The San Francisco Giants couldn’t pull off the sweep of the first place Arizona Diamondbacks over the weekend, but they did pull to within 2.5 games at 44-34.
Now, the Giants will head up to Toronto for a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays, who sit fourth in the AL East.
For San Francisco to keep making up ground in the NL West, they must beat their former ace, Kevin Gausman tonight. Gausman is making his 17th start and is 7-3 with a 3.10 ERA for the Blue Jays. The Giants will counter, as they often do with a bullpen game, starting Ryan Walker for the fourth time this season.
With Gausman on the mound, the Blue Jays are the favorites in Game 1 of this inter league series.
Giants vs. Blue Jays odds, run line and total
Giants vs. Blue Jays prediction and pick
In June, the Giants have relied on their bullpen a lot, but that’s been the plan all season long. Relievers have covered more innings for the Giants than for all but two teams in the MLB. Their 3.81 ERA is the lowest of the top 5 teams in terms of bullpen innings. This month specifically, as a staff they have a 3.65 ERA which is seventh in the MLB.
San Francisco will be able to mix and match throughout the game to take advantage of Toronto’s lineup, especially with Taylor Rogers and Scott Alexander as very effective lefties that could be used to exploit Toronto’s lack of power against left-handed pitchers. The Blue Jays have plenty of righty power bats, but only 14 home runs against lefties, the fewest in the league.
The Giants roster is very versatile. They can match up well against any pitcher because their lineup might be the most malleable in the sport. The same goes for their interchangeable bullpen arms. The last three times that Ryan Walker has started, the Giants have won.
Gausman has wins in five of his last six starts, and Toronto has won all six. I absolutely trust Gausman, but the rest of the Blue Jays not so much. Toronto is 18th in runs in June while San Francisco is third and the Blue Jays are also 18th in bullpen ERA. The Blue Jays have the star power, but the Giants are the better, deeper team, and I’m taking them in Game 1.
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