San Francisco Giants at Cincinnati Reds (-138, 8)
Cincinnati leads series 2-0
The Cincinnati Reds look for a three-game sweep of the San Francisco Giants when the National League Division Series heads to Great American Ball Park for Game 3.
The Giants have been outscored 14-2 in the first two games of the series, and they’re facing an uphill battle after leaving home without a victory. None of the other 21 teams that have started the NLDS down 0-2 have come back to win the series. The Reds were 50-31 during the regular season at home, where they didn’t lose three consecutive home games all year. With Johnny Cueto (back spasms) questionable for the rest of the series, the Reds will start Homer Bailey in Game 3.
San Francisco is in danger of an early postseason exit, and there’s plenty of blame to go around. The first two batters in the Giants lineup - Angel Pagan and Marco Scutaro - are 1-for-17 in the series, and the heart of their order has done little aside from Buster Posey’s solo home run in Game 1. After starters Matt Cain and Madison Bumgarner failed to work past the fifth inning in the first two games, the Giants are hoping for a solid outing in Game 3 from Ryan Vogelsong, who got the nod over Tim Lincecum and Barry Zito.
The Reds hit an NL-worst .230 as a team in September, but they scored nine runs in Game 2 and outhit the Giants 13-2. Brandon Phillips is 5-for-10 with a home run and four RBI for Cincinnati, which is seeking its first postseason sweep since beating the Los Angeles Dodgers in the first round in 1995.
TV: 5:30 p.m. ET, TBS
WEATHER: The forecast is calling for clear skies and temperatures in the low 60s. Winds are expected to blow SSW at 7 mph.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Reds RH Homer Bailey (13-10, 3.68 ERA) vs. Giants RH Ryan Vogelsong (14-9, 3.37)
Bailey is set to make his second career postseason pitching appearance and his first career playoff start. He’s 1-0 with a 5.59 ERA in five career starts against the Giants, including one outing this year when he gave up three runs (two earned) over 6 1/3 frames on April 26. Bailey finished the season on a strong note, allowing just 10 runs in his last seven starts covering 48 2/3 innings.
Vogelsong has gone 2-3 with a 5.08 ERA in 15 career appearances against Cincinnati, and he had a 4.15 ERA in two starts this season. After struggling for much of the second half, he finished the season with a 0.53 ERA over his final three starts. Phillips is 7-for-14 lifetime against Vogelsong, who allowed three runs or fewer in 24 of his 31 starts this season.
* Over is 4-0 in Baileys last four starts vs. Giants.
* Over is 4-1 in the last five meetings in Cincinnati.
* Giants are 1-4 in the last five meetings.
* Giants are 1-7 in the last eight meetings in Cincinnati.
1. The Giants haven’t swept three games in Cincinnati since April 5-7, 1999, when the Reds played at Riverfront Stadium.
2. Reds 3B Scott Rolen is 1-for-7 in the first two games of the series and 28-for-136 (.206) in his career in the postseason.
3. San Francisco lost just one series on the road after the All-Star break, going 10-1-1.