Game 4 is the one in which both teams are looking at going with their #4 starters or rolling the dice and pitching their Game 1 starter on short rest. If the managers stick to the plan then it will be Joe Blanton against Madison Bumgarner in baseball gambling odds.
Blanton vs. Bumgarner – This is the most likely scenario for Game 4. If the Phillies roll the dice and decide to go with Roy Halladay on short rest they would then be forced into short rest for Roy Oswalt and Cole Hamels as well in the next two games. Blanton was 9-6 this season with a 4.82 ERA. He has not started a game since late September. Bumgarner was 7-6 with a 3.00 ERA this season and he is going to get the start in Game 4. He allowed two runs in six innings for a win in his start in the division series.
AT&T Park is Pitcher Friendly – With the series in San Francisco for Games 3, 4 and 5 you can expect fewer home runs. AT&T Park was the 10th most favorable park to pitchers in terms of keeping the ball in the park. It is tougher to hit home runs in San Francisco than it was in Philadelphia. The Phillies Ryan Howard said that the key is that hitters can’t try and do too much. The park is good for doubles since the alleys are big. San Francisco has gotten three home runs in this series from Cody Ross but it might be tough for him to hit one out at home.
Phillies Lineup – The Phillies made a switch in Game 2 in their starting lineup and it paid dividends. The Phillies went with Shane Victorino in the lead off spot with Chase Utley hitting second and Placido Polanco hitting third. Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth are normally fourth an fifth and Jimmy Rollins has been hitting sixth. Raul Ibanez is hitting seventh with Carlos Ruiz hitting eighth.
Stats in San Francisco – With the series moving to San Francisco for three games there are some trends to follow. The Phillies are 22-5 in MLB gambling in their last 27 road games. If Blanton gets the start in Game 4, the Phillies are 4-0 in Blanton’s last 4 road starts. And keep in mind that the Over is 13-5 in baseball gambling in Blanton’s last 18 road starts.