2014 NLCS Game 4 Giants vs. Cardinals 10/15/14
St. Louis Cardinals (90-72) at San Francisco Giants (88-74)
MLB Baseball: Wednesday
Shelby Miller (R) (10-9) (3.741) vs. Ryan Vogelsong (R) (8-13) (3.830)
The Line: San Francisco Giants -120 / St. Louis Cardinals +110 --- Over/Under: 7 See the Latest Odds
The San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals meet for game four of their NLCS series on Wednesday night with the Giants holding a 2-1 series lead.
The St. Louis Cardinals fell 5-4 on Tuesday afternoon as starting pitcher John Lackey dug the team a 4-0 hole in the first inning that the resilient Cardinals managed to overcome before falling in extra innings on a throwing error by reliever Randy Choate. The Cardinals outhit the Giants 9-6 in the loss as John Jay had three hits and scored twice to continue a stellar postseason, Kolten Wong had a double and two-run triple and Randal Grichuk hit his second playoff home run. A.J. Pierzynski went 0-4 filling in for the injured Yadier Molina and might be partially responsible for John Lackey throwing only fastballs in every at bat prior to walking the bases loaded in the opening frame, and then on the first pitch of the next at bat as well when the veteran allowed a bases-clearing double.
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The Cardinals will look to bounce back against a team they know extremely well as 24 year old right hander Shelby Miller takes the mound on Wednesday. Miller pitched 5.2 innings while allowing two runs on five hits while walking three and striking out four against the Dodgers. For the regular season Miller had a WHIP of 1.27 and ERA of 3.74 while posting a record of 10-9. Miller struggled away from home with a 4.14 ERA while conceding 15 home runs over 15 road starts. Miller didn’t face the Giants this year but he should catch a break with his tendency to give up home runs as the Giants have only hit two this postseason and the swirling winds by the bay make it difficult to hit balls out.
The San Francisco Giants didn’t make things look pretty on Tuesday night as they only had a single base runner (pitcher Tim Hudson) between scoring four runs in the first inning and walking off in the tenth, but nonetheless they managed to manufacture a run in signature fashion as Gregor Blanco laid down a great bunt and really forced the Cardinals to make a play. The Giants had six hits in the win as Travis Ishikawa had a three run double, Hunter Pence had an RBI double, and Buster Posey and Pablo Sandoval each had hits. Tim Hudson conceded all four of the runs the Giants allowed as the bullpen stepped up and Bruce Bochy effectively played the matchup game.
The Giants will turn to veteran right hander Ryan Vogelsong on Wednesday in hopes that he continues his strong postseason form. Vogelsong pitched 5.2 innings while allowing a run on two hits while walking two and striking out four as the Giants beat the Nationals on October 7th. For the season Vogelsong had a WHIP of 1.28 and ERA of 4.00 while posting a record of 8-13. While those numbers won’t wow anyone Vogelsong appears to have a different gear in postseason play having allowed one or fewer runs in each of his last postseason starts. The Cardinals are batting .333 as a team against Vogelsong over 105 career at bats but the veteran has limited the damage with only four of those 33 hits going for extra bases.
Vogelsong just seems to thrive in the postseason so I will take my chances with the Giants here, but don’t expect a cake walk with two teams that know how to battle and managers who excel at playing chess matches. Personally I will be looking to play the live moneylines on either team trailing as we've seen some real value panning out with that strategy in the past two games, enabling you to book plus odds on both postiions and guarantee a pay day with either team winning. Follow me on Twitter for in-game updates.