Giants at Cardinals – Free Pick NLCS Game Five

San Francisco Giants +145 at St. Louis Cardinals -155 (Total: 7.5)

Barry Zito vs. Lance Lynn

One half of the World Series is set, and the second half could be if the Cardinals can close out the series tonight at home.  The Giants are no strangers to having their backs to the wall and needing three straight victories to stay alive, they did precisely that to the Cincinnati Reds in the NLDS, however now they will need to summon the magic against the seemingly infinite conjurers of the very magic they need.  They are huge underdogs tonight, meaning Vegas thinks this series is over… however I am not so sure I agree.

The Cardinal win snapped our six pick MLB winning streak on TheSportsGeek, so let’s dig into some stats and see if we can get back to our winning ways.

The line for tonight’s game was very slow to come out, likely as everyone waited for confirmation that the Giants were indeed going to send the much maligned Barry Zito to the hill in this do-or-die affair.  I think the collective question was actually more posed like, “Barry Zito with the season on the line as opposed to… well… anyone else???  Are you SURE???”

Bochy is apparently sure, so the season will reside on the shoulders and curveball of the southpaw Zito – and the hope that he lasts longer than the 2 2/3 innings he lasted against Cincy in the NLDS.  Suffice it to say that Zito comes into tonight’s game with some question marks surrounding him, but he is certainly not the only one; the Cardinals have a whole host of questions as well.

For starters, Lance Lynn is not exactly a tested staff ace.  He has allowed four runs in five of his last nine starts.  His appearance in Game One of the series lasted just 3 2/3 innings with four earned runs and seven base runners allowed for a WHIP of almost 2.00.  He will need a better outing tonight if the Cardinals are going to close out the series.

It is a dangerous thing to bet against the Cardinals in October.  I got burnt last night.  But it is also a dangerous thing to lay -155 with a mediocre starter facing a potent offensive lineup (granted, they have struggled this week at the plate).  I can’t ignore the value of San Fran at +145.  That’s a huge payout for a team facing Lance Lynn.

I like two picks tonight.  The first, I feel really good about, and that is OVER 7.5.  I see both teams scoring some runs tonight and think that number could be in jeopardy by the fifth or sixth inning.  The other selection is the Giants.  I think they get to Lynn, and once again flex their uncanny resiliency.  If they do, it will make for one fantastic weekend of baseball with the World Series on the line and each team’s aces rested and ready to pitch.

Free Picks:  Run TOTAL OVER 7.5 (-105) & San Francisco Giants to WIN +145

Chris Scheeren / Author