Atlanta Braves

San Francisco Giants

The San Francisco Giants are just two more games away from heading to the NLCS, and they'll look for yet another stellar pitching performance in MLB playoff betting action on Friday night when they take on the shell shocked Atlanta Braves at AT&T Park.

Game 1 totally belonged to RHP Tim Lincecum. Needless to say, the man they call "The Freak" was on fire. He went the distance, allowing just two Atlanta hits and a walk, striking out 14. It was a particularly bad game for 1B Derrek Lee for the Braves, as he went 0-for-4 with three Ks had had two LOBs. The winning hit came in the fourth inning, as OF Cody Ross, acquired right before the August 31st trade deadline, came up big with an RBI single to drive in C Buster Posey. Posey was the only man on either side that had two hits on the day. Poor RHP Derek Lowe didn't pitch poorly for Atlanta, as he only allowed one run in 5.1 innings of work. Manager Bobby Cox has to be impressed with the fact that his bullpen allowed just one hit and no runs in the final 2.2 innings of work.

All the pressure on the world is going to heaped on the shoulders of RHP Tommy Hanson on Friday night. This is a bit of a surprising move for Cox to make with his Braves facing essentially a do or die game, especially with RHP Tim Hudson ready to go. Hudson pitched on three days of rest in two straight starts at the end of the regular season, and Cox wants to get him the extra rest. However, Hanson fouled a ball off of his own face yesterday at batting practice, and though a swollen eye shouldn't keep him from making the start, Hudson is ready if need be. Hanson though, has been on fire in his L/3 starts. Though his team only went 1-2 in those outings, you certainly can't blame the big 6'6" righty, as he allowed just one run in 18.2 innings of work. Hanson has a win and a 2.57 ERA in two career starts against the G-Men.

RHP Matt Cain went 13-11 this season with a 3.14 ERA. The only reason that he ERA ballooned above 3.00 at season's end was because he allowed six runs on nine hits in just four frames against the San Diego Padres on the third to last day of the regular season. Cain is an innings eater for certain, as he threw a career high 223.1 innings this year. The bullpen is well rest after another day off yesterday and could be called upon early if Cain gets into some more trouble. The righty hasn't been particularly special against Atlanta in his career, going just 2-2 with a 4.03 ERA.

It just doesn't feel like the Braves have the horses in this series. We've got to believe that a 50/50 proposition here favors the home team, especially with Hanson making his first career postseason start. Go with the hosts in MLB betting action to become at least the third, if not the fourth team to take a 2-0 series lead into the weekend.

Selection: San Francisco Giants -110