One game will decide who represents the National League in the 2012 World Series.
The St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants are set to play in Game Seven of the NLCS. The Giants will host the contest, after winning the previous two games.
The Cardinals are on the verge of blowing another 3-1 series lead. They did so in the 1985 World Series when they lost to the Royals, and again in the 1996 NLCS, when the Braves went on to play in the Fall Classic.
Monday night’s pitching matchup is a replay of Game Three. St. Louis ended up taking that one 3-1, with Kyle Lohse defeating Matt Cain. Lohse gave up just one run in 5.2 innings, while Cain allowed three runs in 6.2 innings.
Despite the results of that game, San Francisco has the slight edge in the deciding game. They’ll send their ace to the mound, who has had a dominant playoff career. In six postseason starts, he has a 2.09 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP.
The Giants are favorites in the contest. The consensus betting line is San Francisco -139, from multiple Las Vegas sports books
Still, Lohse should give the Cardinals a good opportunity to advance. He has a 1.96 ERA in three 2012 playoff outings.
St. Louis had been the hottest hitting team in the postseason, but they have cooled off, since becoming one win away from the World Series. They’ve scored just one total run in the past two games.
The Cardinals have been at their best when they need to win a game. They went 4-0 in elimination games in 2011, and have won both must-win playoff games this season.
The first pitch is set to be thrown at 8 p.m. eastern time at AT&T Park. The game will be televised on FOX, or listened to as a free live stream online at espnradio.com
Prediction: The Cardinals haven’t hit well in the past two games, but they still have a superior offense to the Giants. Unlike in 2010, Cain has not been unhittable in the playoffs. Lohse has been very good, and should get enough run support to help the Cardinals advance.
Predicted Score: St. Louis 4, San Francisco 2One game will decide who represents the National League in the 2012 World Series.