The Houston Astros (26-36) and San Francisco Giants (36-27) will close out a three-game National League series on Thursday afternoon at AT&T Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 3:45 ET

Houston Astros at San Francisco Giants 

The San Francisco Giants are one of the hottest teams in baseball

Houston fell victim to a perfect game in a 10-0 setback to San Francisco on Wednesday night, as the club has dropped the first two games of the series.  “He just didn’t make many mistakes,” stated Astros outfielder J.D. Martinez about Matt Cain.  The Astros have a series record of 6-15 this season, and need to get outfielder Carlos Lee back in the lineup, who is set to begin a rehab assignment this weekend at Double-A Corpus Christi.  Houston is 6-10 in day games this year with the “over” going 9-6 in those contests.

Astros starting pitcher Wandy Rodriguez (5-4, 3.27 ERA) tallied an 8-3 road victory in his last start against the Chicago White Sox, allowing three runs and nine hits over 5.1 innings of work.  The left-hander is 2-1 with a 3.16 ERA in five road outings, surrendering two home runs in 31.1 combined frames.  In four career starts versus the Giants, Rodriguez has gone 2-2 with a 3.42 ERA, but has not allowed an earned run over 14 innings in winning his last two efforts in the series.

San Francisco has won nine of its last 12 games, and celebrated its first perfect game in the franchise’s 130-year history last night.  The Giants have the best record in the majors when facing left-handed starters, coming in with a 14-6 record in those contest, including wins in eight of the last 11 tries.  Another victory is certainly possible in this affair, with Houston batting just .204 against southpaws.  San Francisco is 9-2 as a home favorite of -125 to -150 this season, with the “under” going 8-2 in that situation.

Giants starting pitcher Barry Zito (5-3, 3.24 ERA) will look to bounce back from a 5-0 home loss to the Texas Rangers, giving up four runs and nine hits over six frames.  The left-hander is 3-1 with a 3.13 ERA in six home starts, issuing 14 walks and striking out 20 batters in 37.1 frames.  In six career starts versus the Aztros, Zito has compiled a winning 3-2 record and 4.54 ERA, including a 2-1 mark and 4.24 ERA in his last three efforts.

Bettors will likely back the Giants due to their 15-3 mark as a favorite of -110 to -150, while the Astros are 1-5 in Rodriguez’s last six starts as an underdog.

Pick: San Francisco Giants -130

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