St. Louis Cardinals v San Francisco Giants
Look for runs to be scored in large numbers when the San Francisco Giants face elimination in game five of the National League Championship Series in St. Louis. Cardinals starter Lance Lynn is problematic for St. Louis; his heavy workload means that fatigue is already setting in. Last year, he was a reliever and this season he spent most of the campaign as a starter. When he began to tire after the All-Star Break, manager Mike Matheny moved him to the bullpen – a role he played at the start of the play-offs. This helped rejuvenate Lynn for a while, but he is clearly showing exhaustion again, as evidenced by his 3 2/3 inning stint as the starter in game one of this series (he allowed four runs). Lynn is talented but command is the first element of pitching to go when fatigue sets in and that will help a Giants line-up which has been scuffling over the past few games.
The Giants’ Barry Zito wasn’t much better in his only start in this post-season, giving up 2 runs in 2 2/3 innings against the Cincinnati Reds in the club’s National League Divisional Series. He’s also struggled in his career against St. Louis, going 2-6 with a 4.89 ERA. The Cardinals offence has been clicking and, whichever team wins, expect a high aggregate score.