St. Louis can return to the World Series tonight with a win over San Francisco in Game 5 of the NLCS.
The odds say they will, up 3-1 in the series, and seemingly charmed in the playoffs the past few seasons.
San Francisco puts its faith in starter Barry Zito to earn a win and boost his personal mark of 15-8 and send the series back to SF. Getting the ball for the Cardinals is Lance Lynn, who owns a 17-5 record on the season with a 3.81 ERA. [ Watch for opening Game 5 lines at BetOnline this morning ]
The Odds Shark MLB Power Rankings have the Cardinals at No. 4 in the National League and the Giants at No. 1 in the National League heading into this contest.
How They Match Up:
On offense, it's a battle between St. Louis and its National League No. 2-rated batting order, averaging 4.7 runs per nine innings, against the National League's No. 6 lineup of the Giants at 4.4 runs per outing.
St. Louis owns the National League's No. 5 defense, allowing 4 men per game to cross the plate. That contrasts with San Francisco's National League No. 6-rated defense.
Last time out for San Francisco, they were an 8-3 loser as they battled the Cardinals on the road. Moneyline bettors who got the Cardinals at -133 were rewarded, while the 11 combined runs moved the game OVER for totals bettors. San Francisco suffered an 8-3 loss against St. Louis on Thursday, as Tim Lincecum wasn't able to lead his team to victory at Busch Stadium.
San Francisco Giants Trends:
When playing on Friday are 5-5
Before playing St. Louis are 5-5
After playing St. Louis are 6-4
After a loss are 6-4
St. Louis Cardinals Trends:
When playing on Friday are 4-6
Before playing San Francisco are 7-3
After playing San Francisco are 4-6
After a win are 5-5
A few Giants at Cardinals trends to consider:
The total has gone OVER in 5 of San Francisco's last 6 games
San Francisco is 17-8 SU in its last 25 games on the road
The total has gone OVER in 4 of San Francisco's last 6 games when playing St. Louis
San Francisco is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games when playing on the road against St. Louis
St. Louis is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone OVER in 4 of St. Louis' last 5 games
St. Louis is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games at home
St. Louis is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing San Francisco
San Francisco home to St. Louis, Sunday, October 21