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MLB Nationals at Giants

August 08, 2007

MLB Baseball - Washington Nationals at San Francisco Giants (-145, 8) 10:00 PM EST

Barry Bonds of the GiantsIn the Giants' first game post-756, they'll face a Washington team that is 9-games under .500 itself but heading in a completely opposite direction.

Including the 8-6 win in Game two of the series on Tuesday, the Nationals have won 18 of their last 27 games to move to +15.8 units of betting profit for their backers in 2007.

The Giants will send right-hander Matt Cain to the hill this evening and he is chasing his own streak of sorts, having lost seven straight decisions.

He has not won since pitching a three-hitter to beat Arizona 2-1 on April 22. He has an ERA of 5.03 ERA in nine home starts since then, but in reality it isn't all his fault, as the Giants have provided Cain with just 12 runs of support during the stretch.

Overall for the season, the Giants are 4-18 in Cain's starts this year for a disastrous -16.6 units. His respectable ERA of 3.93 has a lot to do with why the team has gone under the total in 14 of 21 games.

Surely you've seen the highlights 100 times already, but in case not, Bonds hit his 756th homer, breaking Hank Aaron's 33-year-old record in the Giants' loss on Tuesday.

With a full count in the fifth inning against journeyman Mike Bacsik, Bonds drove the milestone shot 435 feet over the right-center field fence. He was met at home plate by his son, Nikolai, and his godfather, Willie Mays, before a taped video tribute from Aaron was played on the scoreboard.

Manager Bruce Bochy said it would be up to his left fielder if he wanted to play in tonight's contest.

Tim Redding (1-2, 2.43), meanwhile, will try to continue his strong pitching for the Nationals since being recalled from the minors on July 3.

Redding has allowed just two runs in 19 innings over his last three starts, but has failed to get a decision each time.

Most of the top trends for this contest revolve around Cain's unusually poor results so far in 2007:

* CAIN is 1-15 (-16.6 Units) against the money line when the total is 7 to 8.5 this season. (Team's Record) The average score was CAIN 2.3, OPPONENT 4.8 - (Rating = 6*)
* CAIN is 1-14 (-15.1 Units) against the money line in night games this season. (Team's Record) The average score was CAIN 2.7, OPPONENT 4.9 - (Rating = 5*)

However, another rare 5* StatFox Trend goes against Redding:

* REDDING is 2-14 (-19.9 Units) against the money line vs. NL teams scoring 4.3 or less runs/game in the second half of the season since 1997. (Team's Record) The average score was REDDING 3.3, OPPONENT 5.5 - (Rating = 5*)

With so much "negativity" surrounding the key data for this game, you'd have to think that the recent surge of enthusiasm on the field by the Nationals will be the difference.

With the Giants an unusually large -145 favorite at sportsbook.com, it will be interesting to see how the hosts react in the first game of the post-756 era.

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