Giants vs. Cardinals, 05/20/17 - Preview & Prediction

Game Snapshot

#909 San Francisco Giants
vs.
#910 St. Louis Cardinals

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Image licensed from USA Today Sports

San Francisco Giants (17-25) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (21-17)

MLB Baseball:  Saturday May 20th, 7:15 pm EST

Jeff Samardzija (1-5, 5.26 ERA) vs. Carlos Martinez (3-3, 3.83 ERA)

Line:  St. Louis -150/San Francisco +140

Total: 8

The Giants play the second of a three game series on Saturday night in St. Louis against the Cardinals.  The Giants have encountered the season from hell so far this year, but they are coming off a 5-2 homestand where they did win five in a row at one point.  That winning streak came to a crashing halt at the hands of Clayton Kershaw on Wednesday, losing 6-1.   The game featured a benches clearing brawl, showing the Giants still have some fight in them.

The Cardinals got off to as bad a start as the Giants did, but they quickly rebounded and have been a great team ever since.  They did lose two straight heading into this series, however, losing both games at home in a short series with the Boston Red Sox.  The Cardinals are only 11-11 at home and 10-6 on the road.

 

Samardzija gets his first win

Jeff Samardzija got his first win of the year in his most recent start, defeating the Cincinnati Reds 8-3.  It was hardly a commanding performance as he gave up nine hits and three earned runs over a rocky 6.2 innings.   However, he got the win, and that’s what matters most.  He lowered his ERA to 5.26 which is nothing to write home about, but it didn’t warrant an 0-5 record either.

When you look closer at the numbers, it’s kind of amazing that his ERA is so high.  In 53 innings pitched, his WHIP is a very respectable 1.21 and batters are hitting .266 against him.  Even more telling is that he has 63 strikeouts to only 10 walks over those 53 innings.  That’s a phenomenal K/BB ratio and it’s amazing his ERA is so high with those numbers.

Martinez goes for the Card

Opposing Samardzija on Saturday will be Carlos Martinez, who is 3-3 on the season with an ERA of 3.88.  Unlike his counterpart, Martinez has been pretty consistent with his ERA staying from within 3.65 and 4.76 since his second start of the year.  He is coming off of a win, where he went 6.2 innings and allowed three earned runs to the Chicago Cubs.  It was his third straight win and must have felt good to beat the defending NL Champs.

Martinez has great stuff and has allowed less hits than innings he has pitched.  He also strikes out a lot of batters, totaling 57 in 48.2 innings.  This is while pitching 21 walks, so while his ratio isn’t as good as Samardzija, he still has a very good K/BB ratio.  It should be a good pitching matchup on Saturday night.

Trends:

The San Francisco Giants are:

  • 4-0 in their last 4 games vs. a right-handed starter.
  • 5-1 in their last 6 vs. a team with a winning record.
  • 5-1 in their last 6 games on grass.

The St. Louis Cardinals are:

  • (no trends available)

Jeff Samardzija is way too good a pitcher to have started 0-5.  Now that he got his first win out of the way, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him put a winning streak together.  Let’s take him and the underdog Giants on Saturday.

Pick: San Francisco

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Big B

Known as Big B since his time at UCSB, Brian O’Sullivan is a novelist, screenwriter, & poker player who follows sports religiously. His betting style would be considered that of a contrarian, and he likes to bet against the general public. It seems to be working. You can find him at the coffee shops of Vegas, hanging with his family in SF, or at the bars of LA.