MLB Picks: Giants vs. Diamondbacks
San Francisco Giants (52-30) vs. Arizona Diamondbacks (23-62)
When: 9:10 p.m., Sunday, July 4
Where: Chase Field, Phoenix
Moneyline: SF -180/ARI +150 (Find Dimeline Sportsbooks >>>)
Runline: Giants -1.5/D-Backs +1.5
Starting Pitchers: Anthony DeSclafani (8-3, 2.91 ERA, 1.03 WHIP) vs. Caleb Smith (2-4, 3.08 ERA, 1.27 WHIP)
Given that one of these teams is the Diamondbacks, nobody would blame you if you choose to launch fireworks rather than put yourself through this train wreck. This ended up the last game of the day almost by default, as the marquee ESPN game of Mets-Yankees ended up a doubleheader because of weather in the New York area (ESPN still opted to show the Subway Series, even if they only got seven innings). It certainly isn’t because the Diamondbacks have done anything well this year, as Arizona has managed to completely collapse into one of the worst teams in recent memory. The Diamondbacks started the year relatively decent, winning 18 of their first 40 games, but since then, they’ve managed to go 5-40 and ripped off a pair of 13+ game losing streaks. They do have a chance to split this series with the Giants with a win here, which would be fairly miraculous, given that Arizona owns a 1-8 record against San Francisco.
Anywhere But Hollywood
Keep Anthony DeSclafini away from the Dodgers, and you’ve got one of the best pitchers in baseball. Even facing Los Angeles usually hasn’t been that terrible for DeSclafini, but the Dodgers are the only team that’s even made him sweat over his past 10 starts. In all but two of his past 10 starts, he’s held the opponent to two runs or less, and the only exceptions both came against the Dodgers. If you expand the scope of Southern California a bit further to include the other NL West heavyweight in San Diego, DeSclafini has had just one other game in which anyone’s gotten more than two runs off of him: April 21 in Philadelphia, when the Phillies tagged him for three runs. Even with the Dodgers and Padres doing a little more than most teams against him, DeSclafini has been excellent at run prevention this year: In 16 starts this season, he’s held the opposition to no more than three runs 15 times, with the lone exception being a 10-run disaster against the Dodgers. He’s only seen Arizona once, and he was in control in that game, giving up one run five innings before the bullpen allowed the Diamondbacks to do a little hitting in a 13-7 Giants victory.
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I’m a Good Player, Get Me Out Of Here!
Caleb Smith really doesn’t deserved to be tagged with the stigma of losing the Diamondbacks have created in 2021, as he’s done more than his fair share to keep Arizona in ballgames. In three of his past five starts, he’s taken the loss, despite allowing no more than two earned runs in any of his defeats. Against the Dodgers, Smith was masterful, allowing one hit and no runs in six innings of work. But it didn’t matter, because Arizona’s bats got nothing going, giving him a grand total of zero in the run support column.
Other than giving up four runs to the Angels, Smith has been a reliable pitching option for the Diamondbacks as a starter. When he’s on the mound, taking the under first five is a really good option, because the Diamondbacks aren’t likely to hit their way to a win and the runs are likely to come off the Arizona bullpen, not against Smith. In his previous 10 appearances on the mound, the under has cashed eight times and probably would have made it nine if Smith had started instead of cleaning up someone else’s mess before the Diamondbacks moved him to the rotation.
- The Giants are 9-3 in their past 12 against the NL West.
- The Giants are 12-5 in their past 17 overall.
- The Diamondbacks are 5-21 in their past 26 home games.
- The Diamondbacks are 8-49 in their past 57 games.
- The under is 4-1 in the Giants’ past five games overall.
- The under is 4-1 in the Diamondbacks’ past five games as a home underdog.
- The Giants are 6-1 in the past seven meetings in Phoenix.
- The under is 4-1-1 in the past six meetings in Arizona.
Weather ReportDays like this are why a retractable roof was a must for putting a team in Arizona. The temperatures will be 102 degrees in Phoenix on Sunday evening, so the roof will obviously be closed.
The best bet on the board is the under first five. The Giants and Diamondbacks both have quality arms on the mound, so don’t expect many runs in the first few innings of this contest. Beyond that, I think the Giants will be able to outlast Smith and get this game into the Arizona bullpen, which is the last place the Diamondbacks want it to get. San Francisco has dominated this series all year, and I think they’ll claim the win here as well. Give me the Giants.
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