Greinke-Garcia duel in NLCS Game 5
at ST. LOUIS CARDINALS
NLCS Game 5 - Series tied 2-2
First pitch: Friday, 8:05 p.m. EDT
Line: St. Louis -125, Milwaukee +115, Total: 7.5
The Cards have one more chance to take advantage of the Brewers’ ineptitude on the road when they host Milwaukee for Game 5 of the NLCS on Friday night.
St. Louis will have the right pitcher on the mound. Jaime Garcia has been outstanding in Busch Stadium throughout his career, where he’s 16-9 with a 2.37 ERA over 31 career regular-season starts. Meanwhile, Brewers Game 5 starter Zack Greinke was 5-6 with a 4.70 ERA on the road this year, and he’s been knocked around in both of his postseason starts (10 ER in 11 IP). The Game 4 win pushed Milwaukee’s road record to only 1-3 in the playoffs and 40-45 on the entire season. The money lines are close to even, but they shouldn’t be. ST. LOUIS is the pick.
The FoxSheets have a three-star trend working in the Cardinals’ favor:
Play On - Home teams with a money line of -100 to -150 (ST. LOUIS) - with a very good bullpen whose WHIP is 1.250 or better on the season, good fielding team - turning 1.1 or more DP's/game on the season. (73-28 over the last 5 seasons.) (72.3%, +38.5 units. Rating = 3*).
Greinke (16-6, 3.83 ERA in the regular season) hasn’t delivered in his first two postseason starts. The Brewers won both of his outings (NLDS Game 2 and NLCS Game 1) thanks to outstanding run support, but Greinke has given up 10 runs and 16 hits in 11 innings so far. St. Louis got to him for six runs in six innings in Game 1. The one positive for Greinke in the postseason is his 13-to-2 K/BB ratio.
There are some good recent road trends for Greinke. He allowed two runs or less in six of his seven post-All-Star break road starts, lasting at least six innings in all of those quality starts. That included a tough-luck loss in St. Louis when he held the Cardinals to two runs over seven innings on September 7. He’s allowed only three runs in Busch Stadium over 14 career innings as a starter. He’s also held Albert Pujols relatively in check (6-for-21, no home runs).
The Cards are 11-5 at home this season with Garcia (13-7, 3.56 ERA in the regular season) starting. But one of those losses was a quality start in Game 3 of their NLDS against the Phillies, when he allowed three runs over seven innings. He’s 3-3 with a 3.64 ERA in eight career starts against the Brewers, but he’s been dazzling at home. In four starts against Milwaukee at Busch Stadium, Garcia has allowed only six runs (two earned) and 18 hits over 28 innings. That includes a two-hit shutout in May when he fanned eight batters.
The Brewers are hoping this game could unearth Corey Hart from a brutal slump. Hart is 1-for-12 in the NLCS, but he’s 9-for-22 career against Garcia.