San Francisco Giants (-171, 7 o/u) at Atlanta Braves (+161)
The star of the 2014 World Series, Madison Bumgarner (11-6, 3.39 ERA), started the month of July with a loss and closed with the same result. Fortunately for his San Francisco Giants (58-48, 28-25 Away), he was stellar in between and his team remains in the thick of the wild-card chase in the National League. The big lefty will be on the bump again tonight when the Giants face the Atlanta Braves (48-59, 27-21 Home) in the rubber match of their three-game series at Turner Field (7:10 PM Eastern) .
Bumgarner went 7.0 innings in his last outing against the Texas Rangers, taking the loss after allowing nine hits and a season-high six runs. The setback was his first in his last four starts.
“[Madison] was a little grumpy anyway because of the heat and the way the game was going,” manager Bruce Bochy said to the Associated Press after Bumgarner’s last start. “That was his boiling point. He settled down, and that’s over. Those things happen.”
The Giants took the second game of the series last night (8-3) on the strength of six solid innings from Jake Peavy and a three-run homer from Hunter Pence that put the game out of reach in the eighth.
For the Braves, the loss was their seventh in the last nine games, and their 17th in the last 23. Williams Perez (4-1, 4.14 ERA) gets the nod tonight for just his ninth start of the season. Perez has been solid for the most part, but he only managed 4.1 innings against the Phillies last time out, allowing nine hits and nine runs.
“I felt rusty,” Perez told MLB’s official website through an interpreter. “I was able to battle through it and make adjustments from the second inning on. But that last inning kind of fell apart on me.”
In the trends, San Francisco is 4-1 SU in its last five on the road against Atlanta; the Braves have struggled to put up runs when the Giants come to town with the total has staying UNDER in four of the last six. Add in the fact that the Giants have their ace on the mound tonight, and the Giants (-171) look like the play.
(Photo credit: X Wad [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.)
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