The cold hard truth is this: as long as the Giants’ Tim Lincecum continues to struggle, it’s worth betting against him. As a result, the Oakland A’s are the team to back when they host San Francisco on Friday. Lincecum, a former two-time Cy Young award winner, is 14 starts into the season and is showing no signs of returning to form. In his last outing, he gave up five runs in five innings – and that was against a weak Mariners’ offence.
The A’s have shown sign of offensive life lately and assuming slugger Yoenis Cespedes is in the lineup (he’s been injured but returned recently) the club’s run-scoring chances should be good. Oakland will counter Lincecum with pitcher Jarrod Parker, who is piecing together a very promising rookie campaign. Overall, he’s 3-3 with a 2.82 ERA and he looked great last time out, throwing seven scoreless innings against the Colorado Rockies in Coors Field. Go with the A’s at 1.81 and pass on the Giants at 2.00 as we wait for Lincecum to turn the corner.
Expect Zack Greinke’s road woes to continue when his Milwaukee Brewers visit the Chicago White Sox. Greinke has been consistently uncomfortable away from Milwaukee in 2012, posting a 4.96 ERA (compared to a 1.08 ERA at home). In addition, he’s struggled in his 10 career appearances at US Cellular Field, where he’s 1-7 with a 6.48 ERA.
The White Sox’s Chris Sale is coming off a wobbly performance (five runs and four walks in 5 2/3 innings), but his overall numbers have been fantastic – 8-2 with a 2.46 ERA. Moreover, Chicago manager Robin Ventura has given him two extra days of rest before this one, which should help. The White Sox at 1.70 are the pick over the Brewers at 2.15.