The San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies continue their three-game National League Series Wednesday night at Citizens Bank Park
San Francisco Giants at Philadelphia Phillies
San Francisco dropped a 7-2 contest to Philadelphia in the series opener last night to begin a six-game road trip. The Giants have still managed to win seven of their last 11 games and have captured 11 victories in 16 games since the All-Star break. Despite last night’s setback, the team still holds a comfortable three-game advantage in the NL West standings and has been atop the division for the last 33 days. Pitching inside tonight’s ballpark can be challenging for an staff, considering the Giants allowed for home runs last night, but still have surrendered the fewest long balls in the majors this season. San Francisco is 19-8 versus left-handed starters this year.
Giants starting pitcher Matt Cain is 8-6 with a 3.06 ERA in 21 starts this season and has produced a 5-2 mark and 2.23 ERA in his last 10 starts. The right-hander has not allowed a home run in his last seven outings and ranks fifth-best in the NL by giving up must 0.46 round trippers in every nine innings pitched. Cain will be searching for his first career win over the Phillies, entering with an 0-3 record and 6.23 ERA. In fact, Philadelphia is the only NL team that he hasn’t defeated.
Philadelphia is out for revenge from its National League Championship loss to San Francisco last year and will continue a 10-game homestand tonight. The Phillies have tallied a Major League-best 38-16 home record and received home run contributions from the middle of their order. First baseman Ryan Howard and second baseman Chase Utley both left the yard, which is a good sign for an offense that has struggled at times this year. The lineup has been coming around during July, leading all NL teams in batting average (.275) and RBI (111). Playing teams from the NL West has always helped in the standings, posting a 74-40 record against such opponents since 2008. Philadelphia is 46-28 versus right-handed starters this year.
Phillies starting pitcher Cole Hamels is 12-5 with a 2.65 ERA in 21 starts this season and is coming off a brilliant performance against the Padres. He gave up just a single run and three hits over eight innings in a 3-1 home victory, while issuing one walk and registering 10 strikeouts. Hamels has compiled a 7-3 record and 2.29 ERA in 12 home starts, as opposing hitters are batting .199 against him. In eight career outings versus the Giants, the former first-round selection has posted a 4-2 mark and 4.67 ERA, including an 0-1 mark and 7.36 ERA in two starts last season.
Bettors will likely back the Phillies due to their 14-6 record in Hamel’s last 20 starts, while the Giants are 9-25 on the road when Cain matches up with winning teams