We notched another winner last night to stay perfect in the postseason and move to a nice 5-0 ATS start. But I’d be lying if I said the win unfolded exactly as expected. Many of you probably missed much of that game, especially if you are on the east coast. With the 9:40 PM start and the extra innings, the payoff victory came around two in the morning. But if you DID watch it all, you got a tense treat. The Cubs finally solved the Bumgarner magic, and in the bizarrest way possible with the first three runs he has ever allowed in an elimination game coming via a homerun from opposing pitcher Jake Arrieta. The Giants, as they seem to always do, clawed back in the game and eventually took a commanding 5-3 lead into the ninth inning… only to see the lead evaporate when Romo allowed a two run blast to presumptive NL MVP Kris Bryant.
The drama remained taut until the 13th inning when a Joe Panik walkoff double extended the Giants series and saw the resilient former champs live to fight another day.
They will be back at the yard tonight with Matt Moore, who was acquired exactly for THIS game, trying to force a decisive Game Five by topping John Lackey.
Elsewhere, the Nats took a 2-1 lead after dropping the opener against LA and can finish off the series tonight. Neither team has officially announced a starting pitcher yet, but it seems more than likely that Clayton Kershaw could get the ball on short rest with the season on the line…
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Today’s Free Pick:
Chicago Cubs vs. San Francisco Giants
John Lackey vs. Matt Moore
The last time John Lackey saw these Giants in AT&T Park, he was on the mound for the Cardinals in a decisive Game Seven. The Giants, in 2014, obviously won the game after Lackey was roughed up for four first-inning runs. He insists that outing has little to do with today, and I am inclined to agree, but it is still interesting to note.
Meanwhile, Matt Moore has seen some pressure before, but I think tonight the Cubs offense gets the best of him and prevails. It’s hard to ever count out the Giants, but at some point the better offense and stronger, deeper bullpen of the Cubs wins out. I think on the heels of a 13 inning game, the Cubs bullpen becomes the difference tonight.
I’m not overwhelmingly backing the Cubs, but I do like a conservative play on the Northsiders finishing things out tonight. They are a decent value at -127.