Postseason Predictions: NLCS Game 3
All signs point to pitchers' duel between Lee and Kuroda
The Phillies have a hot hand ready to go on an anticipated cold night at Citizens Bank Park Sunday, when the best-of-seven National League Championship Series resumes.
The series is tied at 1, but the similarity ends there.
complete postseason coverage PostSeason.tv Instead of the 90-plus-degree temperatures at Dodger Stadium in Game 2, the needle is expected to stop in the upper 40s during Game 3, which begins at 8:07 p.m. ET on TBS.
But when you're hot, you're hot, and the Phillies' Cliff Lee certainly is cooking during the postseason. The veteran left-hander started the first and fourth games of the Phils' NL Division Series victory over the Rockies, winning Game 1 with a complete-game effort and allowing two earned runs, walking three and striking out 10 over 16 1/3 innings overall.
Lee faces a lineup that historically has not given him a whole lot of trouble. Of the Dodgers batters who've faced the southpaw at least 10 times, only Manny Ramirez (5-for-11, 2 HR, 5 RBIs) has hit him hard.
Opposing Lee Sunday night will be the Dodgers' Hiroki Kuroda, who'll be making his first start of this postseason. The Japanese right-hander hopes to pick up where he left off in 2008, when he held the Phillies to five hits and two runs over six innings in Game 3 of the NLCS.
The Phillies have 10 position players who've faced Kuroda, and they've struggled to a meager .128 average with two RBIs, three walks and 11 strikeouts in 47 at-bats against the 34-year-old.
So -- at least according to the numbers -- a classic pitchers' duel could be in the works.
The following chart breaks down how the experts from MLB.com and MLB Network see Game 3 of the NLCS shaping up.
NLCS Game 3 Predictions
|MLBN||LAD||3||6||2||Lee allows two runs over eight frames of 10-K ball|
|MLB.com||LAD||2||6||0||Lee prevails; Utley atones for miscues.|
|MLB.com||LAD||2||7||1||Lee shuts down Dodgers; Phils hit Kuroda hard.|
|MLB.com||LAD||9||15||0||Lee has first postseason slipup; Manny delivers.|
|MLB.com||LAD||2||7||1||Lee continues postseason dominance.|
|MLBN||LAD||2||6||1||Lee escapes early jam to down Dodgers.|
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.