MLB playoffs: St Louis Cardinals @ San Francisco Giants
Game 2 of the NLCS will feature a matchup of starting pitchers Chris Carpenter and Ryan Vogelsong, who each started his team’s Division Series Game 3. Carpenter, threw 5⅔ innings against the Washington Nationals. He scattered seven hits and two walks, but did not allow a run. Meanwhile Vogelsong threw five innings against the Cincinnati Reds, surrendering three hits, three walks and a single run.
No team has ever come back from losing the first two games at home to win a league championship series (the Yankees are already staring that fact in the face this year), so winning this game becomes vitally important for the Giants.
We thought that home advantage could be a factor in this series, and the Giants who are now 0-3 in the post-season at home keep reeling. The point is there are just two guys from the visiting team that feel at home all the same in San Francisco. One is the Cardinals’ manager, Mike Matheny. He’s 42 and at his first experience in the job, but he has retired with the Giants no less than six years ago. The other one is Daniel Descalso, who normally spends his off-season in the Marina neighbourhood in SF. They both know a lot about the franchise and this could work out in their favour.
Statistically, the Cardinals are 8-3 away from home in their last two years, while the Giants haven’t led in one of the 27 innings played at home in the post-season, and also have allowed their opponents to score first in all three defeats this month. Lately, this could be also due to Giants first coach Roberto Kelly missing out through injury to the back of his head. The bullpens were both great last night with 11 relieving pitchers allowing just two hits over the final 5 1/3 innings, but Cards’ Chris Carpenter (who is 10-2 with a 2.88 ERA in 16 starts in the post-season) and Giants’ Ryan Vogelsong (who has a 2.86 ERA at home) are starting tonight and this should make things tighter at the beginning. Finally, Vogelsong’s team-mates in the batting order are finding it harder instead, with a 0.165 average.
This all points to a Cardinals win at +105 and a second 2-0 lead in the MLB playoff standings.
The World Series gets underway on October the 24th and the Yankees have gone from +300 favourites three days ago, to +1000 outsiders, after losing the first two in the ALCS series final. Detroit are the new favourites for the World Series, just ahead of St Louis.
World Series 2012 outright odds:
Detroit Tigers +120
St. Louis Cardinals +175
San Francisco Giants +425
New York Yankees +1000
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