MLB Betting: Giants, Cards top Saturday bill

By: Jimmy Sirody | Friday, August 20, 2010
Tim Lincecum

Tim Lincecum will be out to stop a three-game losing skid Saturday.

Entering this weekend’s series at Busch Stadium, the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals are fighting for their respective playoff lives.

The Giants have lost four of their past six games, they have given up the wild-card lead, and they are watching the San Diego Padres and the National League West title ride off into the sunset.

San Francisco has played 10 games this month against playoff contenders (Atlanta, San Diego and Philadelphia). Until Thursday’s 5-2 victory against the Phillies the Giants hadn’t scored more than three runs in any of those games. They have a .214 average during the past week. That won’t keep you playing in October.

St. Louis has fallen three games behind Cincinnati in the NL Central by losing four consecutive games to division also-rans. The Cards have also fallen to third in the wild-card standings, 2 ½-games behind the Phillies.

Given the brisk pace of this playoff race, St. Louis can no longer afford to dawdle. Are they in or are they out?

The second game of this weekend set in St. Louis features a dream matchup between the two pitchers that finished 1-2 in the NL Cy Young race last season. Tim Lincecum will be pitching in front of Cards’ fans, who threw a fit when the results were announced last November.

Lincecum isn’t likely to add a third trophy to his case this season. The young southpaw has lost three consecutive starts and allowed 14 earned runs in his previous 14 innings.

However, he has a golden opportunity to end that slump against a St. Louis club he has dominated in the past. Lincecum is 5-0 with a 1.54 ERA against the Cards and he’s fanned 37 Birds in 35 innings pitched.

Lincecum stymied St. Louis on April 23 at AT&T Park, yielding one run and six hits in seven innings while whiffing eight en route to a 4-1 victory. The Giants won two of three games in that initial series clash while limiting the Cards to three runs.

Chris Carpenter’s recent track record is much more impressive than his San Francisco rival. The big right-hander has turned in seven straight quality starts, allowing two earned runs or less five of those seven outings.

The Cardinals had won seven straight with their co-ace on the bump until last Saturday when they bowed 3-2 to the Chicago Cubs at home. Carpenter has won nine of 12 decisions this year at Busch Stadium with a 2.85 ERA and held opposing hitters to a .223 batting average.

San Francisco has won 23 of its last 31 against NL-Central foes and six of Lincecum’s last seven against teams from that division. The Giants are also 9-3 in their ace’s last dozen road appearances.

St. Louis began play Friday having lost four straight at home. The Cards have cashed 13 of 16 MLB money lines at home when facing teams on the plus side of the ledger.

The past five series confrontations have ended on the low side.

St. Louis has strayed ‘under’ at a 15-4-2 clip when playing on Saturday. Conversely, San Francisco has topped the ‘total’ at a 9-3-1 pace in Lincecum’s last 13 road outings.

 
 
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