The San Francisco Giants have been among the most surprising, entertaining and exasperating MLB teams in 2020 thus far as they prepare to host the Texas Rangers on Friday.
After rallying from 6-1 down to win 7-6 over the heavily favored Padres two nights ago, San Francisco nearly pulled it off again. The Giants once again came from five back to tie the score at six, only to see San Diego score six in the 10th inning in 12-7 loss.
What are the chances Friday's home team can brush aside that disappointing defeat? And how will Texas fare in its first road game of the young season? Check out abe Insights' betting preview for the best odds, along with analysis and advanced stats to help you better determine your betting strategy.
Date: Friday, July 31
Time: 9:10 p.m. ET
Implied Probabilities: Rangers 54%; Giants 47%
Spread: TEX -1.5 (+140); SF +1.5 (-148)
Moneyline: TEX -116; SF +112
A lack of run support saddled Rangers southpaw Mike Minor with a losing decision in his first start of the season versus Colorado. Something to also keep an eye on is the absence of Texas closer Jose Leclerc, who suffered a strained shoulder muscle and is out for the foreseeable future.
San Francisco has been a little coy about who'll be starting on the mound thus far. Manager Gabe Kapler needs to come up with something fast to address the pitching woes, although it should help not to face lineups like the Dodgers and Padres.
45 vs. 13: Only Seattle has yielded more runs during this young season than the Giants. Their defense gets a reprieve, though, facing a Texas club with the dour distinction of being MLB's lowest-scoring team. Something really has to give here, one would think, no?
10.00 vs. 7.11: These numbers reflect the strikeouts per nine innings recorded for these teams in 2020. The Rangers are sixth in MLB, whereas Giants pitchers are second-lowest, allowing the opposition to make contact far too often.
10.8 vs. 7.3: Coincidentally, these figures are so close in value to the last ones. It shows the percentage of plate appearances that have resulted in walks for Texas and San Francisco respectively. Out of more necessity than anything else, late deficits and quality adversaries have forced the G-Men to take their cuts.
The Giants are the epitome of the notion that "anything can happen" in this abbreviated, 60-game campaign. They're aggressive at the plate and have constantly refused to quit even in the face of a brutal early schedule.
Splitting a four-game series with the dominant Dodgers is no small task. This pesky band from San Francisco managed to do that, and just staged two of the most incredible rallies of the year, albeit with the latter one falling short.
After scoring only six runs en route to a 1-3 start, the Rangers' bats finally came alive a little in the club's last outing, a 7-4 win over Arizona. But while Texas was nine games above .500 at home in 2019, the road wasn't as kind (33-48 record).
It'll be interesting to see if these Rangers trends of sound defense and incredible pitching continue. They're far from that type of team historically, and are facing one of baseball's hottest lineups, led by scorching Mike Yastrzemski.
The grandson of a Hall of Famer, Yastrzemski is leaving his own mark, crushing two homers into McCovey Cove, including Wednesday's walk-off dinger. The 29-year-old outfielder has a slash line of .423/.531/.808. Insert "mind blown" emoji.
When San Francisco was a home underdog last year, according to TeamRankings.com, the hosts had a 22-30 record in covering the run line. Despite Thursday's gut punch, the Giants haven't shown much carryover or malaise from prior losses, so look for bets to trend toward them to cover +1.5.
Given the dire state of the Rangers' batting order, it's hard to endorse any wagers on them until they prove otherwise. Not only should they help action at sportsbooks go toward the Under, but they're also bound to not have many advocates for their minus-moneyline.
All this to say, look for these pesky Giants to earn the majority of moneyline action, and who knows, they may reward a risk-taking, double-down bettor with an outright win and cover.
Note: Odds current as of 12:15 p.m. ET on Friday, July 31.
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