Our five game winning streak was snapped last night as the Royals bullpen once again came up huge, holding the Giants scoreless over the final three innings to preserve a tense 3-2 victory and ensure the series will have to come back to Kansas City if the Giants are to win in. That lead to rampant speculation that Madison Baumgarner might get the ball tonight on short rest, but Bruce Bochy quickly laid that to rest announcing Ryan Vogelsong will get the nod.
It’s worth mentioning the Royals pen one more time. All the free agent flurries are for bats and starting pitching, but once again in the bullpen that is minting champions. And how about Brandon Finnegan?? The rookie once again came up MONEY just a mere four months after pitching for TCU in the College World Series. It’s really incredible stuff. Adding him to Frasor, Wade Davis and Kelvin Herrera and the Royals really are shortening the game to five or six innings. It’s pretty awesome to watch.
So can Vogelsong channel some more postseason magic? He’s been a fantastic playoff pitcher in his career, despite a very pedestrian regular season? Can Jason Vargas give the Royals five solid innings and hand a lead to his pen? It’s going to be an exciting Game Four – one that will quite likely swing the entire series. Let’s get back to our winning way with a Game Four winner.
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Today’s Free Pick:
World Series Game Four – @AT&T Park, San Francisco, CA
Kansas City Royals +102 at San Francisco Giants -110 (Total: 7)
Jason Vargas vs. Ryan Vogelsong
So which trend means more? The Royals are 10-1 in the postseason to have easily adopted “team of destiny” status. The Giants are 10-2 in their last 12 home playoff games and have won two World Championships in the last four years.
So what gives tonight?
There is reason for pause with Vogelsong. He is 5-10 with a gaudy 5.26 ERA on more than six days rest. He last pitched seven days ago. However, he also stood on the mound in a similarly nerve-wracking situation in the 2012 World Series and pitched his club to within a win of the series win. He has been historically tough in the postseason, though he is posting an ERA just over five this postseason (0-0 record). It’s far from a sure thing, but I think he will pitch well enough to give HIS bullpen a chance; they’ve been lost a bit in Royals-mania, but the Giants pen has been similarly lights out (Strickland excepted) dating back to the 2012 run.
The big x-factor tonight is Vargas. He’s been good in the postseason, allowing just three runs in 11.2 innings over two starts. It looks just “ok” but in truth, five innings with one allowed is all the Royals really need tonight.
This game is really a coin-flip tonight, as either team scratching out two or three runs against the starter should be enough to get it done. I’m instead going to bank on both pens shutting down the game tonight after a pair of respectable starts.
The better team value is on whoever is the underdog, in this case KC is slight plus-money, but the best bet is on the UNDER. Why try to guess which team is going to win 3-2? Let’s just bet on the collective relief corps being solid once again.