The San Francisco Giants had a great 2021 season. They won 107 games and the NL West. They were a dream for bettors, too.
This season has gone the other way.
The Giants have had a disastrous start to the second half of the season. They were swept in a four-game series against the Los Angeles Dodgers, understandable against one of the best teams in baseball. A three-game sweep against the Arizona Diamondbacks was harder to explain. Every one of their seven losses since the all-star break have been by two or more runs. Some days, the bullpen let down late in close games. In others, the offense never showed up.
The Giants are 48-50. They have to consider if they'll be sellers at the trade deadline.
The Giants come back home and are -140 favorites at BetMGM against the Chicago Cubs, who have been on a roll since the all-star break. The Cubs have won six in a row. If you like betting with streaks, the Cubs are an easy play on Thursday.
The Giants are just 3.5 games out of the final wild-card spot in the NL, but the rough start to the second half might change their outlook. They haven't been able to recapture the magic they had last season. The offense hasn't had enough consistency. The pitching has been OK but the rotation isn't as deep as last season, with Kevin Gausman and Johnny Cueto on other teams and Anthony Desclafani missing most of the season due to injury. Perhaps the Giants — who were speculated as a possible suitor for Juan Soto earlier this month — will go the other way and make some moves to improve and chase a wild-card spot. It's a lot harder to do that after the last seven games.
It was a mediocre season before the all-star break, and then it turned really sour on an NL West road trip. Now the Giants have to consider what to do over the next few days.
Here's a first look at the sports betting slate for Thursday:
MLB has 10 games
There are a couple of day games, including an early start for the Baltimore Orioles, one of the best stories in baseball this season. The Orioles have gotten hot and are on the fringe of the AL wild-card race despite a $46 million payroll, the lowest in the majors. They finish a series against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Orioles are slight -115 favorites.
At night, the reeling Boston Red Sox continue their series against the Cleveland Guardians, after the Guardians came back to beat the Red Sox on Wednesday night. The Guardians are -120 road favorites, which shows how bad the Red Sox have been lately. Boston has lost 11 of 13 and are 49-50 this season.
Golf and hoops
The PGA Rocket Mortgage Classic gets going on Thursday, and you can see the preview from Pamela Maldonado at Yahoo Sports in the video above.
There are also four WNBA games to bet on. At this point in the summer, it's nice to have anything other than baseball on the board.
What's the best bet?
I like betting with streaks, good and bad. The Cubs, somehow, have been good since the all-star break and the Giants have been miserable. I have to take Chicago as a +115 underdog.