NLDS Game 1 Preview: Braves at Giants

LincecumLoweStatistically speaking, Game 1 of the NLDS between the San Francisco Giants and Atlanta Braves should be low scoring.

Not only were the Giants and Braves first and third, respectively, in the National League in ERA, but Thursday’s starting pitchers have had tremendous success in AT&T Park against the opposition.

Tim Lincecum is 6-2 with a 2.89 ERA in his career against the Atlanta Braves, but at home he’s 4-0 in four starts with a 1.86 ERA and a 1.03 WHIP against Atlanta. A total of 24 runs (6.0 per game) were scored between the two teams in those four games.

Lincecum has also pitched well down the stretch, going 5-1 with a 1.94 ERA in the month of September.

Lowest NL ERA This Season

Lincecum’s counterpart, Derek Lowe, has enjoyed similar success. In eight road starts against the Giants, Lowe is 5-1 with a 1.98 ERA. As good as Lincecum was in September, Lowe was even better: 5-0 in five starts with a 1.10 ERA.

From the Elias Sports Bureau: The Giants hit .197 against Atlanta this season, their lowest average against any opponent this season. Only three other teams in major-league history had a regular-season batting average under .200 against a team they faced in that season's playoffs. Interestingly enough, all three teams went on to win their postseason series. The last was the 2005 Houston Astros, who hit .175 against the Braves during the regular season before beating Atlanta in four games in the NLDS.

Dana DeMuth will be behind the plate tonight, and Lowe and Lincecum have had varying degrees of success with DeMuth calling balls and strikes. In two career starts (12 IP), Lowe is 2-0 with a 4.50 ERA, five strikeouts and four walks. Lincecum has made four starts, going 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA, and 31 strikeouts against eight walks, while averaging less than six innings per start.