MLB Predictions 2012: Atlanta Braves vs. San Francisco Giants

The Atlanta Braves (71-54) and San Francisco Giants (70-55) will continue their four-game National League series on Friday night at AT&T Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 10:15 ET

Atlanta Braves at San Francisco Giants 

San Francisco Giants C Buster Posey hopes to return to the lineup on Friday night

Atlanta travelled across the country and suffered a 5-2 series-opening loss to San Francisco on Thursday night, as the club has now dropped five of its last six games.  “We weren’t very good,” commented Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez.  The Braves are still clinging to the NL’s first wild-card spot, but need to get some production from their leadoff hitter.  Outfielder Michael Bourn is just 1-for-12 on the trip with one run and three walks.  Atlanta is 8-7 as a road underdog of +100 to +125, with the “under” going 7-6 in those contests.

Braves starting pitcher Ben Sheets (4-3, 3.07 ERA) has suffered back-to-back losses to the New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers, serving up five home runs in 12 combined innings.  The right-hander is 2-1 with a 2.33 ERA in three road efforts, issuing five walks and striking out 11 batters in 19.1 frames.  In 10 career starts versus the Giants, Sheets has tallied a 4-3 record and 2.34 ERA, including an 0-2 mark and 4.24 ERA in three outings at this ballpark.

San Francisco has stretched its lead to three games over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL West standings, as the starting rotation has compiled a 1.26 ERA over the team’s current four-game win streak.  The Giants are hoping that All-Star catcher Buster Posey will return to the lineup, sitting out the last two games with tightness in his right hamstring, as he’s leading all MLB catchers with a .327 average this year.  San Francisco is 7-5 at home with a money line of -100 to -125, with the “under” going 7-5 in those contests.

Giants starting pitcher Ryan Vogelsong (10-7, 2.85 ERA) has suffered back-to-back losses, allowing 11 runs and 17 hits in 5.2 combined innings against the Washington Nationals and San Diego Padres.  The right-hander is 5-4 with a 2.29 ERA in 12 home outings, surrendering just four home runs in 78.2 combined frames.  in two career appearances (one start) against the Braves, Vogelsong has yet to earn a decision, while allowing one run and six hits over 9.1 innings.

Sports bettors will likely back the Braves due to their 13-4 record on the road against right-handed starters, while the Giants are 1-4 in their last five home games in this series.

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