Major League Baseball

Padres, Giants In Key NL-West Battle

Jonathon SanchezMLB Betting – San Francisco Giants @ San Diego Padres
Jonathon Sanchez (10-8) vs. Clayton Richard (12-6)

Sanchez vs. Padres Hitting
Not just another arm in the deep and talented San Francisco rotation, Jonathon Sanchez has the potential to be as any bit as good as Tim Lincecum. His biggest problem now is consistency, as it has been very hard for him to string a large bunch of great starts together. It’s why he has only 10 wins, and it’s why his ERA is at 3.38, when it could be much lower.

Against San Diego, that greatness is very apparent. The Padres lineup isn’t very potent, although Sanchez usually makes it look even worse. Adrian Gonzalez, the lone legit threat, is hitting (.235, 8-for-34) versus Sanchez. Chase Headley is 4-for-20. Even the newcomers are useless; Ryan Ludwick and Miguel Tejada are a combined 2-for-19. If you bet on MLB, you can almost guarantee it an effective start.

Richard vs. Giants Hitting
Clayton Richard has been an incredibly effective pitcher as of late. The big lefty has gone 3-1 in his last five, pitching at least six innings in each game and not allowing more than two earned runs. His effectiveness during the Padres losing streak spoke volumes about the development of Richard, who was the centerpiece in the Jake Peavy deal last year.

Richard is 3-0 in four starts versus San Francisco, throwing a combined 26 1/3 innings and allowing just six runs in that span. I’m betting he enjoys playing against this team. His last start against the Giants came on August 13th; Richard threw six innings, allowing just six hits and two runs. The Giants offense has its problems, but mid-season imports like Buster Posey and Jose Guillen has given the unit some pop. Still, none of it seems to matter when they’re facing Richard.

Bullpen Comparison
In a league full of power closers, Brian Wilson has emerged as one of the best. Wilson has an MLB leading 41 saves and a miniscule 1.85 ERA; he’s clearly the anchor of this group of relievers. Sergio Romo (59 K’s and 2.50 ERA in 54 IP) has been great all year, but after that the unit trails off a bit. A few ERA’s north of 3.75 and you see why the Giants sometimes struggle to keep leads late in the game.

The San Diego bullpen still owns the best overall numbers in the league, although the unit has hit its struggles as of late. Luke Gregerson has been the shakiest, watching his ERA get progressively higher as batters figure out his stuff. Mike Adams and Joe Thatcher have also been hit more frequently than they had in the past. Still, this unit is one of the (if not still the) best in the league and deserves to be treated as such. Plus, Heath Bell still pitches here, and he hasn’t blown a save in 24 consecutive tries.

Outlook
Both pitchers are fantastic against each other, and both pitchers have success at PETCO. But San Diego has owned San Fran this season, and there’s no reason to believe that trend won’t continue. The Padres’ losing streak is over, and their series win against Los Angeles proved they’re back on the winning track. I’m betting the San Diego Padres we saw at the beginning of the year are finally back; that’s not good for the Giants.

MLB Betting Pick: San Diego Padres

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Eric G.

Eric is the owner and editor-in-chief of the Camel Clutch Blog. Eric has worked in the pro wrestling industry since 1995 as a ring announcer in ECW and a commentator/host on television, PPV, and home video. Eric also hosted Pro Wrestling Radio on terrestrial radio from 1998-2009. Check out some of Eric's work on his IMDB bio and Wikipedia. Eric has an MBA from Temple University's Fox School of Business.

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