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$FML Best Bet - 7/25

San Francisco Giants (48-47) at Arizona Diamondbacks (42-53)

The San Francisco Giants entered All Star Break winners of 5 of their last 6; however, after a rough weekend series in LA, the team touches down in Arizona today losers of 4 straight. Luckily for Giants fans, their offense projects to get a much-needed reprieve tonight in terms of matchup difficulty vs. Arizona southpaw, Tyler Gilbert.

Gilbert is infamous for throwing a ‘no-hitter’ in his 1st career start. However, even Gilbert himself admits it was one of the luckiest outcomes possibly ever. The Padres absolutely destroyed the cover off the ball that day. Luckily for Gilbert — those baseballs were often smashed directly at defenders — enabling the improbable outcome of a no-hitter.

Since that day, Gilbert hasn’t been nearly as lucky. In fact, he’s been so bad that he’s struggled to stay in the Big Leagues ever since. In 7 MLB appearances this year, his 6.76 expected ERA calculated by MLB Statcast ranks in the bottom 1% of MLB. Said differently, practically no one is allowing more expected runs than this guy.

Those stats aside, it’s also worth noting Tyler Gilbert is a Left-Handed Pitcher (LHP), and the San Francisco Giants rank #8 in MLB vs. LHPs (as measured by wRC+). They’ve faced some tough ones lately but have held their own, even scoring 4 runs off future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw this past weekend.

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To be fair to the home team, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ scoring outlook also looks solid tonight. Giants pitching has been a major source of the team’s issues, especially in the Bullpen where they have the 8th worst Bullpen ERA in MLB. The bullpen issue will almost certainly be problematic again tonight with Jakob Junis listed as San Francisco’s starter. Tonight marks Junis’ return from a 6-week injury rehab, and he’s not expected to pitch deep tonight. If he fails to go 5+ innings, I like Arizona’s chances to capitalize on their divisional foe’s bullpen woes.

Chase Field in Arizona isn’t known as a hitter-friendly park. Even still, 7 of the last 12 Giants/D’backs matchups played there featured 9+ total runs. My analysis for tonight’s matchup suggests a similar outcome is likely (but not guaranteed, obviously).

For what it’s worth, there are signs Sharp bettors disagree with my analysis and prefer the Under. I’m not sure exactly why, but when the line drifted up to 9.5 (from opening line of 9), it was quickly bought back down to 9 within minutes. It’s never comfortable going against Sharp action, but in this particular case — given my assessment of Gilbert’s ‘true’ talent (or lack thereof) and the GIants’ bullpen situation — I feel it’s the right play, and I’m sticking with my gut on that. I backed the Game Total to go over 9 at -110 odds available time of writing (Barstool Sportsbook).

The Pick: Giants/D’Backs Over 9 (-110)