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October 23, 2010

Playoff Prospectus

NLCS Weekend Projection

by Colin Wyers

The Giants have a chance to put the Phillies away and avoid a Game Seven in the NLCS– but not a great one.

The series gets harder from here on out, as the Giants have to finish in Philadelphia. And they won’t see the likes of Joe Blanton anymore. (Well, they won’t see Joe Blanton, anyway – Philly’s middle relief corps may well include some guys who are the likes of Joe Blanton, in a sense. There’s a reason Roy Oswalt pitched in relief in this series.)

And the Giants, well, the Giants are putting Jonathan Sanchez on the rubber against Oswalt in Game Six on Saturday night with San Francisco leading the series 3-2. On the road. Sanchez is by no stretch a bad pitcher, but he’s not Oswalt’s equal.

What this means is that they have only a 40 percent chance of pulling off a victory. That’s not damning by any stretch – they still only have to win one game, while the Phillies have to win both games to advance to the World Series.

If the series does head to seven games, it’ll be Matt Cain for the Giants versus Cole Hamels in a winner-take-all battle on Sunday night, and with both managers facing elimination, you can expect to see all the stops pulled out. The Giants have a little better chance in this game, at 46 percent to the Phillies 54 percent.

So while the Giants aren’t favored to win either game, they should be favored to advance at this point – the Phillies odds of winning both games are a discouraging 32 percent.

Colin Wyers is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see Colin's other articles. You can contact Colin by clicking here

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