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San Francisco/LA Dodgers over 3.5 even:
Tim Lincecum will look to bounce back from a horror show of a 2012 this evening at Chavez Revine. Lincecum was 10-15 with an NL-worst 5.18 ERA in 2012 and was given only one postseason start in the Giants' run to a second World Series title in three years. He did, however, excel out of the bullpen, yielding a run while striking out 17 over 13 innings in five relief appearances. Lincecum has tough acts to follow as the first two starters for the Giants (1-1) - Bumgarner and Matt Cain - have tossed 14 scoreless innings while allowing six hits, one walk and striking out 14.
After being acquired from Boston, Beckett was 2-3 over seven starts for Los Angeles but had a respectable 2.93 ERA. That contrasted sharply with a 5.23 ERA in 21 starts with the Red Sox in 2012. Beckett won 20 games in 2007 while helping lead Boston to its second World Series title in four years but had a couple of high-profile incidents that led to a sour end to his time with the team. Beckett was reportedly among the players who drank beer and ate fried chicken in the clubhouse during games in 2011, a season in which Boston collapsed down the stretch. He was seen playing golf last season one day after skipping a start because of an injury. That helped lead to his place in an epic nine-player deal in August that included Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford.
Carl Crawford will try to help the Dodgers score their first run off a San Francisco starter in his expected return to the lineup. The outfielder, who had two hits and scored a run in the season opener, was limited to pinch-hitting duties Tuesday in order to aid his continuing recovery from elbow surgery. Look for Matt Kemp, who is coming off of shoulder surgery, to hopefully endure some success after going 0 for 6 in the first two games and 0 for 21 with 10 strikeouts in his last six against the Giants. He was 0 for 8 with four strikeouts against Lincecum last season. Hunter Pence, who had two hits Tuesday night, is 6 for 14 all-time against Beckett, and Marco Scutaro is 6 for 15. The Giants may be able to score some runs especially with a productive early part of the lineup featuring Angel Pagan, Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval.
We get a gem of a price here, and even though Dodger Stadium even after moving in the fences in several feet for years has still been a pitcher's delight, a couple of runs aside may not be too much to ask for given both starter's troubles last season. Eventually hitters will need to adapt to the early part of the season as the games progress, but especially to left field the ball has a tendency to carry. Best of luck however you play!
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