The San Francisco Giants continue their six-game homestand, as they welcome the Cincinnati Reds to town on Monday evening. Both teams have gotten off to pretty good starts, as they are both near the top of their respective division standings. Both teams are 6-3 through their first nine games, but the Reds are in first place in the Central, while the Giants are in third place in the West, 1.5 games out of first place. San Francisco completed a three-game sweep of the Colorado Rockies with a 4-0 win on Sunday, while Cincinnati was shutout at the hands of the Arizona Diamondbacks on Sunday, 7-0. The Reds lost two of their three games versus Arizona.
Reds lose last two to DiamondbacksA few days ago, it looked like the Cincinnati Reds might run away with the National League Central Division, but things can change in a hurry in Major League Baseball. After losing their opener to the St. Louis Cardinals, the Reds reeled off six straight wins, averaging 9.5 runs per game during that stretch. They were also winning by big margins, as they won games by scores of 12-1, 14-1, and 11-4. Cincinnati then went to Arizona, where the Diamondbacks were just 2-5 coming into the series. After squeaking out an extra-inning win in game one of the series, the Reds got a little taste of their own medicine, losing 8-3 and 7-0 in the final two games of the three-game set.
In Sunday's series finale, Cincinnati didn't have a base runner until there were two outs in the sixth inning, and they didn't collect their first hit until a seventh-inning, broken-bat grounder by Eugenio Suarez found the outfield grass. It was one of only two hits for the Reds in the game, as Kyle Farmer singled in the eighth inning for the other hit.
“It was pretty obvious that Weaver had good stuff,” Reds manager David Bell said about the Arizona starter on espn.com. "We had three or four, maybe five, well-hit balls, but that’s going to happen. The other at-bats, he was in command and dominated with his fastball and changeup.”
Despite the shutout loss on Sunday, the Reds are still averaging 7.3 runs per game in their first nine games of the season, while they are giving up 5.1 runs per game. Five of their starters are hitting at least .290 this season, as Jonathan India has gotten off to a .379 start in his rookie season. Tyler Naquin, who had just 31 home runs in his first five seasons with the Cleveland Indians, is tied for the Major League lead in home runs and RBI with five and 14, respectively. He is also fifth in the majors with a 1.195 OPS. Cincinnati is hitting .289 as a team, and they have hit 16 home runs this season. The Reds pitching staff has an ERA of 4.73 with a 1.29 WHIP.
The Reds send Wade Miley to the mound on Monday. The veteran pitcher got off to a good start to his 2021 campaign, as he pitched six scoreless innings to get the win against the Pittsburgh Pirates in his initial start of the season. He gave up just three base runners (two hits and a walk) and struck out six batters. That win pushed Miley's career record over .500 at 86-85. He has faced the San Francisco Giants 12 times in his long career, posting a 4-4 record and a 3.87 ERA. The players on the current Giants team have hit Miley pretty well in their careers with a .299 batting average and six home runs, covering 117 at bats.
Giants keep rollingThe San Francisco Giants completed their first sweep of the season with their first shutout of the season on Sunday afternoon. It was the Giants' fourth straight win overall and fifth win in their last six games. San Francisco's pitching has just been phenomenal, especially during their four-game winning streak. They have given up just six runs in the four games. The Giants have now won two straight series, as they took two of three from San Diego prior to their sweep of the Rockies.
In their win on Sunday, four San Francisco pitchers combined on the eight-hit shutout. On the offensive side of things, Evan Longoria had two hits and two RBI, while Brandon Belt and Alex Dickerson hit solo home runs to provide the Giants with all the offense they would need. Anthony DeSclafani pitched six scoreless innings to get the win.
“They’ve been outstanding,” Belt said about the starting pitching on espn.com. “We know from back in the day when we were winning championships that pitching and defense wins you a lot of baseball games.”
For the season, Longoria leads the team with a .333 batting average, three home runs, and seven RBI. Donovan Solano is also off to a good start, as he is hitting .321 in the young season. As a team, San Francisco is hitting just .204, but they have hit 14 home runs this season. Their pitching has carried them so far this season, as they have a 2.70 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP.
Aaron Sanchez makes his second start of the season on Sunday for the Giants. He got a no-decision in his first start, as he pitched five innings, giving up one run on six hits for a 1.80 ERA. He struck out four batters, as his team lost 3-1 to San Diego. Sanchez, who has spent his entire career in the American League before this season, has never faced the Cincinnati Reds. Only three Cincinnati players (Nick Castellanos, Mike Moustakis, and Tyler Naquin) have ever faced Sanchez, and they are a combined 4-20 (.200) with no extra-base hits and five strikeouts.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The San Francisco Giants are playing about the best baseball of anyone in the majors right now. The Giants have won four straight games and five of their last six, while the Reds have lost their last two games by a combined 15-3 score. The Colorado Rockies came into their series with San Francisco with a pretty high-powered offensive attack this season, and the Giants held them to just four runs in the three games in the series. Look for San Francisco to do the same against the high-scoring Reds on Monday in the first game of the series.
Full-Game Total Pick
Each of San Francisco's last seven games has had a total of eight runs or less scored. The Giants come into this game with a 2.70 ERA, and they have given up just six runs in their last four games. Cincinnati has scored just three runs in their last two games, and they scored nine total runs in their three-game series against Arizona. Both starting pitchers pitched extremely well in their first starts of the season, as they gave up a combined one run in 11 innings of work. You can expect the same type of performance from each pitcher in this one. Look for a low-scoring game on Monday.