With both teams coming off a loss, the Arizona Diamondbacks will play host to the San Francisco Giants to start a four-game series. We’ll preview tonight’s game before going over my best prop play for the action.
For a four-game stretch, it had looked like the Giants' pitching staff was getting back on track, but over their last four games, they have allowed five or more runs in three of them. This lack of consistency on the mound led to a series loss to the Washington Nationals, as they dropped the series' final game yesterday afternoon with a final score of 11-6.
Getting the ball for San Francisco today as they look to return to form will be right-hander Alex Cobb. The veteran has made seven starts up to this point and has arguably been the Giants' most consistent starter, as he has thrown 40.3 innings with a 2.01 ERA, 38 strikeouts, and eight walks. In Cobb’s most recent start, he threw seven shutout innings with five strikeouts and five hits allowed.
Cobb will face a Diamondbacks team that has lost two straight games but still ranks 7th in the league in average runs per game. Last season, Cobb faced the Diamondbacks five times and allowed three or more earned runs in four of them, so it will be interesting to see if the slight changes in his arsenal give this Arizona team, currently ranked 4th in BAbip, any troubles.
Arizona will send Tommy Henry to the mound tonight for his fourth start of the year. The young lefty has accumulated 15.7 innings and pitched to a 5.17 ERA with seven strikeouts and seven walks. Henry is coming off his best start to the year, throwing six innings with two earned runs and three strikeouts. In his brief career, Henry has only faced the Giants one time, and he allowed five earned runs over 4 ⅔ innings with six strikeouts.
For my prop play in this one, I’ll be targeting Christian Walker to go over 1.5 total bases, which is currently priced at (+125). The Diamondbacks slugger is averaging 3.5 total bases per game over his last ten games and an average of 2.06 on the season. Walker had gone six straight games without a hit but was held off the bases over the past two games; however, tonight, he has a favorable matchup on the mound.
In his career, Walker is 6 for 14 against Alex Cobb, which is a .429 batting average. The first baseman has hit one home run off Cobb and has an expected batting average of .393 and an expected slugging percentage of .525 against him. Cobb is a heavy fastball pitcher, throwing his sinker 40.6% of the time, which bodes well for Walker, who is hitting .333 against sinkers this season.
Cobb may be producing solid numbers, but he is still in the 12th percentile in hard hit percentage and 44th percentile in barrel rate. No matter how well a guy may be throwing, if a hitter sees a pitcher well, they still have a chance to find success against them, and I think that will be the case tonight with Walker.
Christian Walker Over 1.5 Total Bases (+125)