The second rule of sports wagering—right after “Never bet on the Cubs to win the World Series”—is “Never bet against a streak.” Which means two things today: You shouldn’t bet against me right now (I’ve won all three plays this week and cashed four consecutive baseball selections), and I shouldn’t bet against the Giants (who just wiped the floor with the hated Dodgers in L.A., sweeping a three-game series by the combined tally of 14-6, part of a 5-1 SoCal road trip). So, of course, I’m betting against the Giants tonight, using the exact same logic I did a month ago when I successfully told you to play against the Dodgers the day after they completed a three-game sweep in San Francisco: There is such a thing as a letdown in baseball. We saw it back on July 30, when the Dodgers—after not allowing a single run in three games in San Francisco—came home and promptly lost 7-2 to Arizona.
Tonight, the Giants not only face the same potential hangover, but they face a much better pitcher and team than the Dodgers did back on July 30. Although Atlanta needed a 5-1 victory last night in Washington to snap a four-game losing skid, it is still 71-53 and leading the NL wild-card race. As for Hanson, his ERA (4.27) isn’t as low as it has been in past years, but he’s 12-5 on the year, and the Braves are 17-6 when he pitches, including 11-1 in his last 12 starts, winning the last six in a row overall and the last five in a row when Hanson has pitched on the road. Hanson has been particularly sharp of late, yielding just five runs in his last three outings covering 16 2/3 innings (2.70 ERA). By comparison, in his last five starts, the Giants’ Barry Zito has yielded 21 runs (all earned) in 25 2/3 innings (7.36 ERA).
San Francisco has just four wins in its last 10 home games and just two wins in Zito’s last seven home starts. The Giants have also dropped seven of 10 to the Braves and four straight to Atlanta in AT&T Park.
Rating:★ ★ ★ ☆
Wednesday’s Result: White Sox (-130) vs. Yankees (Win)