The Arizona Diamondbacks (57-52) will look to salvage a series split against the San Francisco Giants (60-49) when the two teams close out their four-game set on Thursday afternoon. Arizona will send rookie Brandon Pfaadt (0-4, 8.20 ERA) to the mound, while reliever Scott Alexander (6-1, 3.13 ERA) will get the start for the Giants in what figures to be another bullpen day. First pitch from Oracle Park is scheduled for 3:45 p.m. ET.
San Francisco is the -135 moneyline favorite at DraftKings Sportsbook, while Arizona checks in as a +114 underdogs. The total is set at 8.5.
Diamondbacks-Giants picks: Thursday, August 3
Out: SP Tommy Henry (elbow), 3B Evan Longoria (back), C Gabriel Moreno (shoulder), SP Zach Davies (back), RP Mark Melancon (shoulder)
Out: INF Thairo Estrada (wrist), OF Mike Yastrzemski (hamstring), SP Anthony DeSclafani (flexor tendon), RP John Brebbia (lat), OF Mitch Haniger (forearm), OF Luis Gonzalez (back)
Brandon Pfaadt vs. Scott Alexander
While Pfaadt will likely end up having a solid MLB career, the top prospect has had a rough start to his first big league season, having allowed 3+ runs in seven of his first eight starts. The only start where he came in under that number was against the Giants, as he allowed one run over five innings in May for a quality start — the only one of his career. He ranks in the 78th percentile in walk rate.
Alexander was last used as an opener last week and tossed 1.2 scoreless innings ahead of Ross Stripling, who allowed one run in 4.1 innings. Stripling will likely get the bulk of the innings after Alexander, as he hasn’t pitched since he followed in relief for Alexander, while Sean Manaea (the team’s other primary bulk option) pitched two days ago.
After hitting the under in the first three games of the series, I think today’s game has enough offense for the over to hit. Stripling has been better lately but inconsistent overall this year, while Pfaadt has yet to prove he can turn over a Major League lineup multiple times without a crooked number.
Pick: Over 8.5
The Giants have surged past the Diamondbacks in the NL West standings, and enter play Thursday 2.5 games behind the Dodgers for first place. I’m banking on that surge continuing Thursday with a win.