MLB Odds Update on The Giants, Lincecum, the Trade & Title
If you are diehard baseball fan, and I don’t mean those wishy-washy Marlins that often have countless empty seats in their stadium in South Florida, then you always stick with your team and its players, whether they are doing well or badly in the MLB betting lines, kind of like what real people do in marriage. And that’s why, as a San Francisco fan, it saddens me how some born-yesterday fans have been soiling Tim Lincecum’s name, going as far as celebrating the recent reports about his hip injuries.
A Look at the MLB Odds Update on The Giants, Lincecum, the Trade & Title
— USA TODAY Sports (@USATODAYsports) July 30, 2015
Now, I am not going to stand here with my words trying to say that Lincecum’ performance over the recent years have been good, I fully concur that the star pitcher has regressed mightily, with his numbers dwarfing the tall reputation he’d built in the early parts of his MLB career.
Lincecum—The Latest Update
I mean, this is a guy who turned in an impressive rookie year in 2007, and then followed it with back-to-back Cy Young awards in 2008 and 2009. Not to mention, he went to four back-to-back All-Star games from 2008 to 2011, including a solid showing in 2010 that helped San Francisco to win the World Series that year. At that time, Tim Lincecum was a darling to San Francisco fans and a hot commodity to bettors, as his electrifying performances on the mound was like a near-guarantee for victories.
Come 2012, the University of Washington graduate changed, and not for the better. After a rough start to the season, his inefficiency grew as the year progressed. At the end of the season, his ERA had jumped to 5.18, his fastball velocity had plummeted from 94 MPH to 90 MPH, and his walk rate was alarmingly bad. As a consolation, though, the Giants won the World Series that year, of course with no thanks to Lincecum, who was mainly used as a reliever.
2013 and 2014 saw him continue with his regressed performances, despite the Giants going on to win the 2014 World Series championship. 2015 started somewhat decently for him, but then again, his funky form came back, tagged along with injuries. Since late June, he was placed on the disabled list with a bruised forearm, and just when we thought he’d get a break from all that, a meeting a with a hip specialist in late July revealed that Lincecum had degenerative issues in both hips.
According to most experts, it is probably because of his hip problems that there has been a decline in his throwing velocity and his general down-surging performance. With a record of 7-4, 4.13 ERA, 38 BB and 60 SO in 15 starts this year, it probably makes sense why the 8th-year pitcher has struggled in the recent past.
As per latest reports, the Bellevue, Washington native will continue to get rest and undergo rehab, hoping that will be able to solve the issue. If not, Lincecum’s hips may (God forbid) have to be surgically repaired, which could see him miss a lot of game-time, maybe even bring an end to his career. That begs the question, does that mean we have seen the last of Lincecum? Speaking for myself, I certainly hope not. But from a medical perspective, calling it quits to his career could be a possibility if the surgery doesn’t help. For the sake of the Giants who could use some veteran pitching help for the remaining length of the season, this could be a big blow, so let’s just hope all goes well for the right-handed starter.
Trade Deadline, NL West Title Contention and the Playoffs
After being rumored and linked with several prospects in the league, the Giants only had one addition in the MLB Trade Deadline in the name of Mike Leake. Undeniably, Leake is a good talent and his presence will enhance the middle of the rotation. But with the team still having a few other needs in the bullpen, and the Dodgers (who lead the NL West, half-a-game ahead of the Giants) having made some really good additions on Trade Deadline; the Giants could have a very tough time in their bid to win the divisional title or even challenge for their fourth World Championship title in six years.
Fortunately, though, Madison Bumgarner and Chris Heston have shown that they have enough talent between them to stick it out against anybody, while the offense has done pretty well so far, despite the exit of Pablo Sandoval and Co. Add that to solid San Francisco management and the team’s motivation from winning World Series titles in 2010, 2012 and 2014, you get a baseball Giant that is not only able to win the NL West title, but is also able to step its way into the playoffs and impress like it has evidently done in dominant fashion over the recent years.