But this year in the Game 1 opener of the NLCS, when the Philadelphia Phillies (97-65) host the San Francisco Giants (92-70) it may just be one of the greatest opening game matchups in MLB playoff history.
Never before have two pitchers coming off such brilliant playoff performances met in the NLCS and pitched against one another, head to head. And that’s saying quite a lot considering that MLB lines action has been around for almost a century and a half and yet never have been treated to such an embarrassment of riches in a Game 1 of the NLCS.
MLB odds fans will truly witness baseball history when Roy Halladay and Tim Lincecum take the mound this Saturday.
Lincecum made history in his post season debut for the Giants by pitching just about as good a game as any human could against an overmatched Braves squad. His numbers looked like this: 9.0 innings, 0 ER, 14 Ks, 2 Hits; a complete game 2-hit shutout. It would have been talk of the sporting world had it not been for Halladay’s post season debut in a Philly uniform just before that.
All Halladay did was pitch the second no-hitter in MLB lines playoff history and juts missed a perfect game. Halladay’s stat line looked something like this: 9.0 innings, 0 ER, 0 Hits, 8 Ks, 1 BB. A pretty amazing week for NL pitchers and even more amazing for baseball fans is the fact that these two will face one another in a matter of days.
But the fact remains as brilliant as these two individual talents are, Halladay a lock for the 2010 NL Cy Young Award, and Lincecum the 2008 and 2009 Cy Young winner, baseball is a team game. And as good as Lincecum pitches he’ll have to pitch twice as well as Halladay to get the win in Game 1.
The Phillies have a lineup loaded with experienced hitters and finished the regular season with the best record in baseball. The Giants have one of the worst hitting offenses in the league. Whereas Linceucm will have to pace the like of Ryan Howard, Jayson Worth and Raul Ibanez, Halladay’s biggest concern will be to keep Cody Ross or the Kung-fu Panda from reaching base.
Very different challenges and that’s why Halladay will likely get the better of Lincecum in this MLB odds contest.