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Submitted by Jim Hurley on Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at 7:00 AM

When Tim Lincecum takes the mound Wednesday Night for the San Francisco Giants against their rival the Los Angeles Dodgers, handicappers will have to think long and hard about whether or not he offers underdog value against flamethrower Clayton Kershaw.

It’s odd to think of Lincecum in that light given how dynamic his career was just a few years ago. He was an annual Cy Young candidate. He was a young star helping to bring a new fan base to a sport that had been skewing older for years. Last year Lincecum hit a wall.

2008: 2.62 ERA, 1.17 WHIP

2009: 2.48 ERA, 1.05 WHIP

2010: 3.43 ERA, 1.27 WHIP

2011: 2.74 ERA, 1.21 WHIP

2012: 5.18 ERA, 1.47 WHIP

Lincecum started 32-33 games in all five of those seasons, so we have very stable rotation patterns. A little blip in 2012 didn’t seem like much at the time. 2012 wasn’t a blip. It was a fall from great to unacceptable.

This season, he’s been so inconsistent that you don’t know whether he’s bouncing back or continuing a flameout.


APRIL: 3.64 ERA, 1.35 WHIP, Giants 4-1 in his starts

Those aren’t Cy Young numbers by any means…but you can make a lot of money as a player and earn a lot of wins for a good team with an ERA in the mid 3’s. The Giants would take THAT for a full season after what they endured in 2012. Bettors hoping for a bounce-back cashed 80% of their April tickets.


MAY: 6.37 ERA, 1.59 WHIP, Giants 2-4 in his starts

Disaster. He really only had one good outing. Backers were lucky to survive a 9-6 victory where Timmy allowed five earned runs in five innings at Arizona. Obviously you can’t stay in a rotation with those kinds of numbers. The enthusiasm from April was gone. San Francisco was 6-5 in Lincecum’s first 11 starts…but he clearly was trending in the wrong direction.


JUNE (so far): 2.92 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, Giants 1-3 in his starts

So much for trends! This is great stuff. A lack of run support kept backers out of the winner’s circle. But, you can clearly see a return to form (at least temporarily). Note that he dominated a Toronto team that got hot in June, and also shut down playoff contenders Atlanta and Pittsburgh. THIS is what everyone was hoping to see.

What does that mean heading into Wednesday’s battle with Kershaw? Is Lincecum now back on track to a great career? Is he going to bring ace caliber stuff most every time he takes the mound? Or, are we just dealing with the same yo-yo that keeps breaking everyone’s hearts just when they start to get some confidence.

Obviously “recent” Lincecum is a smart bet at a value price against Kershaw. But, “May” Lincecum would get crushed...knocked out before any drama could develop. If you see that NETWORK has made a play in this's because we’re confident of our read on “which” Lincecum is going to show up at Chavez Ravine.

JIM HURLEY understands that pitching dynamics are the key to a successful baseball handicapping program. He talks with his SCOUTS and SOURCES to get news on adjustments to mound mechanics and health. He works with his STAT HANDICAPPERS to look for patterns in the numbers that tell you what’s most likely to happen THAT NIGHT. His COMPUTER PROGRAMMERS run simulations to account for every possibility (while also accounting for the home plate umpire when his name is known in advance). And, his WISE GUY CONNECTIONS in Las Vegas and offshore let him know what the smart money is doing.

That allows JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK to attack the board (day and night on schedules like we see Wednesday) to find the best betting options for YOU and other Las Vegas bettors. You can purchase game day releases right here at the website with your credit card. If you have any questions, call us in the office at 1-800-323-4453. Be sure to check on early-bird football rates when you call!

Back with you Thursday with what will likely be a preview of the Toronto Blue Jays/Boston Red Sox series. Friday brings a few possibilities for spotlight coverage, including Cincinnati at Texas, St. Louis at Oakland, Detroit at Tampa Bay, and NY Yankees at Baltimore. It’s a great week in the bases!

Don’t sit on the sidelines waiting for football to get here. GET IN THE GAME with DIAMOND DELIGHTS seven days a week from JIM HURLEY’S NETWORK!

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