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Giants/Cardinals

After the Cardinals took an early lead in Game Four of the NLCS, the Giants rallied and held on for a 6-4 win to take a commanding 3-1 advantage in the series. Here are the PECOTA odds and the matchups for Game Five of the NLCS.

Cardinals (Adam Wainwright) at Giants (Madison Bumgarner) 8:00 pm ET

PECOTA odds of winning: 39.8% Cardinals, 60.2% Giants

Projected Starting Lineups

Cardinals vs. Bumgarner (L)

Giants vs. Wainwright (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

Kolten Wong (L) 2B

Brandon Belt (L) 1B

Jon Jay (L) CF

Travis Ishikawa (L) LF

A.J. Pierzynski (L) C

Brandon Crawford (L) SS

Adam Wainwright (R) P

Madison Bumgarner (L) P

Injuries/Availability: Yadier Molina continues to practice with the Cardinals, but is extremely unlikely to play. It is possible that he catches half an inning late, but it is hard to picture Molina running the bases; he won’t start. Mike Morse remains on the roster, continues to suffer through a sore oblique, and might be available to pinch hit. He is also very unlikely to start. Wainwright insists he is fine, but his health is without a doubt the biggest storyline of the night (see below).

Outlook: The Giants hope to wrap the series up on their home turf and go to the World Series for the third time in the last five years. The Cardinals hope to stay alive and send the series back to St. Louis for Game Six.

This is a pitching rematch of Game One of the NLCS. With the exception of a bump in the road against the Nationals in the LDS, Bumgarner has delivered throughout the postseason. He has relied far more on his four seam fastball as opposed to his cut fastball dating back to August of this year. The Cardinals have fared far better against southpaws than righties this year, but this is where the absence of Molina will hurt, particularly if Mike Matheny continues to stick with a lefty-oriented lineup. Running five left handers out there tonight against Bumgarner could be a recipe for disaster.

When he is healthy, Wainwright is at a minimum an even match for Bumgarner, but this wasn’t the case in Game One. In the postseason, he has almost completely abandoned his fastball and sinker in favor of his cutter/curve combination; whether or not this is because of an injury is pure speculation. If Wainwright isn’t at the top of his game early, Matheny will have to go to a bullpen that he already relied upon heavily in Game Four. The Cardinals are in desperation mode, though, and although Matheny at times hasn’t managed with any sense of urgency, he will have to do so tonight.

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ntallyn
10/17
The Cardinals had a 65% chance of winning Game 1, yet the Giants have a 60% chance of winning this game (with the same pitching matchup). I didn't expect that home-field would have that large of an effect. Nor the Cardinals' loss of Molina. Obviously, both will have an effect, but this large?
Dodger300
10/18
Take these percentages with a real grain of salt. They don't mean much of anything at all.