The San Francisco Giants (53-41) and Philadelphia Phillies (41-54) will close out a three-game National League series on Sunday afternoon at Citizens Bank Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 1:35 ET
San Francisco Giants at Philadelphia Phillies
San Francisco is now a season-best 12 games over .500 and continue to lead the Los Angeles Dodgers by 2.5 games in the NL West standings. The Giants improved their record to 7-1 since the All-Star break with an exciting 6-5 road victory over Philadelphia on Saturday afternoon. “It seems like we’re going a lot of things right right now,” commented Giants pitcher Matt Cain. Outfielder Melky Cabrera continues to make noise with his bat, hitting .382 with four home runs and 14 RBIs over his past 20 games. San Francisco is 20-7 in its last 27 games against losing teams.
Giants starting pitcher Barry Zito (8-6, 3.75 ERA) has won back-to-back starts, including a 9-0 road win over the Atlanta Braves in his last effort, allowing just three hits over seven shutout frames. The left-hander is 4-3 with a 4.47 ERA in nine road outings, issuing 23 walks and striking out 29 batters in 50.1 innings. In six career starts versus the Phillies, Zito has garnered a 3-3 record and 4.75 ERA, including a 1-2 mark and 5.00 ERA in three outings at this ballpark.
Philadelphia will need to seriously contemplate becoming a seller at the July 31 Trade Deadline, considering its dropped seven consecutive home games and enters this series finale 13 games below .500 record wise. The Phillies are starting to see signs of life from first baseman Ryan Howard, who has homered in the first two games of this series, but is just 1 for 8 during his career against Zito. Philadelphia is 0-5 in its last five games as a home favorite.
Phillies starting pitcher Joe Blanton (8-8, 4.79 ERA) snapped a personal two-game losing streak in capturing a 3-2 road win over the Los Angeles Dodgers, giving up two runs and six hits over eight frames. The right-hander is 4-3 with a 4.76 ERA in nine home outings, but has served up 12 home runs in just 58.2 innings. In eight career starts versus the Giants, Blanton has garnered a 2-4 record and 5.00 ERA, with opposing hitters batting .321 against him.
Sports bettors will likely back the Phillies due to their 17-4 record in Blanton’s last 21 starts as a home favorite of -110 to -150, while the Giants are 5-12 in Zito’s last 17 efforts as a road underdog of +110 to +150.
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