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USA Baseball NLCS Game 5 Odds on San Francisco at St. Louis

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USA Baseball NLCS Game 5 Odds on San Francisco at St. Louis

San Francisco Giants at St. Louis Cardinals
When: 8:00 PM ET, Friday, October 19, 2012
Where: Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri

St. Louis Cardinals are listed as 159-moneyline favorites on Bovada Online Sportsbook

Just a week ago, the San Francisco Giants were on the brink of elimination before advancing to the National League Championship Series by winning three straight games against Cincinnati. Now they need to do it again. The Giants are down 3-1 in the best-of-seven NLCS after the St. Louis Cardinals rolled to an 8-3 win in Game 3 on Thursday. The win moved St. Louis one victory away from a matchup with the Detroit Tigers in the World Series, with the Cardinals’ Lance Lynn slated to face Barry Zito in Game 5. Since the League Championship Series adopted the best-of-seven format in 1985, only four of the 33 teams that fell behind 3-1 have come back to win.

Cardinals right fielder Carlos Beltran sat out Game 4 with a strained left knee, but he’s hopeful that he’ll be able to return to the starting lineup on Friday. Despite Beltran’s absence, the Cardinals outhit the Giants 12-6 with Jon Jay, Yadier Molina and Matt Holliday driving in two runs apiece. Holliday and Molina stepped up after going a combined 6-for-40 in their previous five games, while the Giants’ Buster Posey remains mired in a 6-for-33 postseason slump. Posey, who led the NL with a .336 average this season, went hitless in four at-bats on Thursday and is 2-for-14 with three walks in the NLCS. If the Giants extend the series and send it back to San Francisco, Ryan Vogelsong would start Game 6 and Matt Cain would get the ball for Game 7.

PITCHING MATCHUP: Giants LH Barry Zito (0-0, 6.75 ERA) vs. Cardinals RH Lance Lynn (1-1, 8.59)

Zito looks to rebound from his shaky outing in Game 4 of the NLDS against the Reds, when he allowed four hits and four walks over 2 2/3 innings. He’s 2-6 with a 4.89 ERA in nine career starts against St. Louis, including 1-0 with a 2.70 ERA in his one outing this season. Allen Craig is 4-for-10 with three home runs against Zito, who has an 8.20 ERA in four career starts at Busch Stadium.

Lynn finished 18-7 in the regular season and made the National League All-Star team, but he struggled in August and worked out of the bullpen in the NLDS against Washington. He started Game 1 of the NLCS against the Giants and cruised through the first three innings before allowing four runs in the fourth and leaving after 3 2/3 frames.

1. The Cardinals have blown a 3-1 lead in a postseason series three times in their history (1968 World Series, 1985 World Series, and 1996 NLCS).

2. San Francisco has won each of Zito’s last 12 starts.

3. If St. Louis closes out the NLCS, the Cardinals will face the Tigers in a rematch of the 2006, 1968 and 1934 World Series.

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