MLB Odds: D-Backs clash with Giants

By: Jimmy Sirody | Tuesday, September 7, 2010
Daniel Hudson

Arizona is 5-2 in Daniel Hudson’s outings since joning the team in August.

The San Francisco Giants will have four cracks at the San Diego Padres beginning Thursday at Chase Field. But the Giants can hardly afford to look past Wednesday night’s series finale against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.

The Giants held off the suddenly scrappy Snakes in the series opener on Labor Day to remain one length behind the Friars in the National League West. The win extended their winning streak to nine against teams with a losing home record and to 13-3 against clubs on the minus side of the ledger.

Arizona had dropped three straight prior to Game 2 on Tuesday, but the Diamondbacks have been playing like they would like to see interim manager Kirk Gibson return in 2011.

Arizona’s rotation has turned in a quality start in 10 of the past 11 games, including the last seven. The bullpen had a 7.98 ERA on May 18 but is significantly improved. The unit has a 3.71 ERA since August 1.

The Diamondbacks took two of three at AT&T Park on August 27-29, then turned around and did the Giants a favor by going home and completing a three-game sweep of the Padres.

San Francisco leads the season series 9-4 and has cashed five of seven baseball betting slips at Chase Field.

However, the Giants may have a tough time getting out of town with a win Wednesday.

There’s no disputing the fact that Barry Zito has been San Francisco’s weakest link lately. The veteran left-hander’s struggles continued Friday when he lost his seventh consecutive decision after allowing four runs in four innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers. In his last six appearances, Zito’s strikeout-to-walk ratio sits at an ugly 13:14 in 23 2/3 innings.

Daniel Hudson arrived in the desert on August 1 in a trade with the Chicago White Sox and has morphed from an afterthought into Cinderella after some mechanical tweaks.

Hudson has turned in seven straight quality starts for the D-Backs and none have been of the namby-pamby three earned runs or less in six innings variety. He has pitched at least seven innings in seven of the eight starts and allowed two earned runs or less in seven of eight.

It was a total mismatch when Zito and Hudson faced off August 28 at San Francisco. Hudson limited the Giants to two runs and four hits in seven innings while Zito was soaping up in the shower after getting chased in the fourth inning.

Zito has lost seven of his past 10 career decisions against Arizona with a 5.33 ERA. He is 2-7 on the road with a 5.07 ERA.

Hudson has started five games at Chase Field, splitting two decisions with a 3.13 ERA while striking out 33 and walking just eight in 31 2/3 innings.

San Francisco is 2-6 in Zito’s last eight starts versus division competition and 1-4 in his past five road outings.

Arizona has knuckled ‘under’ in eight of its last 10 home games and the Giants have ended on the low side in six of seven contests and in eight of Zito’s last 10 versus division foes.

Bill Hohn will be behind the plate in the series finale. He has rewarded ‘under’ bettors at a 17-8-1 clip in his last 26 officiating behind the dish.

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