San Francisco Giants (+101) at New York Yankees (-111, 7.5 o/u)
A great pitching matchup is on tap tonight in the first of a three-game set between Madison Bumgarner’s San Francisco Giants (57-38, 28-21 Away) and Masahiro Tanaka’s New York Yankees (48-47, 27-21 Home) at Yankee Stadium (7:05 PM Eastern).
The Giants are currently going through a tough stretch, losing their last five in a row (three against the San Diego Padres and two against the Boston Red Sox). They entered the All-Star break with the best record in the majors, but now sit a half game back of the Cubs for the league-lead. Even with their current losing streak, through, they still sit four games ahead of the Dodgers for top spot in the NL West.
Bumgarner, the team’s ace and a potential Cy Young candidate, hasn’t been immune to the downward trend. He gave up seven hits and four runs in six innings of work in a 4-1 loss to the Padres last time out. He did have nine punchouts, but the Giants’ offense never materialized, and MadBum dropped to 10-5 on the year (2.12 ERA).
Bumgarner will be facing a Yankee team that refuses to call it quits. New York was all but certain to be sellers at the trade deadline, but took three of four from the erstwhile AL East-leading Orioles after the All-Star break to climb back above .500 and stay within striking distance of a Wild Card spot. They’ve now won four of five, overall, and postponed the fire-sale many were expecting.
The Yankees are still seven games back of the division lead (which now belongs to Boston), but only 5.5 out of the second Wild Card berth.
New York will send right-hander Masahiro Tanaka to the mound tonight. Tanaka, who’s 7-2 in 19 starts this season with a solid 3.15 ERA, is coming off a sparkling performance; he notched his seventh win of the season by pitching 6.1 innings of three-hit, one-run ball against Boston’s league-leading offense.
Tonight’s game should be a close, low-scoring affair given the pitching matchup. Don’t let San Fran’s losing streak scare you. Bumgarner has been one of the best in the majors all season, and the Giants have been phenomenal in close ball games (20-11 in one-run games). The Yankees have a solid record in one-run games, as well (15-8), but it’s very rare that you’ll get a chance to bet Bumgarner at better than even money. Go with San Francisco.
Pick: Giants (+101).
(Photo Credit: SD Dirk (Flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/])