San Francisco Giants (-155) at Arizona Diamondbacks (+145, 7.5 o/u)
The San Francisco Giants will start their World Series title defense tonight when they take on the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field in Phoenix (10 p.m. Eastern). Last year’s World Series MVP, Madison Bumgarner (18-10, 2.98 ERA in 2014), will get the opening day start for the Giants while the D-Backs will counter with Josh Collmenter (11-9, 3.46 ERA).
Bumgarner threw six innings, allowed two hits, and struck out 11 against Oakland’s triple A lineup in his last Spring Training outing; he looked as sharp as ever and ready to make a run at the NL Cy Young.
“I felt dang good about it,” said Bumgarner.
Though the Giants still have their ace, they will have an uphill climb to another World Series title. Matt Cain (ankle, elbow) and Tim Hudson (ankle) are coming off surgery, and key playoff contributor Pablo Sandoval is now wearing a Red Sox uniform.
For the D-Backs, Collmenter started 28 games for Arizona last season, the most of his career, and posted a 2.4 WAR, the highest of his four years in the Show. The Diamondbacks are primed for another down year – sitting at 125/1 to take the 2015 World Series – but Collmenter could be a good story for the rebuilding team.
“It’s a great honor,” Collmenter said about starting in the opening game. “From being a starter to going to the bullpen and back to a starter, it never gave me a firm grip on my role in this league. Then to have last year happen and have the success that I had, just to have the vote of confidence in the manager and the front office it makes you feel great.”
The Arizona offense will rely heavily on the big bat of Paul Goldschmidt. The first baseman has hit .300 or better in each of the last two seasons; after hitting 36 homers and racking up 125 RBIs in 2013, Goldschmidt put up 19 dingers and batted in 63 runs in just 109 games during an injury-shortened 2014.
The Giants are listed at -155 in the moneyline and the Diamondbacks are +145.
Looking at the trends, San Francisco has won six of the last seven against Arizona. With Bumgarner on the bump, the value is with the Giants.
(Photo credit: X Wad [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)