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Baseball Picks & Preview: Giants at Phillies 8/3

The San Francisco Giants are really battling at this point to stave off the Los Angeles Dodgers for the #1 spot in the National League West. Thus far they have been able to do it, but they really haven’t been able to create any distance. Last night they lost with Madison Bumgarner on the mound, and that was a chance for a three-game winning streak.

The San Francisco Giants are really battling at this point to stave off the Los Angeles Dodgers for the #1 spot in the National League West. Thus far they have been able to do it, but they really haven’t been able to create any distance. Last night they lost with Madison Bumgarner on the mound, and that was a chance for a three-game winning streak. They will have to try again on Wednesday night as they face off against the Philadelphia Phillies in a National League encounter that begins at 7:05 PM ET at Citizen’s Bank Park. Remember that even after the first pitch is thrown, BetAnySports customers can place wagers on the action using the state-of-the-art software that is available through Live Betting Extra.

The Phillies (49-59) are the fourth-place team in the NL East, 14.5 games off the lead, but they got off to a quick 6-0 lead and rattled Bumgarner to the point where he had to leave the game without getting anyone out in the sixth inning. The Giants battled back to tie the game, not once but twice, but the bullpen was not up to the task of keeping them in the game, as the floodgates opened in the 8th inning with five Philly runs.

San Francisco looks for some better fortune with right-hander Johnny Cueto (13-3, 2.63 ERA) getting his turn. Cueto apparently needed to get out of the American League, where he won a World Series ring with the Kansas City Royals but never felt comfortable or looked too good, and he has flourished after signing a big free agent contract. You recently saw him starting for the NL in the All-Star game. Philadelphia will go with Aaron Nola, who they hope will be their ace one day but is struggling with his fastball. Nola is 6-9 with a 4.95 earned run average.

In the odds for our baseball preview, as they have been posted at BetAnySports, the Giants are laying the lumber on the road:

San Francisco Giants (Cueto – R) -168

Philadelphia Phillies (Nola – R)  +158

Under 7.5 Runs  -115

Over 7.5 Runs  -105

Giants -1.5 Runs  -105

Phillies +1.5 Runs  -115

An interesting fact about Cueto is that he has allowed twice as many walks and twice as many base hits on the road as he has at home. And he also was not greeted warmly the last time he faced the Phillies, as he allowed six runs in six innings.

His opponent tonight has had a hard time putting any string of good starts together. Nola did manage to win the last time he took the mound, but he gave up three runs in his five innings of work and threw 95 pitches, which does not show great economy. And he has done that quite a bit lately; over three starts in June he wound up averaging 25 pitches an inning. The big league leader, Robbie Ray of Arizona, averages 18.3 pitches per inning.

The Phillies are an anemic offensive team at home, averaging 2.9 runs  game and hitting .219. That is why the 13-run explosion yesterday was so unusual. Obviously we don’t expect that they are going to slap around two San Francisco aces in a row. But there is a decent chance for them – and the Giants – to get off to a good start, because both of these starting pitchers have allowed the opposition to hit better than .300 in the first innings of games.

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