Tonight is the first of a 3 game series and a rematch of the
NL championship series.
Roy Halladay and Cliff Lee won't be appearing in the series,
but that doesn't mean there will be a lack of good pitching when the
Philadelphia Phillies host the San Francisco Giants. The 3-game set between last year's National League
Championship Series participants gets underway Tuesday night at Citizens Bank
Park (7:05 PM ET).
Former NL Cy Young winner Tim Lincecum (8-8, 2.90) will get
the call for the Giants in the series opener. He'll be making his first start
against the Phils since Game 5 of the 2010 NLCS and opposed by Phillies rookie Vance
Worley (6-1, 2.02) who is facing San
Francisco for the first time in his career.
Baseball odds for Tuesday's contest have the Phillies small
favorites in the 110-115 range. The total for Game 1 is seven runs.
Lincecum has overcome a rough patch in early June to work
his ERA back down below 3.00, but a lack of offense has the Giants 3-4 in the
diminutive righthander's last seven starts.
lineup scored just six runs in the four defeats combined while Lincecum was
posting a 2.62 ERA in the games.
He allowed just one run in his last start on July 20, but
that's all Clayton Kershaw and the Dodgers needed for a 1-0 win as +110
This will be Lincecum's 10th career start vs. the Phillies
counting the two in last year's NLCS, and the most interesting MLB betting trend
from the previous nine is the OVER going 7-2.
has won only three of those games.
With all the aces at his disposal in the rotation, Charlie
Manuel's most reliable starter the past six weeks has been Worley. The young righty has been bouncing between Philadelphia and Triple-A
this season and brings a 4-game winning streak into Tuesday's game with the
Phils 6-0 since mid-June.
has won eight of his 10 starts this season, the totals splitting 5-5 along the
Ryan Howard has been a tough out for Lincecum over their
careers, the Phils first baseman owning a 1.304 OPS and three dingers against
the Giants ace in 22 plate appearances.
Chase Utley and Shane Victorino have each taken Lincecum deep once, but
are a combined 6-for-41 (.146).
The Giants' lack of offense has been well publicized, the
team ranking 13th in the NL in scoring (3.62 RPG). The lineup is at least consistent with San Francisco averaging
3.7 runs per game since the break.
Newcomer Jeff Keppinger has hit Philly pitching well in recent years
(.348, 16-for-46) and we might see rookie Brandon Belt get a start in the
outfield as Bruce Bochy tries to find a little extra punch for his impotent
The clubs split their six regular season meetings last
season, each winning two of three on their home diamonds. Two of the three at Citizens Bank
Park went OVER.
ESPN will carry Wednesday night's game when the series continues
and SBRforum will preview the all-southpaw battle between San Fran's Barry
Zito and Philly's Cole Hamels.