National League Championship Series Game 4: St Louis Cardinals at San Francisco Giants
Date/Time: October 15, 8:07 p.m. ET
TV: FOX Sports 1
MLB Betting Odds From 5Dimes Sportsbook
Probable Starters: STL: Shelby Miller (0-0, 0.00) v. SF Ryan Vogelsong (0-0, 0.00)
Moneyline: San Francisco -113
The San Francisco Giants won in walk-off fashion at AT&T Park in Game 3 and that makes the job a little bit easier entering Game 4, the second of three straight home games in San Francisco in the 2-3-2 format. For the St. Louis Cardinals, their Game 3 loss certainly adds an element of difficulty for the team. Now, the focus shifts to Game 4, where the Cardinals hope to turn it into a three-game series and the Giants hope to really take control of the series with a 3-1 lead.
The Cardinals will send Shelby Miller to the mound for Game 4. For the first 19 starts of the regular season, Miller wasn’t the same guy that he was for the Cardinals in 2013. He was erratic and his strikeout rate had dropped off quite a bit. Miller hit the All-Star Break with a 4.29 ERA and a 7-8 record, but more concerning was his 73/54 K/BB ratio. In 12 starts and one relief appearance after the All-Star Break, Miller was 3-1 with a 2.92 ERA and his 54/19 K/BB ratio was allowed the coaching staff to relax. Miller was just good enough in his first career playoff start in the NLDS. He went 5.2 innings, allowing two runs on five hits. He didn’t factor in the decision, but the Cardinals won the game.
Ryan Vogelsong stayed healthy in 2014, which was the most important thing for him. He had some severe home/road splits, but he ate innings for the Giants and was solid in his start against the Nationals in the NLDS. Vogelsong was 8-13 with a 4.00 ERA, but he had a 3.06 ERA in 16 home starts compared to a 5.10 ERA in 16 road starts. Perhaps Vogelsong’s best quality is that the spotlight doesn’t faze him. In five career playoff starts, Vogelsong has allowed four runs in 30.1 innings of work. He only made it through 5.2 innings in his Game 4 start against Washington, but Vogelsong held the Nationals to one run on two hits. In Vogelsong’s five playoff starts, the Giants are 5-0.
Miller is 2-0 with a 1.46 ERA against the Giants. Both starts came in 2013 and he allowed just two runs on 10 hits with 11 strikeouts in 12.1 innings of work. The Cardinals won Miller’s playoff start and were 15-16 in Miller’s 31 regular season starts.
Vogelsong has 19 career appearances, but 14 of them are from 2006 or earlier. In his last five starts against the Cardinals, he’s 1-2 with a 3.52 ERA. The Giants won Vogelsong’s NLDS start and were 15-17 in Vogelsong’s 32 starts.
Free MLB Pick: San Francisco Giants
Shelby Miller is still unpredictable, even with the second half that he had. Ryan Vogelsong isn’t as good as his five-start postseason sample would indicate, but there’s something to be said about his comfort level at home. The park is certainly tailored to his strengths and the heavy marine air going into the evening hours could definitely give him an edge. Look for the Giants to take care of business at home in Game 4.