A pair of Bay Area teams heading in opposite directions will meet in the opener of a three-game series Friday night, as the defending World Series champion San Francisco Giants host the Oakland Athletics.
The Giants have been one of the hottest teams in baseball since the All-Star break, going 5-1 in two road series before returning home, where they own a surprisingly mediocre mark of 25-22, according to the Odds Shark MLB betting records.
San Francisco actually has one more win on the road than at home but went 4-2 in the team’s last six games at AT&T Park before the break. The Giants were within 2.5 games of the National League West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers going into Thursday’s action and a half-game out in the race for one of the two NL wild-card berths.
Meanwhile, the Athletics just dropped two of three at home to the Toronto Blue Jays and announced via their official Twitter account they traded starting pitcher Scott Kazmir to the Houston Astros Thursday (in what could be the start of a fire sale). Like San Francisco, Oakland qualified for the postseason a year ago as a wild-card team, but a rough start this season has led to the squad falling into last place in the American League West.
The A’s trailed the division-leading Los Angeles Angels by 11 games and the Astros by 9.5 games Thursday.
The first game of the Athletics vs. Giants betting matchup features a fairly even pitching matchup with Oakland sending Jesse Chavez (5-9, 3.21 ERA) to the mound off his first win in four starts. Chavez will be opposed by Giants veteran Jake Peavy (1-4, 4.94), who opened as a small favorite at sportsbooks monitored by Odds Shark.
Peavy just picked up his first victory of the year last Saturday against the Arizona Diamondbacks despite allowing four runs and eight hits—including two home runs—in 6.1 innings. He was the tough-luck loser in each of his previous two outings, allowing a combined three earned runs with the Giants scoring two total on his behalf.
San Francisco figures to be a solid favorite in the last two games of the series as well. Giants ace Madison Bumgarner (10-5, 3.27) is scheduled to throw Saturday with Tim Hudson (5-8, 4.76) slated to face his former team in the finale.