MLB Odds & Picks for Cardinals vs. Giants: Don’t Fade Webb (Saturday, May 7)
Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images. Pictured: Logan Webb (Giants)
- With their ace on the mound, the Giants take on the Cardinals on Saturday.
- Logan Webb is on the bump for San Francisco while Steven Matz takes the hill for the Cardinals.
- Michael Arinze explains the Giants stat that is keeping him from fading the shaky NL West squad.
Cardinals vs. Giants Odds
|Time||7:15 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
The San Francisco Giants suffered a 3-2 defeat to the Cardinals Friday night, resulting in their fifth-straight loss. If you’re a glass half full San Francisco fan, perhaps you’ll take some solace that your team scored more than one run for the first time in four games.
Giants fans could have even more optimism with their ace, Logan Webb, getting the start on Saturday. Webb will be opposed by Cardinals’ left-hander, Steven Matz, who will hope to win his fourth-straight decision.
Although San Francisco is more like a wounded animal at the moment, history shows that Webb has an uncanny ability to bring losing streaks to a complete halt. I’ll expand on that and explain why facing a left-handed starter might not be the worst thing for the Giants.
Cards Need Strong Start From Matz
St. Louis is currently on its longest winning streak (three games) of the season, and given its Pythagorean expectation, perhaps a good run of form shouldn’t come as a surprise.
The Cardinals rank fifth in the majors in run differential despite ranking eighth in winning percentage (.615). A big part of their success is their pitching, which boasts a 3.07 ERA.
Yet, while Matz’s 4.56 ERA is roughly 1.5 runs higher, his advanced numbers suggest he’s pitched even better. Per FanGraphs, his 10.27 K/9 ratio is currently the second-highest of his career. Moreover, his 1.90 BB/9 and 0.38 HR/9 ratios are both career-bests.
The problem for Matz is that opposing hitters are having success against him whenever they make contact. Batters have a .296 AVG against him, in addition to a .400 BABIP. However, his advanced numbers could indicate some positive regression, as evidenced by his 2.10 FIP and 2.57 xFIP.
This will be Matz’s third season playing for a different team. He went 31-36 in six seasons pitching for his hometown Mets. In 2021, New York traded him to Toronto, and he went 14-7 with a 3.82 ERA.
I must admit that I was surprised the Blue Jays couldn’t re-sign him. That allowed the Cardinals to swoop in and land him on a four-year deal.
At 30 years of age, Matz is at a point in his career where we often see left-handed pitchers start to put it together. He’s shown no signs of a drop in velocity, which could explain the increase in his strikeout rate.
He’ll look to further his success against a Giants team that’s struggled against left-handers when you consider their .202/.289/.301 line.
Giants Attempting to Break Out of Funk
After a breakout season in 2021, Webb catapulted to the top of the Giants’ rotation. The 25-year-old went 11-3 with a 3.03 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP. He finished the year with a 3.18 SIERA, which projected nicely for this upcoming season.
Thus, it should be no surprise the right-hander is off to another fast start, as he’s 3-1 with a 3.26 ERA and a 1.29 WHIP this season. His advanced numbers align with his traditional ERA, given his 2.78 FIP and 3.27 xFIP.
Webb’s command continues to improve, as his BB/9 ratio is down from 2.18 to 1.78 this season. He’s also allowing fewer home runs, evidenced by a 0.30 HR/9 ratio.
While alarmists might point to a lower strikeout rate (5.93 K/9) compared to last year (9.59 K/9), his ability to continue to induce ground balls (2.90 GB/FB) could be more valuable for his team if it allows him to pitch deeper into games.
In his five outings this season, Webb has already logged four quality starts. As a result, he’s the least of the problems the Giants are currently facing.
San Francisco is just in a nasty funk at the moment. According to FanGraphs, the Giants still have an above-average wRC+ value of 101 for the season. Unfortunately, that number has plummeted to 86 over the past seven days.
At this point, it’s almost as if the Giants need a cataclysmic event to turn things around in their favor. While yesterday’s performance won’t necessarily qualify, snapping a streak of scoring just one run per game seems like a step in the right direction.
And despite the Giants’ struggles against southpaws, it’s worth noting that they’re 3-1 overall against left-handed starters this season.
I backed Alex Cobb to bounce back on Friday following a disastrous start where he failed to get out of the first inning. There was a tremendous angle in which the Giants were a perfect 5-0 coming into a matchup where they scored just one run in three straight games.
Cobb did his part, as he limited the Cardinals to two runs in five innings while striking out eight batters. Unfortunately, San Francisco couldn’t take control of the game, as the Cardinals scratched a ninth-inning run.
Today, I’m back with another trend that comes into this contest unblemished. When the Giants are coming off at least one loss, they’re a perfect 5-0 as a moneyline favorite with Webb on the mound.
Who better to have on the mound than your ace if you’re looking to snap a losing streak? After shopping around, I found that WynnBET has the best price on the board, with the Giants listed at -128.
I think they’re worth a look in this spot, and I’ll look to risk a half-unit of my bankroll on the home favorites.
Pick: Half-unit on Giants ML (-128)