Arizona (Miller) +160 at San Francisco (Cueto) O/U 7
The Diamondbacks and Giants wrap up their series this afternoon and I think there is some betting value on the very big underdog. Arizona has been finding ways to win as it has emerged victorious in five out of its last six after a slow start to the season. Shelby Miller will get the call after being forced to leave his last start in the 2nd inning after scraping his right hand on his follow through. It was a bizarre scenario but Miller threw a bullpen side session on Monday and will be ready to go. He's has a tough start to the young season (8.53 ERA) due in large part to the long ball. In outings against power hitting Colorado and Chicago, Miller allowed five home runs. Miller has slowly developed into more of a ground ball pitcher and recorded one of the best HR/FB rates (6.4%) in the league last year. I expect him to shore up the issues and it's likely to start today in pitcher friendly AT&T Park. He also has has a good track record against the Giants, holding them to 3 runs or less in each of his previous five starts dating back to 2013.
Johnny Cueto was much better in his last outing against the Dodgers but was hit hard in his previous start here at AT&T Park: 6 runs on 10 hits in 7 innings. I am convinced that for as good as Johnny Cueto has been in recent years he's no longer a shutdown ace. Some may point to last year's struggles with the Royals as being nothing more than the step up in class to the American League. While it's obviously tougher to pitch in the AL, his age and career innings suggest his days of low 2.00 ERA's are behind him. This is a classic case of early season statistics (Miller "bad", Cueto "good") skewing the line. There just isn't much of a gap between these two starting pitchers. And based on what I've seen, I have a lot more trust in Arizona's bullpen (3.21 ERA) than past editions. Good value play on the road underdog.