The San Francisco Giants’ Tim Lincecum has moved past his post-no-hitter blues and is a strong proposition to win at home on Thursday versus the Milwaukee Brewers.
After throwing a hitless gem against the San Diego Padres on July 13, Lincecum predictably struggled in his following outing going 3 2/3 innings and giving up eight runs in a home clash with the Cincinnati Reds. (Pitchers often struggle after a no-hitter as they’re required to throw more pitches than normal to complete the masterpiece, leaving them fatigued for their following start.)
Since then he’s righted the ship in an impressive way. In two outings, he’s allowed just three runs and ten hits in 14 innings. Over that span, he’s struck out 15. Lincecum will also benefit in this contest by the fact that the Brewers have been a woeful club – especially since losing star hitter Ryan Braun to a drug suspension. Lincecum has a far better track record (4.02 ERA) against teams with winning percentages under .500 (like the Brewers) compared to winning teams (5.06).
Brewers starter Donovan Hand, has pretty good overall numbers (3.60 ERA), but so much of his work has come in the bullpen. He was better in the bullpen. Choose the Giants to win at 1.60.
In St. Louis, the Los Angeles Dodgers will snag an away win from the Cardinals. Los Angeles has been one of baseball’s best road clubs this season. They recently had a 15-game consecutive win streak on the road end, but that run shows how they rarely blink when away from Dodger Stadium.
Having Hyun-jin Ryu on the pitcher’s mound will certainly bolster Los Angeles’ confidence in this contest. Ryu owns an overall 10-3 record with a 3.15 ERA. He’s 3-0 since the All Star Game and will be facing the Cardinals for the first time.
That set up (seeing a good pitcher for the first time) is usually a disadvantage for hitters as it’s harder for them to adjust than it is for a top-shelf starter. The Cardinals’ Jake Westbrook does have a 5-0 record at home, but he’ll see that perfect performance sullied here. After a stellar beginning to 2013, Westbrook is in freefall. In his past five starts he has a 5.04 ERA and in his past two outings he’s posted an 8.10 ERA. Pick the Dodgers to prevail.
The Giants to beat the Brewers at 1.60.
The LA Dodgers to beat the Cardinals at 1.95.