Giants vs. Phillies prediction and odds for Monday, Aug. 21 (Back the bullpen)

The Giants salvaged one game from the Atlanta Braves this weekend and are going back to the bullpen today against another NL East opponent.
San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Scott Alexander
San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Scott Alexander / John Hefti-USA TODAY Sports

It’s borderline unbelievable how often the 65-59 San Francisco Giants employ a bullpen day.

They beat the Braves with one yesterday, and will be starting reliever, Scott Alexander in Game 1 against the Philadelphia Phillies today.

The Phillies went with their ace yesterday and managed to lose the Little League World Series Classic to the Nationals. 

Philadelphia is now 67-57 and will hand the ball to 10-8 Aaron Nola who has a 4.58 ERA. These two teams will be in the National League Wild Card race the rest of the way, so this series will be a big one. Let’s get into the odds for Game 1. 

Giants vs. Phillies odds, run line and total

Giants vs. Phillies prediction and pick

I’m very weary of the San Francisco bullpen. It’s one of the best in the league with a 3.68 ERA for the season which ranks eighth best in baseball.

However, the Giants have logged the most innings of any bullpen with 545 and 200 of those have come since July 1. Over that stretch they are still first in innings and are ninth in ERA. 

Their production is holding despite the heavy load, but it’s worrisome for me. I just don’t know how well it’s going to hold up.

For now, however, they have a 3.66 FIP over the second half, even better than their ERA, and they’ll get off to a good start with Alexander as their opener. 

The Giants may also have some success offensively against Nola. Nola seems to be tiring, and in the second half of the year his walk rate is uncharacteristically high. Last time out, he walked four and allowed four runs over five innings.

His strikeout rate is down from last year and his walk rate is the highest it’s been since 2020. His fastball velocity was down last year and is still dropping, all very real concerns after pitching deep into October a year ago. 

My concerns about San Francisco not having any starting pitchers are real, but they have yet to bear out, so I’ll trust it today. Let’s take the Giants on the road. 

Follow all Josh Yourish’s bets HERE

Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change