It’s been a nice start to the MLB postseason from a wagering perspective as we are now 5-2on our last seven plays after last night’s dominant performance from Madison Baumgarner and the Giants. Those five wins include two over/under plays and three underdog winners, so a nice little profit week on the diamond – we will try to keep it going tonight on the lone game on the baseball slate, NLCS Game Two.
It’s also been a nice postseason for the road teams. They are a perfect 3-0 so far in the Championship Series Round and the surviving teams are a combined 6-1 away from the friendly confines of their home parks. SO will the trend continue today? Can the Giants run their record to a blistering 5-0 on the road and win their eighth straight road playoff game dating back to 2012? Or will the Cardinals “go Cardinals” tonight and do what they always do in October – find the big hit they need to win a close game…
Let’s dig inside the Game Two matchup and see if we can keep up our blistering postseason pace.
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Today’s Free Pick:
National League Championship Series – Game Two @ Busch Stadium, St. Louis
San Francisco Giants +126 at St. Louis Cardinals -135 (Total:6.5)
Jake Peavy vs. Lance Lynn
How huge has the acquisition of Jake Peavy been for the Giants? They were struggling mightily in the middle of the season, falling from a 42-21 best-in-baseball start to a double-digit deficit in the West. One of the biggest cogs in the turnaround to where they stand now, three wins away from their third World Series in five years, was bringing Peavy over from Boston. The veteran was struggling mightily, yet all seemed to return to wonderful when he was reunited with Righetti and Bochey.
Peavy is 7-1 with a 1.23 ERA over his last ten starts and has posted a 1.17 ERA over his last three with a WHIP under 1.00. As fantastic as that is, is actually right in line with the Giants whole team who have complied a 1.06 team ERA over their last 13 playoff games, with an even-lower 0.76 ERA on the road. It puts tremendous pressure on the other team to be perfect (which manifested itself on several miscues last night with directly contributed to two of the Giant’s three runs).
So will Lance Lynn respond? He’s been a so-so postseason pitcher for the Cards, posting a 4.57 ERA in 22 appearances and 6 starts, though one could also view that as a positive, having 22 appearances for a pitcher who is just 26 years old and has very good stuff. I expect him to handle the moment with poise.
But will it be enough? The Cardinals, taking away the bizarro world 10-9 win over Kershaw and the Dodgers, have only averaged only 2 runs a game in the postseason. I would be surprised if they clawed out more than two or three tonight against Peavy and a talented and rested bullpen. That makes laying nearly 3:4 odds on them a pretty steep price.
This game is a pick ‘em at worst, and most likely I’d give a slight edge to the pitching and momentum of the Giants. I won’t fall out of my seat if the Cardinals find some customary magic, but I don’t like betting on the expectation of magic. Besides, it isn’t like the Giants haven’t had more than a bag full over the last five years as well. They are the much better value tonight at +126.