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By Raising Matt Cain
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Knockout Round

Wednesday, October 5, 2016 8:27
% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

(Before It's News)

B4INREMOTE-aHR0cHM6Ly8zLmJwLmJsb2dzcG90LmNvbS8tSWlMYVJYZnRhSmcvVl9VVk1NSDNtNkkvQUFBQUFBQUFCZlkvRnV4N2RUa1RadWtjNlVGcDJyQkR5blo0VWdydEJNSVp3Q0xjQi9zNjQwL29kZHMuSlBH

I suppose that means the Mets are favored tonight. (The odds are from Vegas Insider.) All I can find on betting lines is pretty close to “you pick 'em” (Giants -117, Mets +107) with a slight edge to the home team. I think it will come down to home runs–the Mets hit a lot of them and the Giants don't. Bumgarner allowed 26 in 226-2/3 innings (1.03/9), Syndergaard 11 in 183-2/3 (0.54/9). Mets score about half of their runs with the long ball. The Giants offense is allergic to homers, as we know, but gets on base at a good clip and avoids the strikeout. Citi Field is rated as a pitcher's park, though not as extreme as AT&T. If Bum can keep it in the yard then I think the Giants win. I don't see the Mets stringing together big rallies so no gopher balls is the key tonight for the big lefty.

The knockout game is not really a baseball feature. This is a sport of attrition and long grinds punctuated by the drama of short series. The one-and-done format is not what you want after 162 games. But it is exciting and a fair attempt at giving division winners some sort of advantage in the post-season. Giants salvaged a crazy and somewhat disappointing 2014 regular season with a big Wild Card win in Pittsburgh (we know how the rest of that month turned out). This season is much like that one–high expectations, second-half chaos, squeaking into the post-season at the last moment. Can they capture lightning in a bottle again? I'm not going to answer that. But I will say a win tonight will erase weeks of frustration and that post-ASB .417 win percentage!

GO GIANTS!

–M.C.

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