The Giants and Dodgers wrap up a three game set on Wednesday evening in a matchup of aces of different eras. Tim Lincecum, the ace of the past for the San Francisco Giants, takes on Clayton Kershaw – the Cy Young award winner last year who has been even more dominant in the first half of this season. The Dodgers open as heavy favorites at home with their horse on the hill.
Kershaw gets the ball and there is not much reason to believe he will not dominate the Giants like he has the rest of baseball over the last year. Kershaw enters this game hungry to bounce back after his worst outing of the year where he surrendered four (gasp!) runs to the San Diego Padres. The friendly confines of Dodger Stadium against a familiar divisional opponent may be just what the doctor ordered. Kershaw has dominated the defending World Series champs as much as any pitcher in baseball has owned another lineup. Current Giants have batted against Kershaw 256 times in their careers and have combined for just 46 hits. That equates to a .180 average. The only homerun in those 256 at-bats? It came off the bat of Brett Pill of all people. You can look at the impressive numbers all you want. The idea here is that Kershaw coming off a sub-par (for him) outing at home against the Giants should translate into a dominant outing and a Dodger win. The biggest question concerns itself with how the Dodger bats handle Tim Lincecum.
Lincecum actually had a pretty good outing in this only stint against LA this year – where he scattered three hits over five innings and worked around two unearned runs allowed by poor San Fran defense. Lincecum’s career numbers against the Dodger’s roster are somewhat comparable to Kershaw’s. In almost 250 at-bats, the LA lineup has mustered just over a .220 batting average against Lincecum. The problem for Giants fans is that “The Freak” is no longer the pitcher he once was with all that deception and velocity. Lincecum and his small frame has declined over the years and he is a shell of what he used to be. Timmy has an ERA of 4.52 and a WHIP of 1.39 this season and the Dodger’s lineup is slowly beginning to hit a little bit with the injection of energy Yasiel Puig has provided in the 2-hole.
All signs point toward a resounding Dodger win in this one. The home team with the best pitcher in baseball on the hill against a familiar foe who is on the slow decline of his career. Look for the Dodgers to put up a few runs against Lincecum or, at worst, chase him from the game early with a high pitch count. Kershaw should dominate this one and seal up the home win for Los Angeles. Not enough value in the moneyline so play the runline at home and hope to hit the plus money payout.
Free Pick: Dodgers -1.5 (+130)