Home run (Safe bet)
Go with the Los Angeles Dodgers, on at 1.60, to win at home versus the San Francisco Giants.
The Giants have actually been getting the best of Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium lately, winning six of their past seven contests there coming into this weekend. That said, this game on Saturday will be different.
The presence of Zack Greinke on the pitcher’s mound for the Dodgers is one big reason why. Greinke has been incredibly consistent this season. He hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any of his seven 2014 starts. Also, taking into account he’s pitching at home, further bolsters his chances for success. No matter who he’s played for, he’s always thrown well at home, but his work at Dodger Stadium has been particularly strong. In 18 lifetime starts, he’s 11-2 with a 2.12 ERA there.
Matt Cain gets the call for the Giants. Overall, he’s off to a slow start (0-3 with a 4.35 ERA). Considering he posted his first ERA since 2006 in the 4.00 range last season, there’s some legitimate fear he could be slipping. Moreover, this is his first appearance since being on the disabled list for a finger injury. While he says he’s okay, those sort of injuries can impact feel on pitches and, often, pitchers need a solid amount of time to overcome them. In other words, it’s not clear he’ll be on top form.
Squeeze play (Gutsiest call)
Consider taking over 8.5 runs at 1.90 when the Houston Astros visit the Baltimore Orioles.
If you can overlook the fact that Houston is currently last in the American League in run production this season, there is reason expect a busy scoreboard.
Let’s start with the pitchers. The Astros’ Collin McHugh has a misleading 2.79 ERA. He did have two good starts to begin the season but was lit up for six runs in four innings against the Seattle Mariners in his most recent appearance. Sadly, that performance is likely more indicative of what to expect from the right-hander. The evidence: his career Major League ERA is a terrible 7.16.
McHugh will cross swords with Miguel Gonzalez, who has not found his form this year. In six starts he has a 5.28 ERA. He’s proved both hittable (35 hits in 30 2/3 innings) and has a pretty unhealthy walk ratio (3.5 base on balls per nine innings pitched). Neither suggest a strong outing here.
As for the aforementioned Astros hitting woes, it’s worth noting that coming into this series, they’d scored six or more runs in three of their last six games. In other words, they have it in them for a big game.