National League division leaders the Philadelphia Phillies and San Francisco Giants meet for a 4-game series at AT&T Park in San Francisco with Cliff Lee (10-7, 3.14 ERA) taking on Madison Bumgarner (6-10, 3.80 ERA).
Philadelphia rolls into the Bay Area hot on a 6-game winning streak, while the Giants finally put an end to their 5-game skid by knocking off Arizona 8-1 last night to avoid a series sweep at the hands of the 2nd place Diamondbacks.
Big-name pick-ups during the trade window dot this quality match-up as Carlos Beltran and Hunter Pence for San Francisco and Philadelphia respectively try to help their new teams grab the series opener tonight. While Pence has found a quick assimilation to the Phillies’ line-up (going .286 with 3 RBIs since being acquired), it’s his presence in front of Ryan Howard that has been the biggest spark (Howard is 9 for 22 with 4 home runs and 9 RBIs in the past 5 games). Carlos Beltran meanwhile has on a hitting tear of his own going 7-16 in his last 4 games, though with only 2 RBIs since being brought in to the Giants’ lineup, indicative of the Giants’ struggles to get batters on base when their hot hitters come to the plate.
On the pitching side of things Cliff Lee has struggled to find his All-Star caliber form, giving up 11 runs in 17 2/3 innings of work over his last three starts, although with a 2-1 record over that span, it’s plainly evident that the Philly bats are picking up any slack that the starting rotation (averaging 6.7 runs per game during the 6-game winning streak). Madison Bumgarner on the other hand comes into tonight’s game after a rough start, going 4 innings while giving up 5-runs in a 7-2 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. However, Bumgarner had pitched in 6 straight victories (3-0 record) prior to that outing, and figures to regain some composure on the mound for the start of this pivotal series.
Philadelphia has notably struggled at AT&T Park, losing 7 of their last 10 games there, however their recent resurgence at the plate, combined with Cliff Lee on the mound could be telling for tonight’s game, as well as the series especially when considering San Francisco’s recent ups and downs at the plate.
Sports Interaction Sportsbook betting lines for today’s series opener:
Philadelphia is a -145 favorite behind Cliff Lee to nab a Phillies’ season high 7th victory in a row.
San Francisco finds themselves as a +125 underdog, with an over/under for the game at 6 runs (-110 for either over or under total runs).
Philadelphia gets -1.5 runs at +115, while San Francisco gets +1.5 runs at -135 on the run line.