World Series Game 4: Kansas City Royals at San Francisco Giants
Date/Time: October 25, 8:07 p.m. ET
MLB Betting Odds From 5Dimes Sportsbook
Probable Starters: KC: Jason Vargas (0-0, 0.00) v. SF: Ryan Vogelsong (0-0, 0.00)
The best Major League season of Jason Vargas’s career has continued into the postseason and the way that Ryan Vogelsong has pitched in his playoff career, Vargas better be on point again on Saturday night. The Kansas City Royals and San Francisco Giants meet in Game 4 of the World Series on Saturday night with the Royals out to a 2-1 lead. Teams with a 2-1 series lead in a best-of-seven format are 91-37 overall and 55-26 in the World Series when it comes to wrapping up a series win. Only five teams have ever come back from a 3-1 series deficit to win the World Series, so this is definitely a huge game for the Giants because they need to even up the series.
Jason Vargas has plenty of experience in pitching in good pitcher’s parks on the west coast. He’s pitched in quality pitcher’s parks his entire career up until this season, but the Royals park is pretty neutral and their defense is outstanding. Vargas’s 11 wins were the second-most in a season over the course of his nine-year career and his 3.71 ERA was his best showing. In two playoff starts this season, he’s 1-0 with a 2.38 ERA. He has only allowed nine of the 41 batters he has faced to reach, but three of the five hits he has allowed have been home runs. This will be his first career World Series start.
Ryan Vogelsong finally struggled in a playoff start his last time out against the St. Louis Cardinals. Up until that point, Vogelsong was 3-0 with a 1.19 ERA in 30.1 career postseason innings. He gave up four runs on seven hits in three innings in Game 4 of the NLCS, but the Giants offense and bullpen bailed him out. The Giants are now 5-0 in Vogelsong’s five career playoff starts. For the regular season, he was 8-13 with a 4.00 ERA, but he had some very sharp home/road splits. At home, he was just 3-7, but had a 3.06 ERA. On the road, he was 5-6, but with a 5.10 ERA.
Vargas is 0-1 with a 3.15 ERA in three career starts against the Giants. Those starts came in 2009, 2012, and 2014. In this season’s start, Vargas gave up two runs on nine hits over five innings of work. The Royals were 14-16 in Vargas’s 30 regular season starts, but they are 2-0 in his playoff starts.
Vogelsong has just two career relief appearances against the Royals and they came in 2006. Outside of Omar Infante’s 13 plate appearances, Vogelsong has faced other current Royals just eight times, so there’s not really a significant sample size there. The Giants were 15-17 in Vogelsong’s 32 starts and are 2-0 in his two playoff starts.
Free MLB Pick: San Francisco Giants
Even though Jason Vargas has pitched fairly well in the playoffs, it seems easier to trust Ryan Vogelsong at this point in time. Ned Yost should have kept Danny Duffy available to start one of these games, but he didn’t. Both pitchers are good fits for this park and both managers won’t hesitate to pull the plug if they get in trouble. The Giants should hold serve with Vogelsong on the hill and his knowledge of the park.