San Francisco Giants vs. Arizona Diamondbacks Preview and Pick – Lincecum vs. Haren

San Francisco Giants (20-31) - Tim Lincecum +148, 8 O/U at Arizona Diamondbacks (30-21) - Dan Haren -158, 8 O/U, Chase Field, 9:40 PM EST, Tuesday
by Badger of Predictem.com

The Arizona Diamondbacks are glad to be home, but they may be overjoyed to see the San Francisco Giants come into Chase Field for the start of a three-game series between the two National League West teams Tuesday night.

The D-Backs went just 2-5 on their recent seven-game road trip, so getting back to the friendly confines of Chase Field where they are 19-8 this season will be a welcoming feeling.

The NL-West leading D-Backs will also look to continue their dominance over the struggling Giants. Not only has Arizona won four straight over the Giants at Chase (11 of 13 since 2006), but they have also won four of their five meetings already this year and are 14-6 in their last 20 head-to-head matchups.

San Francisco meanwhile limps into the series in the midst of a 3-3 road trip after getting swept in a doubleheader at Florida yesterday. The Giants are just 3-7 in their last 10 games however, and are a measly 9-16 on the road this season.

Most offshore sportsbooks opened the game with Arizona as a strong -158 favorite on the moneyline, with San Francisco listed as +148 underdogs. The over/under total opened at 8.

Tonights starting pitching matchup could turn into a pitchers duel, as the D-Backs trot Dan Haren out to the bump to go against the Giants ace Tim Lincecum. Something will have to give tonight, as both pitchers will be looking to remain perfect on the season.

Haren (5-3, 3.39 ERA) is perfect at Chase Field so far this year, going 5-0 with a 2.27 ERA in his six starts at home this season.

Lincecum (6-1, 2.17) meanwhile is perfect on the road this year, going 4-0 with a stellar 1.23 ERA away from the San Francisco Bay.

Both pitchers will be looking to rebound from bad outings last time out. Haren had a season-high eight strikeouts in a 4-0 loss to Florida last Thursday (6.1 IP, 8 H, 4 R), while Lincecum was roughed up (5 IP, 3 R, 5 H, 4 BB) by Colorado last Tuesday.

The Arizona offense will also be looking to rebound from a rough stretch on the road trip. The D-Backs scored just three runs total in all three games at Florida, so its no surprise they were swept. They still average 5.2 runs per game (3rd in MLB), but havent packed the punch they had at the start of the season.

On the flip side, Haren will have to be careful with Giants catcher Bengie Molina. Molina, who has been the Giants only real offensive threat all season, went 6-for-7 with five RBI in yesterdays doubleheader and is 18-for-30 (.600) with a homer, seven doubles and 11 RBIs during his current eight-game hitting streak.

With strong starting pitchers and a betting trend that just screams under, the under might be the best play tonight. The under is 7-1 in San Franciscos last eight games versus NL West foes, while the under is 7-3 in Arizonas last 10 games overall.

Badgers Pick: With all of the trends pointing to the under in tonights game, its just too convenient for me to make it my pick. Instead Im taking the value of Lincecum as a big underdog here. The D-Backs bats are struggling and Lincecum should be able to keep it that way. Somehow the Giants find a way to win tonight, maybe a Molina big fly. Take the Giants.