After a Game Three victory, the St. Louis Cardinals are in excellent position to make it to their second straight World Series. They have a 2-1 NLCS lead over the San Francisco Giants, as Kyle Lohse beat Matt Cain on Wednesday night.
Reuters The Giants won 94 games in the 2012 regular season.
The Giants won 94 games in the 2012 regular season.
A defeat on Thursday night would put the Giants one loss away from elimination. They turn their former star pitcher to stop the bleeding.
Tim Lincecum gets the ball for his first start of the 2012 MLB Playoffs. His turn was skipped in the NLDS against the Reds, but his 8 1/3 innings pitched of one-run ball in relief earned him a start.
Arguably the best pitcher in baseball for his first five years in the majors, Lincecum fell of the map this season. He set career-worsts with 15 losses, a 5.18 ERA and 23 home runs allowed. The righty’s numbers are a far cry from those he put up in his 2008 and 2009 Cy Young winning seasons.
Starting opposite Lincecum is the man who finished third in the NL Cy Young voting in 2009. Adam Wainwright will try to improve on his last postseason start. He gave up six runs in Game Five of the NLDS, and was bailed out by some clutch hitting by the Cardinals in the ninth inning.
St. Louis could be without their most important hitter in the contest. Carlos Beltran suffered a knee injury and is listed as day-to-day.
The outfielder has been hot in these playoffs, hitting three home runs. He’s been great in the postseason his whole career. Beltran’s playoff slugging percentage of .830 is first all-time in baseball history.
First pitch is set for 8 p.m. ET in St. Louis. You can watch it on FOX, or listen to a free live stream online at espnradio.com.
Betting Line: St. Louis-130, San Francisco+120
Prediction: The Cardinals offense has played very well in the postseason, but could take a bug hit without Beltran in the lineup. At his best, Lincecum might be the top starter in baseball. If the NLDS is any indication, the Giants could be in good shape for Game Four.
Predicted Score: San Francisco 3, St. Louis 1
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