By Charles Jay
The Arizona Diamondbacks had almost no success against the San Francisco Giants on their home field last season. But they have an opportunity to make a statement when they play host to the Giants at 9:40 PM ET at Chase Field. BetDNA customers can make live in-game wagers as they follow along in the action, using the software they provide, and they can also get the best parlay odds and best teaser odds on baseball.
The Diamondbacks got some drama on Wednesday, as they came from behind to score an 8-6 victory. Chris Owings was a big hero, getting on base four times and swiping a couple of bases. Fernando Rodney got his first save in an Arizona uniform, and they certainly hope he's got some gas left in the tank this season as the closer. San Francisco may still be missing center fielder Denard Span, a table setter who has an injured hip and missed the last two games.
On the hill for San Francisco is right-hander Jeff Samardzija, while the Diamondbacks counter with lefty Robbie Ray.
In the MLB betting odds posted on this game by the folks at BetDNA, the D-Backs are laying a small price:
Arizona Diamondbacks (Ray – L) -110
San Francisco Giants (Samardzija – R) -101
Diamondbacks -1 run (+140)
Giants +1 run (-160)
Over 9 runs -115
Under 9 runs -105
Ray had a pretty good season in 2015, compiling a 3.52 ERA, but he slipped in many ways in 2016, as he was 8-15 with a 4.90 earned run average. Also, he became much more susceptible to giving up home runs, doubling his figure from the year before, on the basis of homers per nine innings. He's basically in his third full year in the majors, and he has the ability to throw smoke; last season he ranked in the top 10 in the National League in strikeouts, fanning 11.3 batters per nine innings.
The big problem for him, as BetDNA patrons might be aware of, is that he has been decidedly less effective at home than he has been on the road. On his career, he has allowed a .296 batting average in home parks, and last year's ERA at Chase Field was 5.36. He did not finish last season on an encouraging note, giving up 14 earned runs in 14 innings over his last three starts, and although he struck out 23 Giants in 17 innings pitched over three starts against them last season, he was still reached for seven earned runs. He did have a good outing against San Francisco on April 19, as he went six innings without giving up a run. But of course, that start came on the road.
Samardzija is one of those guys who has quite a bit of ability, as evidenced by All-Star appearances in the past, and he looked like he might be getting things together with the Giants last season. You've got to remember that in 2015, he was very permissive, allowing more hits, earned runs and home runs than anyone in the American League, when he was a member of the Chicago White Sox. But he was 12-11 with a 3.81 ERA for the Giants last season.
What might also be important, for our purposes, is the fact that he has historically had a lot of success against this Arizona lineup, and only one of the players expected to be in action for the Diamondbacks on Thursday has ever hit a home run against him. We are talking about over 100 plate appearances of these expected members of the lineup. Paul Goldschmidt, one fo the top sluggers in baseball, has been almost helpless against him, hitting just .143, with nine strikeouts in 21 at bats.
Even though the Giants have lost two of the first three against the D-Backs, they were 9-1 in Phoenix last season. They might constitute the value in this matchup, so were going with the Giants.
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