Cardinals at Giants – Free Pick NLCS Game Six

St. Louis Cardinals +116 at San Francisco Giants -121 (Total: 7)

Chris Carpenter vs. Ryan Vogelsong

The Giants won a record-tying fourth game when facing elimination in one postseason to bring the series back to the Bay, needing only to win twice with their two best starters on the mound to advance to the World Series.  It won’t be an easy task to say the least, but not quite as improbable as it looked when they were staring at a 3-1 deficit.

The Cardinals certainly won’t be easy to kill; they are no strangers to the hire-wire act of postseason baseball.  This is a team that has been down to their final strike three times in the past two seasons and hasn’t capitulated yet.  So can Carpenter close the deal tonight on the road or will Vogelsong show the form that had him leading the majors in ERA heading into the All Star break?   Let’s take a look at some numbers and trends and find a winning edge in tonight’s crucial Game Six.

Vogelsong had a rough stretch in the middle of the season, but has rebounded nicely and has looked fantastic in the postseason.  Over his last three starts he is 1-0 with a 1.06 ERA and microscopic 0.88 WHIP.  That’s fantastic at any point in the season, but to do it in the postseason is incredibly impressive.  Tonight he gets the ball at home in pitcher-friendly AT&T Park.

The Cardinals will counter with big-game veteran Chris Carpenter.  He missed most of the season with injury but has shown signs of being the Chris Carpenter of old in recent outings.  However, he has only lasted to the sixth three times in six starts and in his other three he went between four and five innings.  He hasn’t allowed a ton of runs, but he hasn’t exactly been dominating either.  He has an ERA right around 3.00 – again, good, not great.

He is going to need to be great tonight.  The magic that everyone attributes to the Cardinals also seems to reside with the Giants as well.  Their bats have come alive in the last few games, and  expect their previously-slumping middle of the order; Sandoval, Posey and Pence, to deliver tonight in Game Six.  The Cardinal bullpen, which has been fantastic, got a much needed day of rest yesterday so everyone should be available and fresh.  I see a low scoring game, with the Giants getting a few runs early and holding on for a tense, thrilling, Game Seven-forcing victory.  I know Sunday is football day/night, but this game is going to be a thrilling watch – guess I’ll need to use the picture-in-picture tonight!

Free Pick: San Francisco Giants to WIN -121 & Run TOTAL UNDER 7 (-110)

Chris Scheeren / Author