It may be an evenly matched series with games going down to final few at-bats, but that doesn't change the fact that the Royals have a commanding 3-0 lead are looking to finish off the sweep at home on Wednesday afternoon.

Orioles (Miguel Gonzalez) at Royals (Jason Vargas) 4:00 pm ET
PECOTA odds of winning: 45.9% Orioles, 54.1% Royals

Projected Starting Lineups

Royals vs. Gonzalez (R)

Orioles vs. Vargas (L)

Alcides Escobar (R) SS

Nick Markakis (L) RF

Norichika Aoki (L) RF

Steve Pearce (R) 1B

Lorenzo Cain (R) CF

Adam Jones (R) CF

Eric Hosmer (L) 1B

Nelson Cruz (R) LF

Billy Butler (R) DH

Delmon Young (R) DH

Alex Gordon (L) LF

J.J. Hardy (R) SS

Salvador Perez (R) C

Caleb Joseph (R) C

Omar Infante (R) 2B

Ryan Flaherty (L) 3B

Mike Moustakas (L) 3B

Jonathan Schoop (R) 2B


Outlook: The Orioles appeared like they were going to pounce on Jeremy Guthrie in the second inning of Game Three, but they only managed to scratch one run across the plate in what could have been a big inning. Regardless, they were striking the ball well against Guthrie and Jason Vargas is a similar pitcher in the sense that he isn’t going to overpower his opposition. If the Orioles can jump on Vargas’ upper-80s four-seamer rather than succumb to his change-up, they may be able to finally live up to their power-hitting ways. Vargas did give up two homers to the Angels in his Game Three start in the ALDS.

Buck Showalter is clearly looking for a little spark to the offense — not that it's been particularly lacking outside of Game Three — inserting Delmon Young into the DH spot and moving Nelson Cruz to left field. With small sample caveats in mind, the move can be justified as Young does have a .864 OPS in 36 postseason games and certainly provides an upgrade in offense over Alejandro De Aza with a lefty on the mound.

Miguel Gonzalez, who has yet to appear in this postseason, is both fly ball and homer prone. While everyone is well aware that the long ball wasn’t the Royals forte in the regular season, it’ll be intriguing to see if they can carry their postseason power surge into Game Four against Gonzalez. Gonzalez has one postseason start, in 2012 when he tossed seven innings of one-run ball, striking out eight and walking none in a strong performance against the Yankees. The Orioles lost that game, but they’ll no doubt take that type of outing once again.


The word of the game is pivotal.

Cardinals (Shelby Miller) at Giants (Ryan Vogelsong) 8:00 pm ET

PECOTA odds of winning: 49% Cardinals, 51% Giants

Projected Starting Lineups

Cardinals vs. Vogelsong (R)

Giants vs. Miller (R)

Matt Carpenter (L) 3B

Gregor Blanco (L) CF

Randal Grichuk (R) RF

Joe Panik (L) 2B

Matt Holliday (R) LF

Buster Posey (R) C

Jhonny Peralta (R) SS

Pablo Sandoval (S) 3B

Matt Adams (L) 1B

Hunter Pence (R) RF

Jon Jay (L) CF

Brandon Belt (L) 1B

Kolten Wong (L) 2B

Brandon Crawford (L) SS

A.J. Pierzynski (L)

Travis Ishikawa (L) LF

Shelby Miller (R) P

Ryan Vogelsong (R) P

Injuries/Availability: Yadier Molina's oblique issues put his status in doubt. Mike Morse, dealing with oblique woes of his own, has been limited to pinch-hit duty.

Outlook: The Giants will look to push their series edge to 3-1, giving them a chance to end the series before it shifts back to St. Louis.

So sets the stage for a face-off between contrasting styles. Miller is the power pitcher of the two starters; he'll lean on his mid-90s fastball and curveball, with some cutters mixed in for good measure. His absence from last year's postseason became a meme, but he started in the playoffs for the first time during the Divisional Series, lasting into the sixth inning while yielding eight baserunners.

The Giants counter with the clever Vogelsong. His low-90s fastball and upper-80s cutter will serve as the main pitches, though he'll throw in some curves and changes to keep batters honest. Vogelsong played a big part the last time these two teams met, back in the 2012 NLCS, allowing two runs over two starts. The Giants hope he can stymie the Cardinals once more.

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