The second half of the MLB season is set to begin on Friday night, and there is a pretty good matchup set to take place at Busch Stadium. The St Louis Cardinals will host the San Francisco Giants in what will be an important series for both teams.
San Francisco has been the biggest surprise in baseball this season, but the Giants now have to prove it again after the All-Star Break. The Giants come into this game with a record of 57-32, and they have a slight two-game lead in the NL West.
St Louis has been one of the most disappointing teams in baseball, and they are eight games out of first place in the NL Central. The Cardinals are just 44-46 on the season and will need to get hot in a hurry to make a run at the playoffs.
The San Francisco Giants are the betting favorite at -132 in the series opener on Friday night.
Giants at Cardinals Preview: Giants Have Dominant Rotation
The Giants have been solid in nearly every area this season, but the real strength of this team has been the starting rotation. San Francisco has a team ERA of 3.26 on the year, and the starting rotation has been responsible for most of that.
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Kevin Gausman is set to pitch on Friday night, and he has been one of the best pitchers in baseball this season. Gausman has gone 9-3 with a 1.73 earned run average, and he will look to stay hot in the second half of the season.
Not much was expected of the Giants on offense this year, but several veterans are having monster bounce-back seasons. This team has plenty of power in the lineup, and they will look to take advantage of a hitter-friendly Busch Stadium in the Summer.
Brandon Crawford leads the team with 18 home runs and 58 RBIs, but he has gotten plenty of help. If the Giants score three runs on Friday night, then it might be enough for Gausman.
Giants at Cardinals Preview: Cardinals Must Find Offense
The St Louis Cardinals have been hit hard by injuries on the pitching staff, but the real issue has been a lack of offense. Newcomer Nolan Arenado has performed well for the Cardinals, but this team just continues to struggle to score runs.
The Cardinals are hitting just .230 as a team, and they have a team slugging percentage of just .379. There have been times when St Louis has shown some progress, but it just hasn’t been good enough.
Arenado leads the team with 17 home runs and 56 RBIs, but he needs some more help from Paul Goldschmidt. Scoring runs off of Gausman won’t be easy, but the Cardinals have to score to win this game.
Veteran Adam Wainwright is 7-5 with a 3.58 ERA this season, and the Cardinals will need a great start from their ace on Friday night to stay in this game.
Giants at Cardinals Preview and Pick: Gausman Delivers For Giants
Starting off the second half of the season by facing one of the best pitchers in baseball is not going to help the Cardinals fix their offensive woes. This team still has plenty of big bats in the lineup, but they just haven’t produced.
San Francisco still has some doubters around the league, but this team just continues to find ways to win ball games. Taking on the Cardinals in St Louis is never an easy task, but the Giants have been winning games anywhere.
This is a chance for San Francisco to set the tone for the second half, and that is exactly what they will do. Bet the San Francisco Giants -1.5 as Gausman delivers another dominant performance for his team.
San Francisco Giants 6
St Louis Cardinals 2