The San Francisco Giants are hosting the St. Louis Cardinals this weekend at AT&T Park. The two teams are playing a four game series, with game two being played on Friday night. The Cardinals took the series opener, cruising to an 11-2 win over the Giants. .
Both the Cardinals and Giants were expected to compete for a playoff spot in 2018, but at the moment neither team is in great shape. The Cardinals are in third place in the National League Central, trailing the Brewers by 6 games. The Giants are behind both the Dodgers and Diamondbacks in a very tight National League West. The San Francisco Giants are -110 over the Cardinals on Friday night.
Giants Finally Getting Healthy
The San Francisco Giants have struggled to keep players healthy this season, but are getting a few key pieces back this weekend. Both Johnny Cueto and Jeff Samardzija are making their return to the starting rotation this weekend against the Cardinals. If the Giants are going to have any shot of winning the NL West, they are going to need to keep these two dynamic pitchers healthy.
The Giants are led offensively by a pair of Brandon’s. Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford have been fixtures in the Giants lineup for years, and both players are having terrific seasons at the plate. Brandon Belt leads the team in home runs and RBI’s, while Crawford leads the team in batting average. San Francisco brought in free agents last offseason, but it has been Crawford and Belt who have continued to lead the team.
Cardinals Offense Coming Up Short
The St. Louis Cardinals continue to struggle scoring runs. The Cardinals rank in the bottom half of Major League Baseball in both runs scored and team batting average. Manager Mike Matheny continues to search for the right combination of players to play in his everyday lineup. The Cardinals need Marcell Ozuna and Tommy Pham to have a much better second half of the season if they are going to catch the Cubs and Brewers.
Young right hander, John Gant, will make the start for the Cardinals in game two of the series. Gant will be making his 6th start of the season for the Cardinals, and has had an up and down season. Gant is looking to solidify his spot in the Cardinals rotation, but needs to have a great game against the Giants.
Giants Win Game 2
This could be a low scoring series, but should be a very competitive four games. The Giants need to find more offense from players not named Brandon if they are going to compete for the playoffs. San Francisco is starting to get healthy, just at the right time for a second half run.
The Cardinals continue to be in the mix for the playoffs, but they are going to have to score more runs to keep up. St. Louis has plenty of young arms, and Gant needs to have a great outing if he is going to stay with the big league team. Look for Gant to struggle on Friday night, and the Giants to come away with the win. Bet the San Francisco Giants -110 over the St. Louis Cardinals in game two of the series.
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