San Francisco Giants
The final two teams to clinch spots MLB playoff betting action this year will meet starting on Thursday night at AT&T Park. The Atlanta Braves will look to steal home field advantage back right away from the San Francisco Giants.
We love the way that the Braves have looked this year, but this is a team that is really beaten up right now. There are a ton of injuries that manager Bobby Cox has had to take this year, not the least of which was that of 3B Chipper Jones, who is out for the season. This is an offense that played incredibly well at home, but clearly not as well away from Turner Field. Winning just 35 games on the road is a bad sign for a team that absolutely has to win at least one out of three to save its season.
With its ace waiting to pitch until Game 2, the Braves really don't have much of a choice but to turn to RHP Derek Lowe to try to take down Game 1 in San Fran. It isn't often that a man with a 4.00 ERA for the year ends up posting numbers this strong, but Lowe just seems to find ways to win games. The veteran has played in a ton of postseason games, making him a key cog in this rotation. He went 16-12 in the regular season and has a 7-5 record all time against the Giants.
The Giants have a heck of a rotation to fall back on, but the lineup isn't the greatest. C Buster Posey might be the biggest threat of a bat, and he came through with a dinger in regular season finale. The bullpen for San Fran had a 2.99 ERA on the year, the best in baseball amongst teams in the postseason.
It'll be RHP Tim Lincecum on the mound on Thursday night for the G-Men, and that means that there probably won't be a heck of a lot of runs on the board for the visitors. Lincecum has only allowed more than one earned run twice in his L/6 starts. He has a 5-1 record in those six games. Lincecum didn't quite put up Cy Young Award numbers this year as he did two years ago, but there is no shame in a 16-10 mark or a 3.43 ERA. Striking out 231 men paled in comparison to the 261 and 265 in his L/2 respectively.
We aren't so sure why the Giants are only laying -150 in this game, as this is a fantastic price on a man that has the ability to be dominating. Lowe is consistent, but he certainly isn't a star. The Braves feel like they just limped into the postseason, and they'll limp into a 1-0 hole on Thursday night.
Selection: San Francisco Giants -150