Athletics vs. Giants Betting Odds
|Athletics Odds||-195 [Bet Now]|
|Giants Odds||+165 [Bet Now]|
|Over/Under||8.5 (-110/-110) [Bet Now]|
|First Pitch||9:45 p.m. ET|
The San Francisco Giants will welcome the Oakland Athletics on Friday night in the first installment of the Bay Bridge Series.
Oakland sits atop the A.L. West with a 13-6 record. The Athletics have been red-hot to open the season and have won eight of their last 10 games.
San Francisco, on the other hand, find themselves at the bottom of the N.L. West with an 8-12 record and just three wins in their last 10 games. Despite their below-.500 record, this Giants team has been able to compete with a roster which I don’t think has very much talent.
The Giants earned a split in their opening four-game series with the Dodgers and were close to winning the next series against a highly touted San Diego Padres team before losing in extra innings.
Tonight’s game features each staff’s ace pitcher. With bragging rights at stake, I expect both pitchers to be particularly sharp right out of the gate.
Frankie Montas is off to a fine start this season. He’s 2-1 with a 1.57 ERA in four starts. In each of his previous two starts, Montas has pitched seven innings while picking up the win without even throwing 100 pitches.
Despite averaging 3.52 walks per nine innings, Montas has done a great job of limiting traffic on the bases — as evidenced by his 1.00 WHIP. Batters are only hitting .173 against him; but even when they do get on, Montas is stranding them 83.3% of the time.
This will be Montas’ first start against the Giants, and Hunter Pence is the lone Giant in the lineup who has ever faced Montas before. Montas will certainly need to be mindful of Pence, who has three hits in six at bats against the Oakland right-hander.
San Francisco Giants
Johnny Cueto will make his fifth start for the Giants on Friday night. Cueto returned last September after recovering from Tommy John surgery.
He picked up his first win in his last start when he took a no-hitter into the sixth inning against Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw. Cueto is 1-0 with a 5.40 ERA, but his 1.36 WHIP suggests that he still has untapped upside if he can cut down his 4.42 walks per nine innings.
In his two starts against the Athletics, Cueto is 1-0 with a 2.57 ERA. Oakland’s hitters are just 6-of-30 against the Giants ace. However, A’s first baseman Matt Olson is responsible for two of those hits, and both of them left the yard.
As a group, Oakland’s hitters have managed a poor .226 on-base percentage against Cueto.
Given that both teams are relatively unfamiliar with the opposing pitcher, I’d expect them to be patient early in the game as they study the pitcher’s tendencies on the mound. With that said, this matchup has all the elements I look for in a first inning under.
I researched both pitchers’ recent starts to evaluate how each pitcher has fared in the first inning, and I was quite pleased with the findings.
In Montas’s last 10 starts, he has yet to surrender a run in the first inning.
As for Cueto, my query was limited to only the starts since he returned from injury. Cueto has given up at least one run only once over that eight-game sample.
Because batters don’t have much history against these pitchers, their recent performance is another solid data point that leads me to bet the first inning under.
DraftKings is offering a price of -112 for the first inning under, and that’s music to this bettor’s ears. I’ll gladly grab the under and back both aces to be sharp early in the contest.
The Pick: First Inning under 0.5 runs (-112). Risk is half a unit. Play up to -130.