MLB Picks & Predictions - Giants vs. Rangers
San Francisco Giants at Texas Rangers
First pitch: 2:05 p.m. ET
TV: MLB Network
Probable pitchers: Zack Littell (0-0, 1.65 ERA) vs. Kyle Gibson (4-0, 2.06 ERA)
Bullpen games can always be tricky, usually not having the capability of knowing the full allotment of pitchers slated to slab the rubber after the opener.
In this case, though, we do have a pretty good idea regarding what the Giants are planning. Of course, Littell will get the ball first, and while it’s unknown if he’s being assigned anything past the first inning, he does have experience advancing beyond that in his opener assignments. He made two such “starts” a few years ago and checked in with four solid innings in both.
Even if he’s only on for the opening frame, that’s OK considering San Francisco owns the National League’s fourth-lowest bullpen ERA (3.63) — and it’s been even more stingy the last 30 days (3.18 ERA).
Sammy Long is another name likely to be responsible for a bulk of innings. In the process, he’ll be making his Major League debut, something potentially to look forward to given how successful he’s been in the minor leagues this year. As a matter of fact, in his two appearances for Triple-A Sacramento, Long tallied a whopping 15 punch-outs across 7.2 one-hit, scoreless innings. He definitely appears to be ready.
Additionally, we may see Conner Menez take on another portion of the ballgame, and if you’ve seen him pitch this year, that’s a good thing. The third-year southpaw actually hasn’t even allowed a run in six total innings. Only one of his opposing hitters managed to get on base.
Long and Menez being southpaws following the right-handed Littell is also something to make use of from a betting perspective. From there, we’ll gladly enlist the Giants’ stable of nice late-inning arms.
Meanwhile, Texas is going with its ace this afternoon, Gibson. Emphasis on the word “ace” because while this may shock many, the former Minnesota Twin has been one of the most consistent pitchers.
After a troubling Opening Day start that saw Gibson not even escape the first inning, he’s since registered ten consecutive outings allowing three runs or fewer. Prior to his most recent one — which was his return from a brief stint on the injured list — Gibson had punctuated a career-high nine straight quality starts.
The variable of trying to settle back in won’t really be existence, given Gibson contributed five-plus shutout frames in his return from injury. One of the quality starts during his streak came against these same Giants (in a victorious under we had), whom got only one run in six innings.
Though it isn’t clear to the naked eye, two constants are at work. Trust them pacing a relatively quiet afternoon in Arlington.
MLB Picks - Giants vs. Rangers
Pick: UNDER 8 @ -110
Braves-Phillies Under 9
Mariners-Tigers Under 9
Blue Jays-White Sox Under 8
2021 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: “35-28-3,” +3.26 units
Yesterday’s Result: Blue Jays-White Sox Under 8.5 (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit