When it seemed like the schedule was finally going to soften for the New York Mets, they run into a sudden summer surprise — the visiting San Francisco Giants — for a four-game series this weekend.
San Francisco stumbled out of the gate to a 3-8 start…then stumbled again in late May to fall a dozen games below the .500 mark at 21-33. That should have been the season right there. The Giants were still 12 below break-even at 34-46 and 35-47 as they jumped the threshold from the first half of the 162-game season to the second.
In the heat of the summer they became the Los Angeles Dodgers. A road sweep of the San Diego Padres by a composite score of 30-11 (!). Then, two wins in three home games against the St. Louis Cardinals with an 18-8 scoreboard edge. That took the Giants to a less-embarrassing 41-48 record entering the All-Star break.
Since returning, two wins in three games at wildcard contending Milwaukee, and a stunning 19-2 scoreboard statement amidst a four-game set at Colorado.
Just like that, the Giants were the third-most profitable betting team in the National League behind the Dodgers and Atlanta Braves. In a circuit where almost everyone has been coasting for weeks…finding an extra gear sent them racing past the field in betting profit.
Can this stunning surge continue? That may depend on whether management buys into the wildcard chase or sells talent to championship hopefuls. These blowouts are coming against wildcard contenders. But, climbing and staying out of a deep hole is difficult…and the long-term interests of the franchise may be better served by acquiring assets for the future.
For now, bettors should know that San Francisco is similar to Los Angeles in that its offense is better than realized. We talked about that last weekend before the Dodgers popped an 11 in Boston and a 16 in Philadelphia. Oracle Park in San Francisco is playing as an extreme pitchers’ park this season. It’s the worst home run park by a good bit, thanks largely to its typically cool conditions at sea level.
When NOT playing at home, the Giants have been tracking the Dodgers in runs-per-game, home runs, and doubles on the road.
Luckily for Mets fans, the team catches the Giants in a low-scoring environment that gives visitors a chance to compete. And, frankly, San Francisco’s roster doesn’t look to have the kind of offensive talent that can sustain run-scoring barrages for weeks on end.
Oddsmakers and sharps sure aren’t buying into the Giants. San Francisco will enter this weekend series having been moneyline underdogs in 24 of its prior 28 games. Bettors will have to determine if the market is stubbornly missing a summer blockbuster, or right to be skeptical about the lack of true star power.