Expect Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants to earn a victory on the road Tuesday against the San Diego Padres. A two-time Cy Young-award winner, Lincecum has overall statistics that are simply horrid. He’s 2-6 with a 5.82 ERA and is on pace to walk the more batters in a single season than in any of his first five campaigns in the big leagues. But there is hope. In his last performance against the Arizona Diamondbacks, he yielded just one earned run in seven innings. He did walk five which is troubling, but in this game he’ll be pitching at Petco Park, a vastly pitcher-friendly environment that should give him the confidence to challenge hitters.
In the past he’s had a lot of confidence there: he’s 5-2 with a 1.77 ERA in nine starts at Petco. An added advantage: he’s pitching against a struggling Anthony Bass. In April, Bass looked promising (2.30 ERA), but in May he faltered (5.30 ERA). The upshot: the Giants should prevail at 1.90 as the Padres (also on at 1.90) will fall.
A nagging injury will be the difference maker when the Baltimore Orioles head to Boston to take on the Red Sox. Orioles pitcher Jason Hammel has been fantastic this year for the surprise package Orioles. He’s 6-2 with a 3.06 ERA. The problem right now is he’s carrying a knee injury. He’s been trying to battle through it, but the results last time out suggest it might be a losing cause. Against the Toronto Blue Jays he allowed nine hits and four runs in 6 2/3 innings pitched. Hammel did throw well at Fenway Park on May 5 when he gave up two runs and four hits while striking out eight in 6 2/3 innings, but he was feeling better physically at that time.
The Red Sox left-handed starter Jon Lester, who has struggled so far in 2012, has two main factors going for him. First, he’s historically fantastic against the Orioles (14-0 with a 2.47 ERA in 19 starts). Second, he’s always been great in June: 15-4 with a 2.52 ERA. Trust in Lester and Boston at 1.62 instead of the injured Hammels and Baltimore at 2.30.