While it seems ‘expensive,’ at first glance, given the fact that Lincecum is on the mound, I believe that the current price on the Giants is quite fair.
The Giants’ ace has been ‘doing his thing,’ again this season. He’s already 3-0 with a spectacular 0.90 ERA and 0.80 WHIP. Through 20 innings, he’s allowed just two runs. Over that stretch, he’s recorded an impressive 24 K’s while walking only three.
The Cardinals’ Jaime Garcia is also off to a very impressive start. In fact, through two starts, he’s gone 1-0 with a 0.69 ERA. However, while the Giants are 3-0 in Lincecum’s starts, the Cards are just 1-1 in Garcia’s. Also, his 10 K’s and five walks, through 13 innings, isn’t nearly as dominant as Lincecum’s 24 to 3 K/W ratio. Of course, Lincecum’s been dominating like this, since he came into the league. Garcia’s “sample size” is much smaller. (Garcia is a rookie, Lincecum’s 2.55 ERA since the beginning of 2008 is the lowest in the major leagues.)
Regarding the “steep price,” note the Giants have actually fared very well as favorites in this range – due in no small part to Lincecum. They’re 15-7 (+3.4) the past couple of seasons, as home favorites in the -150 to -175 range. Looking back further and we find them at a profitable 141-71 (+26.8) their last 200+ in that situation.
On the other hand, during the same stretch, the Cards are a money-burning 32-63 (-12.4) as road underdogs in the +150 to +175 range. That includes a 5-10 (-2) mark in that role the past couple of seasons.
With Lincecum boasting a 4-0 record (1.61 ERA, 0.964 WHIP!) in four starts vs. St. Louis, (last time he faced them he threw a complete-game 2-hit shutout!) consider laying the wood.