Yesterday in Game 5 of the ALCS, the Texas Rangers failed to put away the New York Yankees. Today, the San Francisco Giants, one of the biggest underdogs at the outset of the playoffs to win it all, can move on to the World Series if they can take care of the Philadelphia Phillies once again in MLB betting action.
Four hits from C Buster Posey were great. Three more from 1B Aubrey Huff were just as sweet. However, it was SS Juan Uribe, who was only pinch hitting on the day, hitting a sac fly in the ninth inning that moved the G-Men within one step of the Fall Classic. It wasn't a particularly strong game for either starting pitcher, as both RHP Joe Blanton and RHP Madison Bumgarner allowed three runs in 4.2 innings of work. Even the front end of the San Fran bullpen, normally a very strong unit, allowed two runs in 2.1 innings of work. However, at the back end, RHP Brian Wilson outdueled RHP Roy Oswalt in the ninth inning to earn the victory for the hosts.
This is a tricky spot for RHP Roy Halladay. He is going to be pitching in his first ever do or die game in his career, as he has never had this type of pressure on him before. The potential Cy Young Award winner allowed four runs on eight hits, two of which were home runs, in seven frames. Needless to say, it was about as polar opposite from his epic no hitter ten days before. This was the first time that Halladay was beaten since August 30th, which was also the last time that he was beaten on the road. For the season, the righty ended up going 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA. He has still never beaten the Giants in his career, as he is now 0-3 in four starts, and his ERA in those outings is over 6.00.
This is the exact situation that manager Bruce Bochy was hoping for. He's at home and has a chance to close this series out with his ace on the mound. RHP Tim Lincecum, a previous Cy Young Award winner in his own right, has been fantastic in this postseason. In two starts, he has pitched 16 innings, allowed just three runs, and struck out 22 batters. All three of those runs were scored by these Phils in the City of Brotherly Love, but at home this year, Lincecum has been a completely different pitcher. He hasn't allowed more than two earned runs in a game at home since August 27th, and even though his team has scored more than three runs in a game in that stretch for him, he is still 3-1.
We loved backing Lincecum has a big time road pup in Game 1, and we're going to love him as a home pup even more in Game 5. This series is finished. The Phillies really didn't figure Lincecum out at in Round 1 in spite of the three runs scored, and we tend to think that this ace is going to do his job and knock the two time defending NL champs from their perch once and for all.
MLB Free Picks: San Francisco Giants +105