Veteran right-hander Derek Lowe will take the hill for Atlanta in Game 1.
The Atlanta Braves and San Francisco Giants have several things in common as they get ready for their Game 1 playoff series beginning Thursday at 6:37 p.m. (PT).
They are the two lowest-scoring teams in the postseason with the two lowest ERAs.
The Game 1 ‘over/under’ of 6 ½ reflects that. The Giants are 150 home favorites at MLB betting windows with Tim Lincecum on the mound against Derek Lowe.
This marks Atlanta’s first playoff appearance in five years. The Braves clinched the wild card spot on the final day of the regular season this past Sunday.
It’s worth noting that since 1998 a wild-card qualifier has won the World Series three times, while the MLB team with the best regular-season record has captured the Series only twice.
The Giants took home their first division title and playoff berth since 2003. San Francisco was 7 ½ games out of first back on July 4.
Top MLB Betting Odds at 5Dimes.
The Giants are 165 favorites to win the series, according to odds at TheGreek.com, with Atlanta at plus 145. San Francisco is 7/1 to win the World Series, while Atlanta is 12/1, according to odds at Bodog.com.
Lincecum helped key the Giants during the last five weeks when they made up a 6 ½ game deficit on San Diego.
The two-time defending National League Cy Young Award winner was 5-1 with a 1.94 ERA in September. Lincecum led the NL in strikeouts with 231, but didn’t have the overall numbers he had in the two previous MLB seasons going 16-10 with a 3.43 ERA and 1.27 WHIP.
Lincecum actually was more effective on the road posting a 7-3 away mark with a 3.17 ERA compared to 9-7 with a 3.69 ERA at AT&T Park.
San Francisco is 4-0 in Lincecum’s last four home starts versus the Braves. Lincecum faced Atlanta twice this season, winning 6-3 as a 180 home favorite against Kenshin Kawakami on April 11. Lincecum held Atlanta to two runs on five hits in seven innings with one walk and 10 strikeouts.
Lincecum lost 3-2 on Aug. 5 in his other start to the Braves this season as a 103 road favorite versus Jair Jurrjens. Lincecum allowed three earned runs on six hits in 6 1/3 innings with three walks and seven strikeouts.
Atlanta hitters batted only .216 off Lincecum during the two games. The Giants are 6-2 in Lincecum’s past eight starts against the Braves.
The Braves are pinning their Game 1 hopes on 37-year-old Lowe, who had a hot September going 5-0 with a 1.17 ERA in five starts. The Braves have won during each of his last six outings.
Lowe has been steady in the playoffs with a career mark of 5-5 with a 3.33 ERA in 83 2/3 innings.
Top MLB Betting Odds at 5Dimes.
The veteran right-hander has been particularly tough at AT&T Park with a 5-1 mark and 1.98 ERA in eight career starts there.
The baseball odds ‘under’ has cashed in seven of Lowe’s last 10 road starts. The Giants have gone ‘under’ the last nine times at home when facing a righty. The ‘under’ has cashed in 17 of San Francisco’s last 22 games when the Giants have gone against a right-hander.
The Giants have won eight of their last 10 home contests when facing a right-hander. The Braves are 2-10 in their last 12 road games when playing foes above .500.
Both teams have strong Rookie-of-the-Year candidates. San Francisco has catcher Buster Posey (.305, 18 homers and 67 RBIs) and Atlanta has outfielder Jason Heyward (.277, 18 homers and 72 RBIs).
The Braves have lost in six of their past seven visits to AT&T Park.
The early weather report is for partly cloudy with temperatures in the high 50s, a five percent chance of rain and six mph southwest winds.