Philadelphia has its trio of aces lined up to face the San Francisco Giants in the National League Championship Series.
San Francisco Giants at Philadelphia Phillies
San Francisco defeated the Braves 3-1 in their National League Division Series and now the level of competition raises even further against the two-time defending Senior Circuit champion. The Giants are playing in the National League Championship Series for the fifth time and has logged a 2-2 series mark in their previous trips. Philadelphia’s staff may be getting all of the attention, but San Francisco’s starters finished with a 0.93 ERA in four games versus Atlanta, which was the third-lowest ERA by an NL rotation in a postseason series. The two teams split six games during the 2010 regular season with each team taking two of three games in its own ballpark. San Francisco won each of its final five road series beginning on July 5, posting the best road winning percentage in baseball with a .643 mark over that span (27-15).
Giants starting pitcher Tim Lincecum threw a complete-game shutout in Game 1 of the NLDS over the Braves and posted a 16-10 record and 3.43 ERA in 33 regular season starts. He allowed just two hits and struck out 14 in his first postseason outing and hopes to duplicate that effort this evening. “My approach on this game is the same as any other start,” Lincecum said on Friday. “Obviously it’s a big game, but I don’t want to get too over-amped.” The right-hander posted a solid 7-3 mark and 3.17 ERA in 16 road starts during the season, issuing just 30 walks and striking out 115 in 105 frames. In seven career outings versus the Phillies, he is 2-1 with a 3.17 ERA.
Philadelphia is supremely confident heading into its third-straight NLCS and everyone knows that tonight’s pitching matchup is gaining all the focus. “It’s going to be a tremendous matchup,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “You have two of the best pitchers in the game. We have all the respect for Halladay.” The Phillies offense can’t be ignored due to the club producing 772 runs during the regular season, which ranked second to Cincinnati’s 790 in the National League. Meanwhile, the Giants scored 697 runs, ninth most in the Senior Circuit. At home, Philadelphia averaged 4.89 runs a game. The club is 54-29 at home this season and the total is 37-44 Over/Under in those games.
Phillies starting pitcher Roy Halladay steps on the mound for the first time since becoming only the second pitcher in baseball history to throw a no-hitter in the postseason. “I don’t look at it as pressure,” he said. “I look at it as a challenge.” The Cy Young frontrunner produced a 21-10 record and 2.44 ERA in 33 regular season starts this year and was 12-5 with a 2.21 ERA in 18 home outings. In three career starts versus the Giants, Halladay is a winless 0-2 with a 7.23 ERA, including a 5-1 loss in San Francisco on April 26. He allowed five runs and 10 hits in seven innings of work in that contest.
Bettors will be interested in playing the Giants due to their 35-21 mark when the total is 7 or less in a game, while the Phillies combat that record with a 10-6 mark of their own.