Cole Hamels takes the hil tonight at Cincinnati's Great American Ball Park with a chance to close out the NLDS for the Phillies. TBS' broadcast is set for 8:07 p.m. ET.
The Cincinnati Reds try to save their season when they return home to face the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday night.
Bookmaker.com has Philly as 145 road favorites with a total of 7 ½-runs (‘over’ is minus 120).
Cincinnati (91-71 in the regular season) is down 0-2 in the series, the same predicament as the AL’s Rays and Twins found themselves before Saturday action. Atlanta had a dramatic comeback to tie its series with San Francisco 1-1. No NL team has ever come back from 0-2 in a Division Series (four AL teams have done it).
The Reds have found different ways to lose. They got no-hit in Game 1 on Wednesday by Roy Halladay in his playoff debut. It was the first postseason ‘no-no’ since the Yankee’s Don Larsen pitched a perfect game in the 1956 World Series.
Cincinnati jumped out to a 4-0 lead in Game 2 on Friday, but Philly scored seven unanswered runs, aided by four errors. The Reds’ five unearned runs tied for the second-most in a Division Series game. It could be a hard loss to bounce back from mentally.
The Reds at least return home where they’re 49-32 and 16-6 in their last 22. Shortstop Orlando Cabrera (oblique) left Friday’s game and is questionable for Sunday.
The Phillies (97-65 in the regular season) tied San Diego for the NL’s best road record (45-36) and are 21-5 in the last 26 road games. They’ve been on fire everywhere since July 21, going 51-19.
Cole Hamels (12-11, 3.06 ERA) will get the start for Philly. He was MVP of the 2008 NLCS and World Series (4-0, 1.80 ERA in five playoff starts). He struggled in last year’s playoffs (1-2, 7.58 ERA) in four starts.
The 26-year-old lefty had more life on his fastball this year and had his highest strikeout rate (9.10) since 2006. His second half ERA (2.23) is much lower than his first (3.78). He pitched two innings of tune-up work last Sunday versus Atlanta.
Hamels is 5-5 with a 2.96 road ERA. Philadelphia is 5-2 in his last seven road starts (1.35 ERA). The MLB odds ‘under’ is 8-2 in his last 10 road starts.
Hamels’ one start against Cincinnati this year was at home on July 11. He allowed no earned runs over 7 2/3 innings in a 1-0 win. Philadelphia is 7-0 in Hamels’ seven career starts versus Cincinnati (1.07 ERA) and 4-0 in his road starts (1.67 ERA).
Johnny Cueto (12-7, 3.64 ERA) will start for Cincinnati. He’s shown continual improvement in his three seasons, with his ERA and OPS (.727) easily a career best. His average fastball is 93.2 mph, although his strikeout rate (6.69) isn’t great.
Phillies vs Cincinnati Reds Betting Action at Bookmaker.com
The 24-year-old righty is 6-3 with a 3.20 ERA at home, although the team went just 8-7. The Reds also went 0-5 in Cueto’s last five starts, even though he had a quality outing in four of them. He hasn’t pitched since Sept. 29.
Cueto is 1-0 with a 1.20 ERA in two starts versus Philly this year. He allowed one earned run over eight innings in a June 28 home win (7-3).
Philadelphia is 7-2 against Cincy this year, although the Reds did win the June home series (2-1).
Umpire Sam Holbrook will call balls and strikes. The Reds are 4-0 in his last four games behind home plate.
First pitch on Sunday is 4:07 p.m. (PT). Weather will be clear and warm in the 70s.
Halladay will pitch Game 4 on Monday if necessary. Edinson Volquez is scheduled to start after struggling in the opener, but it could be rookie lefty Travis Wood.