MLB Preview – San Francisco Giants at San Diego Padres
San Francisco -102
San Diego -108
The San Francisco Giants get back to work this Thursday night after the All-Star break against a familiar foe when they kick-off a four-game set against the San Diego Padres at Petco Park. The first pitch is scheduled for 10:05 p.m. (ET) and the game will be available on MLB TV.
San Francisco went into the break with four wins in its last five games to run its record to 52-40. With a win or a tie in their last six series, the Giants have been able to hold onto a three game lead over Arizona in the NL West. They are 28-16 at home this season and 24-24 on the road.
The defending champs have relied heavily on their pitching staff this season, as they are ranked 13th in the National League in hitting with a .243 team batting average. Scoring has also been an issue with an average of just 3.61 runs per game.
Madison Bumgarner is slated to get the start for San Francisco on Thursday night. The left-hander has struggled this season with four wins against nine losses in 18 previous starts and an ERA of 3.87. The Padres smacked him around in his last outing as Bumgarner gave up five earned runs on nine hits in six innings of work. He is 0-2 against San Diego with a 3.86 ERA.
With just three wins in their last 10 games, the Padres have shrunk to 40-52 on the year and 12 games in back of the Giants in the division. They have been respectable on the road this season with a record of 21-25, but have been hard-pressed to consistently win at home with just 19 wins in 46 games.
San Diego’s offensive production has been even worse than the Giants this season. It has a .231 team batting average and has scored just 304 runs. Fortunately, its pitching has remained solid with a team ERA of 3.23.
Aaron Harang will be on the mound for the Padres. He is 7-2 on the season with an ERA of 3.45 in 14 starts. Harang came off the 15-day DL last week and promptly pitched six no-hit innings against the Dodgers. He outdueled Bumgarner earlier in the season; holding the Giants to just one run on six hits in six innings to get the win.
Head-to-head, the season series is tied 3-3 with four games going ‘over’ the total. Stick with Harang and San Diego to break the tie and take the early edge in this series with the win.