We took a few days off from making baseball picks. I haven’t seen the board well. I’m hoping these days off have cleared my head—however, tail with caution. I’m on it and confident in it, but I want to be fully transparent that this MLB season has not gone well for me.
2023 Straight Plays Record: 154-164 (-10.66 U)
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San Francisco Giants vs. Arizona Diamondbacks @ 3:40 PM EST
Pitching Matchup: Logan Webb vs. Merrill Kelly
Both teams need this win. The Diamondbacks sit in the second wild-card spot, and the Giants sit three out of the third spot. The Giants have a daunting series coming up against the Dodgers, and the Diamondbacks fly out of Arizona tonight to face the Yankees in New York. After Arizona won the first game of this two-game set, I think we see the best the Giants can offer. In competitive two-game series, they often split, and the Giants send their ace to the mound.
Logan Webb has had plenty of success against the Diamondbacks in the past. He’s faced them three times this season, tossing seven innings in all three, posting a 2.57 ERA. It makes sense. Arizona puts the ball on the ground a lot (5th most vs RHP), and they rely on their speed to manufacture runs. Webb is an elite ground-ball pitcher who works quickly through Arizona’s lineup.
You can point to Webb’s numbers on the road and say he’s worse in this spot, but the matchup for him has proved to be successful no matter the ballpark. His best start against Arizona was at Chase Field, tossing seven innings of one-run ball with only three hits. If we look at splits, we can point to his 2.41 ERA pitching during the day compared to a 4.04 ERA at night.
Arizona doesn’t have a great offense against righties overall, posting a 90 wRC+ since August 1st and an 84 wRC+ since September 1st. They aren’t hitting the ball hard at all, posting the 26th ranked Hard-Hit rate in that span.
Merrill Kelly will toe the rubber for the Diamondbacks, who I really do like. This isn’t an easy matchup for the Giants, but they’ve had success against him. They hit him up back in June for seven runs (five earned) in five innings. Kelly has been fantastic at home this season, but his 4.83 ERA during the day compared to a 2.82 ERA at night is worth noting.
The Giants are also not a great offense against righties, but they are trending in the right direction. Since August 1st, they have had an 85 wRC+. Since September 1st, that number has risen to 112, ranking tenth in baseball. They also hit up Gallen at home yesterday, which was very impressive. The Diamondbacks feasted off a tired Alex Cobb, who struggles on the road. They’ll have a much tougher time today.
The Giants don’t have many good starters and an average offense. This team has won games through their bullpen, which is in a great rest spot in this one. Doval should be fine today, and they have everyone else available.
The Diamondbacks used their two best arms in Sewald and Ginkel yesterday, which could be available today but won’t be as fresh. They have a couple of lefties they can throw at the Giants, but San Francisco has been better against lefties lately than righties, so I don’t see why the Giants can win out if this game is close.
I have the better starter, the better bullpen, and the more motivated team. That’s worth the price on the Giants. I think they even the series and came away with a split.