MLB Game Betting Preview: San Francisco Giants vs. Atlanta Braves

MLB PicksEvery pennant race in the NL is becoming a betting enthusiast’s nightmare. What used to be a sure thing with the Atlanta Braves in the NL East has dwindled to a two game lead over the surging Philadelphia Phillies. The NL Central is a dogfight between the Cincinnati Reds and the St. Louis Cardinals, while the NL West race could potentially include every team in the division except the Arizona Diamondbacks.

It is safe to say that the NFL betting lines are not a primary concern in NL cities right now as everyone is fighting for a pennant. The San Francisco Giants are sneaking up on the San Diego Padres and putting up numbers that have the Padres worried. While some people in San Diego are thinking about betting on NCAA football, Padres fans have been watching the Giants win eight of their last 10, including a four game winning streak. The Giants just got done clobbering the third place Colorado Rockies, and now they set their sights on the NL East leading Braves.

The Braves have hit an ill-timed slide as of late. In their last 10 games they have lost six. The second-place Phillies have won eight of their last 10, and now the MLB betting world is starting to wonder if the experience of the Phillies will indeed overtake the youthful enthusiasm of the Atlanta Braves.

In this game the Giants send their ace Tim Lincecum to the mound. This season “The Freak” is 11-4 with a 3.10 ERA. But Lincecum has struggled by his standards lately. He has faltered so much that he is now visibly altering his pitching mechanics to try and re-gain the control he has lost. If ever this Cy Young winner could be considered vulnerable, this would be the time.

To counter Lincecum the Braves bring Jair Jurrjens to the mound. Jurrjens has a 3-4 record this season with a 4.62 ERA, but those statistics are deceiving. Jurrjens has spent a great deal of time injured this season, and he is just starting to re-gain his form. In his last six starts he has compiled a 3-1 record and has a 3.52 ERA in that stretch. He has his control back, and he is showing signs of being ready for the playoffs.

The Braves and the Giants have very similar hitting statistics. Both teams rely on their starting rotations and solid defense to win games. Neither team is a powerhouse at the plate, but they both know how to score runs. The difference in this game will be Lincecum. If he has re-gained his control then the Braves could be in for a long night. But if “The Freak” is still tinkering with the mechanics of his pitching on into the later innings of the game, then the Giants may find themselves losing a little more ground to the Padres in the chase for the NL West pennant.

BSNblog Pick: Atlanta Braves 3-1

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