Since last year’s All-Star break, the Giants are 40-60, which the worst record in the majors over that span. The causes for San Francisco’s fall from grace are almost too long to list, and it begins with a woefully inadequate defense that ranks 25th in defensive efficiency.
The decline in defensive play is shocking in that the Giants have fielded a top 5 defense in each of the past three seasons before falling apart in 2017.
The Giants’ starting lineup consists of four everyday players who are hitting .192/.237/.270 in nearly 500 plate appearances. That alarming slash line is similar to some pitching staffs in the National League, including the St. Louis Cardinals (.205/.205/.273)! Ouch.
San Francisco’s bullpen has also underperformed to the tune of a 4.36 ERA and 1.35 WHIP, including an 8.75 ERA and 1.648 WHIP over its last seven games.
In contrast, Cincinnati’s bullpen has performed exceptionally well this season as evidenced by its 3.30 ERA and 1.13 WHIP, including posting a 2.89 ERA and 1.17 WHIP over the last seven games.
Cincinnati starter Amir Garrett has been outstanding at home this season (2.57 ERA & 0.92 WHIP) and scouting reports indicate that the young hurler has perfected a nasty slider that induces a 25% swinging strike rate. Garrett is inducing a good number of ground balls (50.6% GB%), which is important inside the sandbox otherwise known as Great American Ball Park.
After last night’s dominating win, the Reds are now 37-24 against San Francisco since 2008, the best winning percentage of any Giants opponent in that span. Those winning trends should continue behind Amir Garrett tonight.
Cincinnati is also 60-28 in its last 88 games versus .399 or worse opposition and 5-1 in its last six games overall, whereas the Giants are 16-43 on the road versus .501 or greater opponents, 1-6 in their last seven games against National League Central foes and 0-5 in game 2 of a series.
Finally, home teams are 11-1 in umpire Paul Nauert’s last twelve games behind home plate, while the Giants are 0-4 in their last four games with Nauert calling balls and strikes. Take the surging Reds behind Amir Garrett and invest with confidence.