San Francisco Giants 1.70 v Chicago Cubs 2.15
There should be a low-run alert when the Chicago Cubs visit the San Francisco Giants on Monday. All the elements are here. First, AT&T Park is the worst run-scoring stadium in all of baseball in 2012. Second, neither batting lineup has been a run-scoring machine. The Giants are ranked twelfth and the Cubs fourteenth out of sixteen National League clubs in runs per game. Finally, both clubs are rolling out consistently strong starters. The Giants Ryan Vogelsong has allowed three earned runs or less in ten straight home starts (dating back to 2011). Overall this season he’s 3-2, but with a 2.36 ERA. The Cubs’ Jeff Samardzija has been one of the club’s only shining lights (so much so he’s reportedly the only player on the roster who is untouchable in trade talks). In particular he’s 3-2 with a 2.12 ERA in his past seven starts. Every metric says go under 7.0 runs at 1.70 instead of taking the over at 2.15.
New York Mets 1.90 v St. Louis Cardinals 1.90
While we may not see runs in San Francisco, expect the exact opposite in New York where the Mets will host the St. Louis Cardinals. These clubs have both been impressive offensively: The Cardinals are first in the NL in runs and the Mets are sixth. On the surface, St. Louis’ starter Kyle Lohse should be poised for success (5-1, 3.36 ERA), but if you did a bit deeper it’s not so clear. He hasn’t gone at least six innings in four of his last six starts and has been lucky not to give up more runs as his been giving up a lot of base runners (29 in his last 17 innings). The Mets young hurler Jeremy Hefner has not shined in his two 2012 starts, giving up a total of nine runs and 15 hits in 9 2/3 innings. The combination should mean ample scoring opportunities so go with more than 8.5 runs at the decently-priced 2.02 because the under at 1.79 is very unlikely.