Bet of the Day – Atlanta Braves at San Francisco Giants

Atlanta Braves (+105) at San Francisco Giants (-115), Over/Under 6.5

We had two bets yesterday on the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Kansas State Wildcats game.  We won the Over and the first leg of our teaser (Detriot Lions +4 is our 2nd leg).  Back to the diamond today for game 2 of the Braves and Giants series.  Last night, Lincecum pitched beautifully and a “possible” umpire error allowed the only and winning run to score for the Giants.  Tonight we get another great pitching match-up and hopefully an exciting game.

The Braves come into this game after squeaking into the playoffs followed by a tough opening loss.  Tonight’s game is a must win.  The Braves haven’t been a great road team in 2010.  On the road they hit .245 with a .325 OBP and .711 OPS for 4.2 runs per game.  They held opponents to a .321 OBP and .724 OPS for 4.1 runs per game but are now 35-47 on the road.  Starting pitcher Tommy Hanson (10-11, 1.174 WHIP) has pitched well but hasn’t had a decision in his last 3 starts.  Hanson is 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA and 0.929 WHIP in his last two starts against the Giants (note: both of those game were in Atlanta).  The Braves will need to buck their road losing trend and beat a good pitcher to win tonight.

The Giants’ win last night was how we expect them to win.  Strong pitching and grinding out a run or two.  The Giants are a good home team.  At home, they batted .257 with a .325 OBP and .745 OPS for 4.2 runs per game.  The Giants allowed a .298 OBP and .651 OPS for 3.3 runs per game.  Starting pitcher Matt Cain (13-11, 1.084 WHIP) got roughed up by San Diego last week (part of the ongoing San Diego in San Francisco curse according my better-half).  That was Cain’s first loss decision in nearly 6 weeks.  Cain gave up 3 runs in 5 innings in Atlanta in his only start against the Braves this year.  Cain will bounce back tonight and the Giants will be tough again at home.

Using home and away data, my baseball model predicts San Francisco 4.02 over Atlanta 2.99 for 7.01 total runs.  The teams get on base at about the same rate; the Giants hit slightly better at home and the Braves draw more walks.  The Giants score more efficiently (no surprise the Braves have had problems all year advancing runners) and their starting and relief pitchers allow fewer runners on base.  The major variance contributors are the Giants scoring efficiency and walks/hits allowed by Tommy Hanson.  What does this mean?  If the Giants play to their mean scoring efficiency, they probably win.  If they are a deviation below their average, it will be a very close game.  Similarly, Hanson has to have a huge performance for Atlanta to win tonight.

Tonight I am taking the home team.  Here’s why.  Atlanta isn’t a good road team and they have had trouble hitting in key spots all year.  The Giants are a good home team; their pitching has been phenomenal at home.  Cain should make a better appearance tonight.  My model predicts the Giants will win 75% of the time in this specific matchup.  Against a -115 line, there is positive betting value with the Giants.  Bet on the San Francisco Giants on the money line for -115.

Feel free to comment or ask a question below or email me at derekbets@gmail.com.  Follow me on Twitter for all my picks.  Good Luck

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