The San Francisco Giants (45-35) and Washington Nationals (45-32) will open up a three-game National League series on Tuesday night at Nationals Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 6:35 ET

San Francisco Giants at Washington Nationals

San Francisco Giants SP Tim Lincecum is starting to turn around his 2012 season

San Francisco finished its recent seven-game homestand with a 5-2 record, which includes a split of its four-game series against the Cincinnati Reds.  The Giants are currently leading the NL West division due to the Los Angeles Dodgers free fall in the standings, with the club being led by the strong play of catcher Buster Posey.  He was recently named the starting catcher for the 2012 All-Star Game, hitting .303 with a team-leading 10 home runs and 42 RBIs.  San Francisco has won its last six series openers.

Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum (3-8, 5.60 ERA) has started to turn his 2012 MLB campaign around, leading the club to wins in his last two efforts, including a 3-0 home win over the Los Angeles Dodgers.  The right-hander is 1-4 with a 7.59 ERA in eight road outings, issuing 21 walks and picking up 53 strikeouts in 40.1 innings.  In six career starts versus the Nationals, Lincecum has tallied a 1-2 record and 4.14 ERA.

Washington has alternated wins and losses over its last five games, as it returns home from a long 10-game road trip.  The Nationals have been led at the plate by third baseman Ryan Zimmerman, batting .378 with three home runs and 13 RBIs over his last eight games.  The club won three of four meetings on this field in 2011, which was much better than its 2-8 mark in the previous 10 contests.  Washington is 7-2 in its last nine games as a home favorite of -110 to -150.

Nationals starting pitcher Jordan Zimmerman (4-6, 2.77 ERA) picked up his first victory since May 22 in his last effort, earning an 11-5 road win over the Colorado Rockies, giving up one run and eight hits over seven frames.  The right-hander is 0-3 with a 3.25 ERA in seven home outings, issuing 11 walks and striking out 30 batters in 44.1 combined innings.  In four lifetime starts versus the Giants, Zimmerman has posted a 2-1 record and 3.60 ERA, failing to serve up a home run in 25 innings.

Bettors will likely back the Nationals due to their 20-8 record as a home favorite, while the Giants are 2-9 in Lincecum’s last 11 road efforts.

Pick: Washington Nationals -125

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