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Braves vs. Giants – Free Pick August 26th

Atlanta Braves +103 vs. San Francisco Giants -113 (Total: 7)

Tim Hudson (12-4, 3.69) vs. Tim Lincecum (7-13, 5.30 ERA)

The Giants, despite owning a two game edge in the National League West have to be feeling a little anxious after watching the latest influx of superstar talent into Dodger blue.  Adrian Gonzalez alone is enough to make the Dodger offense significantly more potent.  If they can get anything at all resembling the old Josh Beckett, they now have a pitching staff that can dominate a short postseason series as well.   A good day for Dodger fans, but certainly an anxious one for the Giant faithful.

Tonight, Tim Lincecum takes the mound on national television, and a lot of casual baseball fans will be surprised when they first see his numbers flash across the screen.  A woeful 7-13 record; a frightening 5.34 ERA; a WHIP nearing one and a half and a team record of 9-17.  Were it not for the pair of Cy Young trophies, barely yet collecting any dust, sitting on his mantle, you can be that his rotation spot would be tenuous at best.  The Giants continue to run him out; half out of hope and half out of obligation (consider the fact they have run out Barry Zito for FOUR YEARS now…).

I find myself, much like the Giant brass, always thinking that this time, this time, surely he will snap out of it…

But would I wager money on it?  Not a chance.

That makes tonight’s seven run total line leap off the page.  Lincecum has been better of late; throwing three quality starts in his last five outings, however those outings have been relatively short.  He has pitched past the sixth inning just twice in his last seven outings.  I like the Braves and their potent offense (4.79 runs per game against righties) to touch up Lincecum for a few runs early.

On the other side of the mound, another big name that hasn’t dazzled this season.  Hudson hasn’t had nearly the struggles of Lincecum, but his near four ERA is not nearly as good as his 12-4 record would indicate.  On name value alone, the seven run line feels about right.   In statistical reality for the 2012 season?  It’s about a full run too low.

The Braves bullpen is one of the best in baseball (save for Cincinnati), so I don’t expect many runs late, however I think both teams will scratch out enough early to put the seven run total in the rear view mirror.

Free Pick:  Run TOTAL OVER 7 (-105)