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San Francisco Giants at St. Louis Cardinals Betting Preview

The St. Louis Cardinals look to win their sixth game in five days when they host the San Francisco Giants on Wednesday night. St. Louis swept a doubleheader from Cincinnati on Saturday, split one on Sunday and has taken the first two games of this series over the past two days.

With all those wins, the Cardinals have started to get comfortable in first place in the National League Central, sitting three games ahead of the second-place Chicago Cubs. San Francisco is trying to get back on the winning track after dropping its last four games. The Giants now sit nine games behind the Cubs for the second Wild Card spot in the National League and 23.5 games behind the first-place Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League West.

The moneyline for this contest has the San Francisco Giants +120 and the St. Louis Cardinals -130. The over/under for the game has been set at 8.

Still Trying

The Giants were expected to deal away Madison Bumgarner to a contender at the trade deadline, but because the team was doing so well at that point, he stayed a Giant. Now he’s trying to get San Francisco back into playoff contention, taking the start in this one. On the season, the left-hander is 9-8 with a 3.62 ERA and 177 strikeouts to 36 walks. Bumgarner has won six of his last seven decisions, including a win over San Diego last week in which he went seven innings and allowed just four hits and one earned run.

The problem for the Giants all season long has been their lack of explosiveness on offense. Kevin Pillar has been the team’s most consistent hitter, leading the team in batting average (.263), home runs (20), RBI (75) and runs scored (71). Problem is, his team-leading 20 home runs only rank in a tie for 38th in the National League, and the Giants have just six players who have hit double digits in homers this season. In contrast, the National League’s top home run-hitting team, the Dodgers, has 11 players with double-digit home runs, and four of them have more than Pillar’s 20.

Needing To Get Going

It has been an up-and-down season for Cardinals starter Michael Wacha, who will get the start in this one for St. Louis. Wacha has a 6-6 record with a 5.07 ERA and hasn’t recorded a win since July 19. He is coming off a solid seven-inning stint against Cincinnati in which he allowed just three hits and two earned runs — both on solo home runs. But he got a no-decision in the contest. The 28-year-old hasn’t pitched badly for the most part, but he’s given up 25 home runs this season, including two in five of his last 10 starts.

St. Louis has a deep lineup, with players that can hurt an opponent sprinkled throughout. Paul Goldschmidt leads the team with 29 home runs, but Marcell Ozuna is always dangerous as well, hitting his 25th home run of the season for the only run in Tuesday night’s win and pacing the Cardinals with 78 RBI. Paul DeJong, Dexter Fowler, Matt Carpenter and Kolten Wong are all dangerous hitters who can get hot and hurt a team, while veteran catcher Yadier Molina has just eight home runs on the season, but four of them have come in the last week.

Cardinals Win Again

Bumgarner has been good on the mound of late, but San Francisco is just having trouble scoring any runs, managing just two hits in Tuesday’s loss. The Cardinals have been finding ways to win almost every game they play over the last couple of weeks, so it’s hard to believe they won’t find a way to pull out another victory at home. I’m taking the Cardinals -130 to get the win.

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