It was a nice double header that yielded a pair of dramatic one run wins for me, so selfishly, good day. Overall for baseball, another ridiculously thrilling day and the only downsides if you are MLB is that both playoff games were on cable (and the first game, a great one, on the lightly covered Fox 1) and the fact that the Royals win likely means a shortened ALCS series.
The Giants once again scored in a wacky way late in a tense ball game. In Game Two it was a two-base wild pitch to score the tying run from second. Last night it was an errant Cardinal throw on a sacrifice bunt. I don’t like using luck or karma or fate as a wagering analysis tool, but something interesting is going on with these Giants and it has been for several postseasons now. Likewise for the Royals. How else do you explain a team winning seven straight playoff games with six of the wins coming in extra innings or by a single run? Whether there is any scientific merit to it or not, it is hard to deny they look like the team of destiny…
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Today’s Free Pick:
National League Championship Series – Game Four @ San Francisco, CA
St. Louis Cardinals +102 vs. San Francisco Giants -112 (Total: 7)
Shelby Miller vs. Ryan Vogelsong
I read somewhere where they were describing Vogelsong as the “anti-Kershaw” in reference to the rapid flip-flopping of their regular season vs. postseason results. That feels a little hyperbolic, but it is fair to note how money Vogelsong has been in the postseason after a some lackluster regular seasons. The Giants are 5-0 in Vogelsong’s postseason starts spanning 2012 and this postseason and he is 3-0 with a 1.19 ERA in those games. He has been a reliable stopper in the postseason, even as the third or fourth option in the rotation.
The big question is what Vogelsong vs. Cards result we will get today. He beat them in Game 2 and 6 last year, but since then is 0-2 with a 5.39 ERA against the redbirds, who will be desperate for a win today to avoid falling in a 3-1 series hole.
Shelby Miller, like seemingly all Cardinals, has been good in his pressure packed postseason moments. He left the Dodger game down 2-0 (a solid outing) but was gotten off the hook with Matt Adams’ historic blast. I expect him to once again handle the pressure well tonight, but worry about the possible lack of Molina behind the plate.
It feels like the Cards always come up big in these spots, and it is always possible with this club, but I like the Giants middle of the order over a Molina-less Cardinals. I’ll roll with the home team and keep banking on the G-Men.