full-Game Total Pick
Bumgarner will totally shut down the Cardinals and while Gant may be lit up by the Giants the Under is still the way to go in this game.
Prediction: PICK: Under