MLB Pick & Preview – San Francisco Giants at Philadelphia Phillies
- Updated: July 27, 2011
San Francisco +190
The San Francisco Giants will look to even things up in this three-game series, when they take on the Philadelphia Phillies tonight in the second game at Citizens Bank Park. The first pitch is set for 7:10 p.m. (ET) and the game will be broadcast nationally on ESPN.
San Francisco fell behind early last night in Game 1 and never recovered in a 7-2 loss as a 146 road underdog. The setback cut the Giants lead over Arizona in the NL West to just three games and dropped them to 59-44 on the year. They are 32-18 at home this season and 27-26 on the road.
Solid pitching has been the one constant for San Francisco this season with a team ERA of 3.12. Hitting and run support have not as the Giants are ranked 13th in the NL with a .241 team batting average and 15th in scoring with 371 total runs.
Tim Lincecum was scheduled to pitch last night by switched places in the rotation with Barry Zito while recovering from the flu. He is 8-8 this season in 21 previous starts with an ERA of 2.90. His last time out he gave up one earned run on a solo home run in seven innings, but still got tagged with the loss. Lincecum is 2-1 with a 3.17 ERA in his career against the Phillies.
Philadelphia is 8-3 since the All-Star break and has opened a six-game lead over Atlanta in the NL East. At 65-37, the Phillies have the best record in the Majors. They are 27-21 on the road and 38-16 at home on the year.
Pitching remains the primary strength of this team, but the Phillies bats are starting to come to life as of late with an average of 5.71 runs a game in their last seven. Ryan Howard continues to lead the way with a team-high 77 RBI and 20 home runs.
Cole Hamels will be on the mound tonight for Philadelphia. With the exception of one bad outing, he has been rock-solid over his last 10 starts, giving up two or less earned runs in nine of them. He is 12-5 on the year with a 2.62 ERA. Lifetime against the Giants, Hamels is 4-2 with a 4.67 ERA.
Head-to-head, last night’s game was first time these two teams met since the Giants beat the Phillies in six games in the NLCS on their way to winning the World Series last year. The series was tied 3-3 in the 2010 regular season with each team going 2-1 at home. The total has now gone ‘over’ in three of the last four meetings including last night’s game.
This one is shaping up as a classic pitching duel, but stick with the Phillies’ bats to give Hamels just enough run support to get the win.