Friday MLB Preview – Mets at Giants

The Giants remained red-hot in returning from the All-Star break, but face a team that often bounces back after a loss.

New York Mets at San Francisco Giants

New York started its season-high 11-game road trip by getting shutout in a 2-0 loss to the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park.  The Mets have lost four of their last five games  and have managed to score just three runs in the four losses.  Despite failing to score a run, the lineup received a boost with the return of outfielder Carlos Beltran, playing his first game since May 20, 2009.  “After being out for so long and going through a very long process, I was happy,” Beltran said.  He went 1-for-4 last night and hit .367 with five RBI in 14 rehabilitation games.  New York still holds a 14-8 series edge against the Giants over the last three years and have won the last four series in the Bay Area since 2006.  The club has compiled a 14-10 record against left-handed starters this season (+420), with the total being 10-12-2 O/U in those games.

Mets starting pitcher Jonathon Niese is 6-3 with a 3.61 ERA in 15 starts this season (+560), with the team dropping his last start after winning six straights games with him on the mound.  The left-hander compiled a perfect 4-0 record and 2.67 ERA in five June starts and has carried it over to the current month.  Niese stands at an even 1-1 with a 2.45 ERA in two July outings, issuing just a single walk while striking out 16 in 14.2 innings.  He has never pitched at AT&T Park and will be making his first career appearance against the Giants.  He is 3-1 with a 4.24 ERA in six games on the road (+20).

San Francisco remained hot in returning from the All-Star break, picking up its eighth win in 10 games.  The club moved its record to 27-28 when playing opposition with a .500-or-better mark this season, while being 21-13 against opponents under .500.  The victory also snapped a five-game home losing streak for the Giants, but the team remains a solid 26-17 at AT&T Park (+360).  Bettors need to be aware of the Giants’ bullpen finishing the first half of the season with a 1.96 home ERA, which led to last night’s game going under the total and the team being 16-23 O/U overall at home.

Giants starting pitcher Barry Zito is 7-4 with a 3.76 ERA in 18 starts this season, but is looking for his first victory since June 12.  Over his last five starts, the left-hander has allowed 18 runs and 32 hits over 28 innings.  He failed to pick up a win in the Giants 9-3 road victory over the Brewers last time out due to lasting just 4.2 innings.  Zito possesses a solid 5-1 record and 2.83 ERA in nine home games this season.  In five career starts versus the Mets, he brings an even 2-2 record and 4.28 ERA.  He has tossed just two quality starts in those outings, but none have come in the last three games.

Bettors will love backing an underdog that is 12-4 in their last 16 games following a loss, especially with the Mets being 5-0 in Niese’s last five starts as an underdog of +110 to +150.  The home team remains dangerous with a 36-14 mark as a home favorite of -125 to -150 over the last three years (+1,720) and the home team being 23-10 in umpire Brian O’Nora’s last 33 games.

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