Monday night baseball and we will see the San Francisco Giants travel to the Midwest to take on the St Louis Cardinals in game 1 of their 4 game series.. The game is scheduled for an 8:15 (ET) pm start time and it will be televised live locally. Currently the odds have St Louis favored at -110, while San Francisco is dogs of +101. The total for the game sits at 8 runs.
Free Analysis: The NL West-leading San Francisco Giants have slugged their way to a three-game winning streak, with Hunter Pence starting to contribute. Matt Cain wouldn't mind seeing the offensive surge continue Monday night in the opener of a four-game set with a St. Louis Cardinals club playing excellent ball at home. San Francisco (59-49), the division leader by one-half game over Los Angeles, hit .360 with 10 doubles, two triples, five homers and 35 runs while sweeping three games at Colorado, capped by Sunday's 8-3 victory. The weekend was a dramatic improvement after the Giants batted .204 average with one homer and 19 runs during a 1-7 stretch. Pence is starting to do his part, collecting four hits - three doubles - and four RBIs in the Colorado series. He's 4 for 22 in five games since being acquired from Philadelphia prior to Tuesday's trade deadline. Pence may also be excited to face the Cardinals (58-49), since he's hitting .363 in his last 23 regular-season games against them. He's 7 for 14 against Jake Westbrook, St. Louis' scheduled starter Monday. Cain (10-4, 2.82 ERA) certainly wouldn't mind improved support from Pence and the rest of the Giants' lineup. The right-hander is 1-2 with a 3.86 ERA in his last seven starts, being backed by an average of 3.09 runs in that span. Cain is 2-2 with a 4.54 ERA in seven career starts against the Cardinals, including a 7-5 home victory while yielding four runs in six innings May 17. St. Louis (59-49) has won six in a row at home after completing a three-game sweep of Milwaukee with Sunday's 3-0 victory. The Cardinals are three games back of Pittsburgh for the second NL wild card. It's still a little early to be checking scoreboards and stuff," said Daniel Descalso, who was 6 for 10 with three RBIs in the Brewers series. "But we've been playing pretty well. It's nice to come home and get three wins." Matt Holliday is batting .451 with seven homers and 21 RBIs in his last 22 home games. However, he's 4 for 18 with one RBI in his last five home games against the Giants, and is 7 for 37 (.189) with three homers lifetime versus Cain. Jake Westbrook is coming off his third straight victory, a triumph at Colorado on Wednesday in which he surrendered five runs over six innings. The 34-year-old has won four of his last five starts at home and has worked at least six frames in 10 consecutive outings overall. Westbrook is 0-1 with a 4.67 ERA in three career starts against San Francisco, with the Cards losing all 3 starts.
Free Pick: I like the Cardinals in this one. The Giants had a great series in Colorado, in which they swept the Rockies and scored 35 runs in the process. I know the Giants offense is better away from home but not that good, plus they were taking on a Rockies team that seems to have given up the last few weeks. They will face a different kind of team in this 4 games and vs a much better staff. The Cardinals are once again looking to make a surge for a play of spot and they have been tough to beat at home of late as they have won their last 6 in a row here and 11 of their last 12. The Cards average 5.17 rpg at home, but during their last 9 games here they have put up 6.4 rpg, while their pitching has been superb, allowing just 1.9 rpg over that stretch. Matt Cain has been superb at home this year, but he has been hit around on the road of late with a 4.10 ERA in his last 4 road starts and he is just 2-2 with a 4.54 ERA in 7 career starts vs the Cards. Jake Westbrook has been very good of late with a 4-2 mark and a 3.72 ERA in his last 7 starts. Jake has won his last 3 in a row overall and is 4-1 with a 3.03 ERA in his last 5 starts at home. St Louis has lost all 3 of his starts vs the Giants, but St Louis is rolling at home right now, both offensively and with pitching and will not let the Giants steal game one of this 4 game set.
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