MLB Predictions 2012: San Francisco Giants vs. Atlanta Braves

The San Francisco Giants (49-40) and Atlanta Braves (49-39) are set to open up a National League series on Tuesday night at Turner Field, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:10 ET

San Francisco Giants at Atlanta Braves 

San Francisco Giants SP Barry Zito has enjoyed success pitching at Turner Field

San Francisco earned a three-game sweep of the Houston Astros at home coming out of the All-Star break, as the club sits atop the NL West standings heading into a new week.  The Giants lineup has really come together over the course of the year, with catcher Buster Posey coming off a 3 for 4 performance in Sunday’s 3-2 victory.  He went 5-for-10 with four RBIs in this series since returning from the Midsummer Classic in Kansas City.  San Francisco is 4-1 on the road when the total is 9 to 9.5, with the “under” going 3-2 in those contests.

Giants starting pitcher Barry Zito (7-6, 4.01 ERA) has watched the club alternate wins and losses over the last four games, coming off a 6-5 road win over the Pittsburgh Pirates last time out.  The left-hander is 3-3 with a 5.19 ERA in eight road outings, issuing 22 walks and striking out 25 batters in 43.1 combined frames.  In five career starts versus the Braves, Zito has compiled a 3-1 record and 2.45 ERA, limiting opposing hitters to a .184 batting average.

Atlanta is coming off a sweep of its own against the New York Mets, as it will try to push its winning streak to eight games.  The Braves have been led by first baseman Freddie Freeman offensively, hitting .462 over the course of the team’s winning streak, while veteran third baseman Chipper Jones continues to contribute when in the lineup.  Closer Craig Kimbrel has sealed the deal in his last 19 save opportunities, with opponents hitting just .073 against him over the last 25 games.  Atlanta is 7-1 after enjoying an off day this year.

Braves starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens (3-2, 4.97 ERA) has really turned around his season over the last four starts, leading the club to three victories in that span.  The right-hander is 1-0 with a 5.03 ERA in four home outings, but is allowing hitters to bat .345 against him, issuing nine walks and striking out seven batters in 19.2 frames.  In five career starts versus the Giants, Jurrjens has compiled a 2-3 record and 3.58 ERA.

Bettors will likely back the Giants due to their 5-0 mark in Zito’s last five starts with a total set at 9.0 to 10.5, while the Braves are 1-4 in their last five home games in that situation.

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