It’s a battle of first-place National League teams in San Francisco this weekend as the West’s Giants host the East’s Braves. The two sides got the party started on Thursday but heading into the series, Atlanta has won six of their last 10 games in San Francisco. However, they entered the series with just five wins in their last 10 overall while the Giants are rolling with seven wins in their last 10 games.
This could very well be a foreshadow of an October playoff series, so here’s a look at the three weekend matchups between the teams while examining each of the projected pitching matchups.
Friday, 10:15 PM ET – Tim Hudson (4-1, 3.83) vs. Matt Cain (1-2, 5.57)
Odds: Giants -123
The veteran Hudson has solid career splits against the Giants, going 8-4 in 17 starts with a 3.17 ERA but this year he has started off slow on the road, going 1-1 in three starts with a 5.29 ERA. Cain has been up and down so far in 2013 but he is 3-2 in six starts against the Braves with a 3.16 ERA. He has a 6.88 ERA in three home starts, but the challenge of pitching against Hudson could get him out of his funk. This could be a very good pitching matchup if both bring their A-games on Friday night in San Francisco, so don’t be surprised if the under cashes in on the betting lines.
Saturday, 4:05 PM ET – Paul Maholm (4-3, 3.09) vs. Madison Bumgarner (3-1, 2.31)
Maholm has cooled off after a very hot start to the season but he is still putting up good numbers. Against the Giants, he is 2-2 in nine career starts with a 3.43 ERA. On the road, he has been pretty good with a record of 3-2 in five starts and a 3.90 ERA.
Bumgarner was knocked around in his last outing and the Braves have been something of a nightmare for him. He is 0-3 in four career starts against them with a 4.30 ERA. At home, Bumgarner is 1-1 in four starts with a 3.60 ERA so far this season. This baseball betting matchup looks like a coin flip.
Sunday, 4:05 PM ET – Kris Medlen (1-4, 3.25) vs. Tim Lincecum (2-2, 4.75)
Medlen has been the recipient of some bad luck and poor run support this season, and he’ll need that to turn around on Sunday. He’ll take to the bump in the series finale against the Giants but he’s just 0-2 in six games (one start) with a 4.50 ERA when facing San Francisco.
Lincecum has been banged around lately – just as he was early in the 2012 season as well – but he does have a winning track record against the Braves. He’s 6-5 in 11 starts against them with a respectable 3.28 ERA. The former Cy Young winner desperately needs a solid start to get some confidence back, but he is 1-1 in three home starts with a 5.03 ERA; Medlen is 1-2 in four starts on the road with a 3.55 ERA.