Is anyone really surprised to see the Philadelphia Phillies? They’ve been to the final dance the last 2 years and certainly have a lineup that could see them back there for a third straight year. For the Giants it’s been 8 years since making it this far into the season. The season series between these 2 clubs was split right down the middle, 3-3. Each club won 2 of 3 at home. In April, Giants ace Tim Lincecum earned a no-decision while the Phillies ace Roy Halladay was tagged for 5 runs on 10 hits earlier in the series. However, as anyone who knows sports will tell you, stats go out the window when it comes to playoffs.
If there was going to be a series that showcased pitching this post-season, this would be it. When you take a look at each team’s top 3 starters they go like this: for the Phillies it’s Halladay, Oswalt, Hamels and for the Giants it’s Lincecum, Cain, Sanchez. Halladay was certainly magical against the Reds in his post-season debut, but how will he fare against the Giants? In his career he is 0-2 and has an ERA of 7.23 in just 3 starts. It was also the Giants who gave him his first loss in the NL. The other story in the Phillies pitching staff will be Roy Oswalt. In the NLDS he gave up 4 runs on 5 hits in just 5 innings of work during game 2. Oswalt also has a losing record when it comes to the Giants (6-8, 3.61 ERA). Lincecum is the Giants answer to Roy Halladay. His post-season debut featured a 2 hit shutout and he set a record for most strikeouts in the first post season start in a career. His record against the Phillies is 2-1 in seven starts with a 3.17 ERA. The other matchups (Oswalt-Cain, Hamels-Sanchez) also feature amazing pitching matchups. Hamels threw his own shutout to close out the Reds and Sanchez knocked off 11 Braves in game 3 of the NLDS. Pitching will ultimately be the deciding factor in this series.
The offense isn’t even comparable in this series. The Phillies have a veteran laden lineup and the stats prove it. These are guys who have been to the finals and know how to get it done with the game on the line. They had the highest scoring offense in the National League after the all-star break, so despite hitting .212 in the NLDS, you know the bats are going to come around. San Francisco, on the other hand, has struggled throughout this campaign. When they have runners in scoring position, they ranked 24th in batting in the entire major leagues. That’s an important stat if teams hope to have any success in the post-season. Combine that with the fact that they only have 1 regular playing (Carlos Ruiz) and this could be a lopsided series.
Series Betting Odds
We have checked out the odds from each of the top sportsbooks online and these are the most favourable lines for the bettor:
San Francisco Giants: +210 (Bodog.com)
Philadelphia Phillies: -245 (Bookmaker.com)
As I said in the first round, the Phillies are the complete package. They have all-star pitching and they have all-star offense. In my opinion, the series will be decided by the Phillies offense. If they can break out like they are capable of then this series will be lopsided and over fast. I’m taking the Phillies in a sweep (4 games).
Series Prediction: Philadelphia Phillies -245
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Written by: Allan Etmanski