This will be the Braves first ever postseason appearance as the Wild Card team. The reason why they got the Wild Card and not the East division title was because they literally stumbled in going 14-16 in both September and October. In fact they didn't clinch the Wild Card till the last day of the season. The Giants on the other hand come in hot. They went 19-10 over the last month and their pitching was incredible. A staff ERA of 1.78 for the month of September. Both of these teams won't score a lot because their lineups are shit in terms of the rest of the playoff teams.
The Braves took the season series 4-3. The only problem is those wins came when the Braves had Martin Prado, Chipper Jones and at the time a torching hot Troy Glaus in the lineup. Now the Braves have none of these guys. They expect and need big contributions from Brian McCann, Derek Lee, and Jason Heyward. If those three bats don't produce in this series then the Braves could easily get swept.
Here is what I think will happen. Derek Lowe gets the start tonight against The Freak Tim Lincecum. The pressure is all on the Giants to win this first game with their ace and two time reigning Cy Young winner on the hill. The Braves can hit Lincecum. I've seen it live and up close at the Ted. Lowe has been incredible for the past 6 weeks and even won NL Pitcher of the Month honors in September. If Lowe wasn't on top of his game the Braves wouldn't have made the playoffs. He makes the big bucks and tonight is a great time for him to step up and continue his incredible streak. The Braves win tonight. I'm going to say 4-3.
With that being said I think this series goes 5 games. They split the first two in San Fran and also split at The Ted. It comes down to the 5th game and whoever has the better pitcher. Will the Giants rush Lincecum to pitch in game 4 or will they save him for game 5? Depends on the situation. The Braves will most certainly pitch Tommy Hanson which both excites me and scares me. Hanson is either really on or really off this season. Plus the Braves never score runs for him. I'm going to say the Giants send Lincecum for game 4 and then bring back Matt Cain in game 5 in San Fran. I hate to go against my home team but the Braves have been shit all year on the road. I hope they can win it for Bobby Cox because my heart wants to believe these guys are playing for him but then my head says the Giants have a better team right now.
Prediction: Giants in 5