San Francisco Giants starter Matt Cain toes the rubber for the first time since tossing the 22nd perfect game in MLB history this past Wednesday.
Cain, who stifled the Houston Astros in a 10-0 win, faces the Los Angeles Angels in interleague play Monday, riding a seven-start winning streak and a slim 2.62 career ERA versus the American League. The right-hander not only faces Albert Pujols and a dangerous L.A. lineup but he also tries to avoid the letdown which has plagued pitchers coming off no-hitters and perfect games.
Since 1999, there have been 31 no-hitters/perfect games (not including Cain's), most recently the Seattle Mariners’ collective no-hitter versus the Los Angeles Dodgers on June 8. Games involving a starting pitcher coming off one of those accomplishments have gone 19-11-1 over/under - 61 percent to the Over.
Cain’s perfect game was the seventh since 1999 and the second of the 2012 MLB season. Chicago White Sox pitcher Phillip Humber was perfect against the Seattle Mariners on April 21, 2012, but was hammered for nine runs over five innings in his following start – a 10-3 loss to the Boston Red Sox which topped the 8-run number. The six previous perfect-game pitchers have combined for a 3-2-1 over/under mark in their subsequent start.
Cain and the Giants are -108 road favorites versus the Angels Monday. The total is set at 7 runs.