Phillies vs Cardinals Game 3 MLB Playoffs 2011 Odds

Phillies vs Cardinals Game 3 MLB Playoffs 2011 Odds: Busch Stadium in the “Show-Me State” will be the site for what is turning out to be a great battle of wills, as the (1-1) Philadelphia Phillies [-135 ML] battle the MLB Odds underdog (1-1) St. Louis Cardinals [+125 ML] in Game 3 of this best-of-five series, tied at one win apiece.

First pitch of this highly anticipated contest is scheduled for 5:10 PM ET, following Game 4 of the MLB Playoffs 2011 series between Texas and Tampa Bay. Today’s pitching matchup certainly justifies why the MLB Odds favor the visitors in Game 3.

Philly skipper, Charlie Manuel will send his Playoff, battle-tested, LHP Cole Hamels (14-9, 2.79 ERA) to the hill this evening, versus Tony LaRussa’s left-handed starter, Jaime Garcia (13-7, 3.56 ERA).

As a direct result of this great pitching matchup, MLB Playoffs 2011 Odds makers have set their OVER/UNDER mark for Game 3 of the Phillies and Cardinals at a projected total of 7 runs scored.

Although this will bet he first time that either guy will be pitching in the MLB Playoffs 2011, the overall playoff experience between each Game 3 starter couldn’t be more contrasting.

While Hamels has proven to be a seasoned, clutch performer in the Playoffs (6-4, 3.33 ERA), including 2008 and 2009 World Series appearances (1-1, 4.67), his counterpart is light-years away in that category.

"Every time I go out, I try to win, no matter what the circumstance is," Hamels said. "I know I have a job to do, and I want to go out, and I want to have success. But at the same time, it's just the small things that really matter. You just have to go out and make it pitch after pitch, and just try to work on that and go from inning to inning."

Going into a pivotal Game 3, La Russa will send to the hill a guy making the first postseason start of his 3-year MLB career — Garcia did not pitch during the 2009 season. But as we all have come to know over the years, neither backing down nor being intimidated is part of LaRussa’s DNA.

Despite having a lot of respect for Hamels’ stuff, the 2-time World Series champ believes if his team does what it’s supposed to, and especially after what happened in Game 2, anything is possible.

“He's a legitimate fit for that rotation,” said LaRussa, a 4-time MLB Manager of the Year (3 times in the AL and once in the NL). “We'll do exactly what we've tried to do the first two games. But he's got a lot of ways to get a hitter out, and he's very competitive.”

My Game 3 MLB Playoffs 2011 Pick: I like the Philadelphia Phillies [-135 ML] in this one! Get $50 in Free MLB Picks Here!