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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Monday, July 1, 2013 at 7:00 AM

ESPN’s cameras will be in Cincinnati Monday Night as the slumping San Francisco Giants try to get their season back on track against the Reds. Both teams were just playing in a heat-riddled part of the country. But, the Reds were stuck in sizzling Arlington with its 100 degree temperatures and summer humidity, while the Giants were at least at altitude in Colorado.

Let’s check the projected pitching matchups and see if we can find any good Las Vegas bets…

 

MONDAYS’ PITCHERS

S. Francisco…Kickham: 0-2, 10.57 ERA, 2.09 WHIP

Cincinnati…Arroyo: 6-6, 3.61 ERA, 1.21 WHIP

Kickham’s only made two starts, and got rocked both times. The bad news (yes, there’s more bad news) was that both of those games were in pitcher’s parks against the LA Dodgers and Oakland. Chris Berman’s going to be calling him “Kickham when he’s down” if this keeps up! At least he gets to face a tired and jet-lagged team. His days in the rotation will be numbered if he can’t throw well Monday in this critical game.

Arroyo continues to grind away, continuing to throw about three good starts for every bad one. Those bad ones keep his ERA above 3.50…but he’s solid and reliable ever since moving to the inferior league from Boston several years ago. On the mound, Arroyo has a big edge by default. Will the hitter have any energy left from the weekend?

 

TUESDAY’S PITCHERS

S. Francisco…Lincecum: 4-8, 4.64 ERA, 1.43 WHIP

Cincinnati…Bailey: 4-6, 3.88 ERA, 1.15 WHIP

The travails of Tim Lincecom continue, though he’s had three quality starts in his last five outings. He’s still not consistent enough to inspire confidence. The media is once again talking about a move to the bullpen. That worked out in the playoffs last year. Has the kid really lost it? Big game here.

Bailey has been very similar to Arroyo this year, in that he has more good games than bad…but the bad ones keep his ERA from sparkling. Poor run support hasn’t helped his won-lost record either. That WHIP is stellar…but Bailey’s prone to allowing big hits in clusters. The numbers suggest an edge to Bailey in this one…and both teams should have adjusted to the new locale by now. Possibly worth considering the Over if weather conditions are favoring hitters.

 

WEDNESDAY’S PITCHERS

S. Francisco…Zito: 4-6, 4.53 ERA, 1.60 WHIP

Cincinnati… Cingrani: 3-0, 3.42 ERA, 1.12 WHIP

Zito can still get people out at home, when he’s being aided by friendly pitching conditions. He’s been getting annihilated on the road lately, and this is obviously a road game. Given the stats of the first three Giants pitchers in this series, you can see why the team had the worst NL record over the last 30 games in the study we presented for you Sunday.

Cingrani is the designated replacement for Cueto, who continues to zig zag on and off the injury list. Cingrani has held his own when called upon this year. But, you get the sense that Dusty Baker still doesn’t trust him yet. Might be a good spot to look at the Over given the arms on the mound, and the fact that neither team will have travelled in a few days…and neither has to worry about travel tomorrow because this is a four-game series. 

 

THURSDAY’S PITCHERS

S. Francisco…Cain: 5-4, 4.29 ERA, 1.07 WHIP

Cincinnati…Leake: 7-3, 2.52 ERA, 1.13 WHIP

Those stats are misleading for Cain, who’s thrown five straight quality starts and is looking much more like the ace of old. You should probably expect career norms moving forward this year after a crazy six weeks that saw him allowing a bunch of homers.

Leake has become the ace of the Reds staff. And, he could be helped here because the Giants are in a getaway spot after a long road trip. SF must play at home Friday against the hated Dodgers…making this a potential flat spot in their schedule. If you believe in Cain…the Under may be the way to go. If you’re a situational handicapper, the Reds have the best of the schedule spot.

Wow…the San Francisco season may hang in the balance over this four-game set. A recent losing streak dropped them a few games below .500. They’re not getting the best of it in any pitching matchup this series unless Cain can throw a gem that overcomes the potential get-away trends. A 1-3 or 0-4 series…and they fall WAY out of the NL divisional race.

Cincinnati is more secure in the playoff picture because they’re already well-positioned for a Wildcard at worst. A big series could create a virtual stranglehold on a postseason spot barring a collapse.

JIM HURLEY could have at least one big play in this series on either a side or a total. He’s also looking at matchups like Detroit/Toronto, San Diego/Boston, and St. Louis/LA Angels. You can purchase daily baseball BEST BETS here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call us in the office at 1-800-323-4453.

Back with you Tuesday with the first of our college football conference previews. We’ll cover the two halves of the Mountain West Tuesday and Wednesday, starting the summer off with UNLV’s conference for all the Vegas bettors who read the NOTEBOOK avidly. We’ll mix baseball and football through the rest of the summer to get you ready for the coming gridiron challenges.

Whatever the sport…whatever your bankroll needs…help is always a few clicks away with JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!

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