Fan’s Preview: Can San Francisco Giants Maintain NL West Lead Over Los Angeles Dodgers with Tim Lincecum on Mound?

Yahoo Contributor Network

In a very important series at Dodger Stadium, the San Francisco Giants pulled ahead in the standings with a 2-1 win over Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Relying on Madison Bumgarner's eight scoreless innings and Pablo Sandoval's two RBIs, the Giants have regained the NL West lead after defeating Kershaw, who has a career 1.39 ERA, 0.89 WHIP, and .190 batting average allowed against San Francisco.

From one of the toughest possible opposing pitching matchups to a much easier one, the Giants will face Joe Blanton. In his three starts with the Dodgers, he has pitched horribly, going 0-2 with an 8.22 ERA. With Blanton still struggling to find his stride with the Dodgers, the Giants can possibly capitalize on his struggles and earn the series victory with another win.

For Tim Lincecum, he'll look to get back on track after losing his last two starts against the Colorado Rockies and Washington Nationals. Going 0-3 with a 4.18 ERA in his last four starts at Los Angeles, he'll need to not get beat by Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, and Hanley Ramirez if he wants to last long in this very important start.

Matchup:

The San Francisco Giants will visit the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium located in Los Angeles, CA on Tuesday, August 21, 2012 at 7:10 p.m. PT. This will be the second game in a three-game series.

Season series:

Season series tied 5-5.

Standings:

San Francisco comes into the matchup with a 67-55 record and in first place in the National League West. They are 32-29 when playing on the road and have won six of their last 10 games.

Los Angeles enters the game with a 67-56 record and in second place in the National League West. They are 33-26 when playing at home and have won six of their last 10 games.

Starting pitcher matchup:

San Francisco: Tim Lincecum

2012 season: 6-13, 5.45 ERA, 1.50 WHIP, 147 Ks

Numbers vs. Dodgers in last five years: 5-4, 2.85 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 93 Ks

Los Angeles: Joe Blanton

2012 season: 8-11, 4.96 ERA, 1.24 WHIP, 127 Ks

Numbers vs. Giants in last five years: 1-2, 5.71 ERA, 1.38 WHIP, 15 Ks

Where to watch and listen to the game:

The game can be watched live locally at the following:

In San Francisco: CSN-BA HD & KNBR 680

In Los Angeles: KCAL, 570 Fox Sports L.A., & KTNQ 1020

Lineups:

San Francisco: CF Angel Pagan, 2B Marco Scutaro, 3B Pablo Sandoval, 1B Buster Posey, RF Hunter Pence, C Hector Sanchez, LF Gregor Blanco, SS Brandon Crawford, P Tim Lincecum

Los Angeles: LF Shane Victorino, 2B Adam Kennedy, CF Matt Kemp, RF Andre Ethier, SS Hanley Ramirez, 1B James Loney, 3B Luis Cruz, C A.J. Ellis, P Joe Blanton

Sources:

Lincecum, Blanton meet as rivals vie for upper hand, MLB.com

Giants-Dodgers Preview, AP

Clayton Kershaw Career Split Stats, Yahoo! Sports

Giants lineup: Sanchez catching Lincecum, CSN Bay Area

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Austin Chang is a lifelong San Francisco Bay Area native, baseball fan, and supporter of the San Francisco Giants. Follow this Featured Contributor on Google+ and Twitter @_austinchang.

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