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Last Updated Aug 30, 2021, 13:58 PM

Thursday's Best Bet

Thursday MLB Betting Preview (9:45 p.m. ET)
New York Mets vs San Francisco

In one of the night caps on the MLB card today, we've got a great pitching matchup, at least on paper, as the Mets stroll into town to begin a four-game set with San Francisco. Tonight's game pits Noah Syndergaard against Madison Bumgarner in a battle of dominant pitching names in the NL, although, both guys have not been nearly as dominant in 2019 as they would prefer.

This pitching matchup is also a rematch from a game in New York back at the beginning of June, as Bumgarners Giants were able to get the better of that outing in a 9-3 win. That final score doesn't tell the full story though, as both starters were out of the game when it was 3-3, and a 6-run 9th inning by San Francisco's bats is what blew that game wide open. The teams did combine for 24 hits (11 against the two starters) for the contest, and both guys are looking for better performances this time around.

With a line that's basically in the pick'em range and a low total of 7, who comes out on top for bettors tonight?

MLB Odds: New York (+102) vs San Francisco (-110); Total set at 7

The San Francisco Giants are impossible for the betting market to ignore these days, as this veteran club has been on a roll for the better part of a month now. Whether it was because they all saw another wasted season of their careers on the horizon after a brutal start, or they simply started to get more comfortable with health and confidence, this Giants team has been one of the best bets in all of MLB over the past 4+ weeks. They come into today's game having just swept the Rockies in a four-game, three-day set, to win five in a row and nine of their last 11 overall. Most of those wins have come as underdogs as ML bettors have been piling on the units backing this team, and I doubt that changes tonight with Bumgarner on the hill.

New York's been staring a possible wasted year in the face for weeks now as well, and while they haven't been on the tear that San Francisco has, they are 4-1 SU coming out of the All-Star break. Sweeping away a 1st place team like the Twins, in Minnesota, in a two-game set this week were two great wins for this team, and the 14-run outburst they had in yesterday's victory was nice to see if you are a Mets fan. This team has too much talent on paper not to be drastically better then their 44-51 record suggests, and if they do want to take a page from the Giants book and potentially save their 2019 campaign, the Mets have to continue to build upon this post-All Star break momentum they've built.

Now the biggest issue for New York to deal with tonight in that regard is finding a way to cool off these Giants bats. They scored 40 runs in the four games in Colorado to start the week, and even with the Coors Field bias aside, producing crooked numbers is something San Francisco has been doing with regularity of late. They took two of three from the Brewers right out of the break by putting up 10 and 8 runs respectively in those victories, and over their last 14 games they've scored 8+ runs nine different times, averaging 8.2 runs per contest in that span.

That's quite a sustained run of production for this Giants team, as a lot of those faces that have been in this organization for years (during the good and bad times this franchise has had this decade) seemingly aren't interested in being trade bait and leaving town. That's what awaits Noah Syndergaard tonight, and he's not exactly had the type of stuff lately that can give Mets backers confidence he'll be able to hold this Giants offense down. Syndergaard has allowed 6+ hits in three of his last four starts, and Mets opponents have scored at least five runs on New York in six of Syndergaard's last eight starts overall. The Mets may end up winning this game, but you won't see me cashing a ticket on that result.

Instead, it's the total I'm looking at here, as a total of 7 is more of a 'paper total' in the sense that it's too heavily weighted in the name value of the two starters and not the recent play of either of them nor their respective teams.

The Mets bats have done a great job supporting Syndergaard during those last eight outings, scoring 5 or more runs in six of those eight outings, and going 5-3 SU in the process. The total is a perfect 6-0 O/U in those six outings where the Mets bats come to help, and based on how the Giants have been tearing the cover off the ball lately, the Mets bats better bring plenty of help tonight. Opponents against the Giants in Bumgarner's recent outings have finished with at least 4 runs scored in seven of his last 10 starts, and two of the three that didn't were against NL West division rivals that Bumgarner's got a deep book on. The third of those non-4+ run efforts did come in that previous start against these Mets, but Bumgarner did also allow two HR's in that outing and was lucky there wasn't more damage inflicted.

With the way both offenses are scoring runs right now, any mistakes made by either of these guys are likely to cause pain, and 7 is just too low of a number to avoid those types of crooked numbers. You need everything to go right for both starters to keep this game below this total, and there has hardly been anything shown recently by either guy to suggest that's got a strong chance of happening.

The Giants are 4-0 O/U in their last four series openers, 4-1 O/U the last five times Bumgarner's opened up a new series, and 7-3-1 O/U in their last 11 games against a righty. At the same time, New York's on a 5-2-1 O/U run in Syndergaard's starts on the road, 7-2-1 O/U in their last 10 series openers, and 3-0-1 O/U the last four times it's been Syndergaard opening up a new series. Add it all together and we should see 8+ runs tonight.

Best Bet: Over 7 runs

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