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MLB Odds & Picks for Diamondbacks vs. Giants: Why to Back Merrill Kelly & Arizona on Road

MLB Odds & Picks for Diamondbacks vs. Giants: Why to Back Merrill Kelly & Arizona on Road article feature image
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Norm Hall/Getty Images. Pictured: Merrill Kelly.

  • The Giants are home favorites on Monday night against the Diamondbacks.
  • Arizona will start Merrill Kelly on the mound while the Giants will counter with Alex Cobb.
  • Kenny Ducey breaks down the matchup below and shares his best bet.

Diamondbacks vs. Giants Odds

Diamondbacks Odds +140
Giants Odds -165
Over/Under 7.5 (-115 / -105)
Time 9:45 p.m. ET
TV MLB.TV
Odds via PointsBet. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The Arizona Diamondbacks may not have been stacking up wins over the last week or so, but they have done a very good job at the plate and haven’t been losing games by much.

Now they’ll take on the Giants — whom the Snakes just took two of three from about a week ago. Can San Francisco avenge those defeats, or will it begin this three-game set with another loss?

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Are the Diamondbacks Due for a Win?

Arizona has lost six games in the last nine and is coming off a crushing 3-2 loss in the rubber game of a three-game set yesterday against Colorado.

It’s not like it’s all bad, though. In the last two weeks, the Diamondbacks are 12th in wRC+ at 109 — which is firmly above-average. They’re striking out on just 17.9% of plate appearances and rank fifth in Contact Rate during that span.

However, Arizona also isn’t hitting the ball all that well, ranking 18th in Hard-Hit Rate and 18th in Barrel Rate. While that doesn’t sound very good, we will get to why that could be helpful in a bit.

Speaking of help, Merrill Kelly has certainly serviced the Diamondbacks very well this season as he enters this start with a 3.42 ERA and very strong 3.54 xERA. He has pitched to contact better than ever before with a .353 xwOBA on contact and a 36.7% Hard-Hit Rate. He ranks among the top 40% of the league in almost every predictive metric and quality-of-contact category.


Can the Giants’ Bats Breakthrough?

You know who else is doing well in the Exit Velocity department? Alex Cobb. The Giants’ next big reclamation project has pitched to a 2.70 xERA this season with a low 32.7% Hard-Hit Rate and an elite .329 xwOBA on contact. His 4.74 ERA isn’t really becoming of a guy who has pitched to contact so well and has an above-average 24.1% Strikeout Rate.

Cobb also won’t take any joy in running into the Diamondbacks again. The last time he saw the Snakes was also the last time he took the mound. He went six innings in that matchup, allowing four runs on seven hits with just three strikeouts. He’s now struck out four or fewer hitters in each of his last four starts.

San Francisco has looked uninspired at the plate of late, however. The Giants are just 24th in wRC+ over the last two weeks and have leaned on free passes to get guys on base, sporting an incredible 11.1% Walk Rate. They have impossibly hit just nine home runs despite sitting 12th in Barrel Rate over that span. Sant Francisco isn’t consistently getting it done at the dish judging by a 25th-ranked Hard-Hit Rate.

Diamondbacks-Giants Pick

The time to back Cobb is when he’s going against a team that strikes out and relies on sporadic barrels to score via the home run. Consequently, a team like the Yankees would actually be a favorable matchup for the righty.

The Diamondbacks — a team which has had a great amount of success using well-placed soft contact to get runners around the bases — is not a team which is going to help Cobb bring his ERA back down to Earth. I’m even more confident in saying this considering how his last start went.

Ironically, the Giants are that high-strikeout, barrel-happy team we are searching to back Cobb against. San Francisco will be running into a tough matchup at the plate with Kelly, a guy who has been nearly as good as Cobb when it comes to limiting the catastrophic batted balls.

As a result, there’s a ton of value in backing the Diamondbacks again here to continue their ownership of the Giants at plus-money.

Pick: Diamondbacks ML +135 (PointsBet)

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