MLB Odds, Predictions, Picks for Diamondbacks vs. Giants: Bet on Solid Pitching Early (Wednesday, July 13)
Denis Poroy/Getty Images. Pictured: Zac Gallen.
- The San Francisco Giants take on the Arizona Diamondbacks on Wednesday night.
- The Diamondbacks turn to ace Zac Gallen, while the Giants are set to embark on a bullpen game.
- Charlie DiSturco explains why this game will be low-scoring early on below.
Diamondbacks vs. Giants Odds
|Over/Under||8 (-118 / -104)|
|Time||3:45 p.m. ET|
|Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
Tied at one apiece, the San Francisco Giants and Arizona Diamondbacks close out a three-game series on Wednesday afternoon at Oracle Park. The Giants won last night’s game in blowout fashion, 13-0, after Merrill Kelly and Arizona outlasted the Giants in the series opener.
Arizona will turn to ace Zac Gallen in the final game of this NL West bout, while the Giants are set for a bullpen day.
After losing the series in Arizona last week, can the Giants bounce back behind their bullpen on Wednesday evening, or will Gallen prove too much for the San Francisco bats?
What to Expect From Zac Gallen
Gallen’s first month of the season was stellar, as he posted a 1.14 ERA over his first seven starts. Since then, the right-hander has proven to be inconsistent.
His ERA has jumped all the way to 3.62 since a May 19 start against Chicago, and while he’s turned in plenty of one- and two-run outings since, Gallen’s also been torched many times, too.
Gallen’s expected indicators sit right around his actual ERA (3.62), as his xERA (3.69) and xFIP (3.93) both sit below 4. While his strikeout numbers are down, Gallen has shaved his walk rate down and his hard-hit rate sits in the upper 25 percentile of pitchers.
Opponents have a .232 xBA against Gallen. While he’s able to limit hard contact the majority of the time, the ball is often barreled when it’s hit hard.
Gallen has a career-worst 9.6 barrel rate, but I’d expect him to regress positively toward his career average — 7.7% — over the next couple of months.
The Diamondbacks have the seventh-worst bullpen ERA in baseball. Though they don’t walk many batters, they struggle to limit baserunners and have the second-fewest strikeouts among all teams.
Giants Turn to Bullpen
The Giants will use a bullpen game to close out their series with the Diamondbacks, as John Brebbia will get the nod Wednesday afternoon.
Brebbia will likely only pitch the first inning before turning the ball over to the rest of the pen. Sam Long may figure to get some work in as a middle reliever, too.
The Giants’ bullpen has been inconsistent in 2022. They rank 21st in ERA and have given up the third-most hits in MLB. Like their division rival, the Giants also do not strike out many batters, putting a larger strain on the defense at hand.
Brebbia and Long have been two of the team’s best relievers this season, and both sit firmly inside the top three in ERA.
Offensively, the Giants have ranked around league average over the last 14 days. They’re 17th in wRC+ and 19th in wOBA. It’s worth noting they also have the second-best walk rate in that span, too.
While I do think Arizona holds the slight edge in this NL West bout on Wednesday evening, I think there’s more value in the first five total.
Though inconsistent over the last few months, I’m never one to shy away from backing Gallen. Yes, he’s been barreled more often than usual in 2022. But he’s still limiting hard contact and he’s shaved down both his walks and hard-hit rate.
Now, he draws a Giants offense that has been about league average over the last few weeks. I do think San Francisco will make him work — it’s very disciplined at the plate and draws plenty of walks — but I think that’ll lead to an earlier exit due to pitch count and not struggles.
On the other side, the Giants have a bullpen day and open with Brebbia, arguably the most reliable arm in their bullpen.
Fresh off a blowout win, Gabe Kapler will have every arm available to close out the series. I don’t think he’ll shy away from both pulling a pitcher who struggles or using his top arms to ensure a series win over a division rival.
Rather than backing the full game under, I think there’s more value on the first five under 4.5 given both teams’ bullpen struggles.
I would rather put my trust in Gallen and the Giants’ openers to ensure a slow start at Oracle Park.
Pick: First Five Innings Under 4.5 (Play to -130)
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