MLB betting: Giants have been baseball's most profitable team, but 7 of 9 vs. Dodgers loom

The San Francisco Giants are on an absolute tear.

The Giants throttled the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday afternoon, 19-4, to complete a four-game sweep and improve to 28-16 on the year.

Not much was expected from the Giants entering the season. They were given just +4000 odds to win the National League West over at BetMGM. More than a quarter of the way through the season, however, the Giants have the best record in baseball and are in first place in the division ahead of the San Diego Padres and defending World Series champion Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Giants have been extremely consistent for bettors, too. They now are 29-15 against the run line this year, covering at a 66% clip. In the month of May alone, the Giants are 13-5 against the run line. On top of that, the Giants have covered in 17 of their 20 games as an underdog this season, including a 14-2 mark as a road dog.

Despite Thursday’s 19-run outburst, the Giants aren’t the most prolific offensive team. Their pitching, however, has been stellar. Entering Thursday's action, the Giants led the majors in starting rotation ERA at 2.58. Kevin Gausman, Anthony DeSclafani and Alex Wood — all signed to one-year deals — have been excellent.

San Francisco Giants' Brandon Crawford, center, is greeted by Wilmer Flores, left, and Mauricio Dubon (1) as he crosses home plate after hitting a two-run home run off Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Tyler Anderson during the first inning of a baseball game in Pittsburgh, Saturday, May 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
The San Francisco Giants have been one of the best teams in baseball in 2021. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Giants have played easy schedule

By most metrics, though, the Giants have played a pretty easy schedule. They have played just two teams with a winning record. They have gone 5-4 across three series against the Padres, currently a game back in the West at 27-17. They also took two of three from the Philadelphia Phillies, who are just a game over .500 entering Thursday night’s action.

(By completing the sweep Thursday, they moved to 6-1 against the Reds, former employers of four-fifths of that excellent starting rotation. Yikes.)

But the Giants have yet to square off with the Dodgers. That will change on Friday when the Giants welcome the champs to Oracle Park to kick off a stretch where seven of their next nine games come against their biggest rivals.

Are the Giants a fluke? They are still considered a long shot to win the West. BetMGM currently has the Giants listed at +1400. It’s a big jump from the preseason odds (+4000), but it’s still significantly behind both the Dodgers (-300) and the Padres (+225).

The Dodgers opened the season 13-2 before losing 13 of their next 17 games. They were 17-16 on May 7, but have since reeled off eight of their last 10 and appear to be back on the right track. The Dodgers went 8-2 vs. the run line during that stretch, too.

That puts bettors in a tough spot. Should you continue to ride the underdog Giants, a team that has been incredibly profitable all season? Or do you side with the Dodgers as they hit their stride?

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