Moneyline: Giants (-177) Dodgers (+167)
Starting Pitchers- Dodgers (Billingsley) vs. Giants (Lincecum)
It was Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers who dominated the first game of this rivalry series in San Francisco on Monday night. It is the Giants turn to send their ace to the hill in this one. Tim Lincecum has handled the Dodgers quite well in the past. Can Lincecum and the Giants get back on the winning track in this one?
Los Angeles has won three of their last four games after losing two straight in Colorado. Chad Billingsley only lasted three innings in his last start. Billingsley walked three and gave up five runs in those three innings of work in Colorado. Los Angeles will certainly need Billingsley to pitch much better in this one if they expect to beat Lincecum and the Giants. Many experts said before the season that the key player the Dodgers needed to have perform well this year was Matt Kemp. Kemp has been their hottest hitter thus far this season. His on-base percentage is better than .500 and Kemp already has seven stolen bases in just ten games. Andre Ethier has been solid as well. The Dodgers still have some question marks surrounding their bullpen, but they have started out hitting the ball well.
San Francisco has a terrific starting rotation, but this is a team that is struggling to score runs. The Giants nearly missed out on the playoffs last year because of their poor offense, but they were able to win the World Series with some great pitching and timely hitting. So far this year, guys like Buster Posey and Aubrey Huff aren’t hitting the way they were at the end of last year. Pablo Sandoval has had an encouraging start, and he could end up being a key hitter for this team in 2011. The Giants bullpen is one of the best in baseball. Brian Wilson is a great closer, and the Giants have several middle inning relievers who have proven themselves over the last few years.
The Giants are 7-2 in Lincecum’s last 9 starts against the Dodgers. Chad Billingsley just doesn’t seem like he is in top form right now. I think the Giants pick up the win here.
MLB Free Pick: Giants ML
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