When a pitcher needs to rebound, it’s always nice to see the Padres on the schedule. Such is the case when Vance Worley and his Philadelphia Phillies host San Diego on Friday. The arithmetic is straightforward: the Padres’ offence is second-worst at producing runs in the National League and their .219 batting average is dead last. That should be a confidence boost for Worley, who suffered through his worst performance of the year in his last start, giving up 11 hits, five runs and two walks in six innings versus the Washington Nationals. That game aside, Worley has been dependable, having conceded one run or less in four of his other five starts. San Diego fans will hope that their starter, Clayton Richards, can keep it close, though his 1-4 record and 4.89 ERA do not inspire much confidence. Bottom line: the Phillies are the right bet at 1.55; the Padres are worth a pass even at 2.45.
The San Francisco Giants should ride their pitching advantage to a road win against the Arizona Diamondbacks. When we talk about the San Francisco pitching rotation, the focus is usually on their big two – Tim Lincecum and Matt Cain. But Madison Bumgarner is proving he deserves to be discussed in the same breath; he’s 5-1 with a 2.31 ERA in 2012. Bumgarner is currently on a career-high five game winning streak, in which he hasn’t allowed more than two runs in any game. A successful road warrior, Baumgarner boasts a solid 2.70 lifetime ERA in away games. On the other side, Arizona starter Patrick Corbin will be making just his third Major League start. So far, not so good for Corbin, who allowed four runs in 3 1/3 innings pitched in his most recent appearance against the New York Mets. The Giants should be able to ride Baumgarner to victory – and you should too at 1.77.