The Chicago Cubs host the San Francisco Giants in the opening game of their NLDS on Friday night. The game is scheduled for a primetime 9:00 p.m. start time where it will be televised nationally on FOX Sports 1. The MLB Playoff Odds for the game have the Cubs listed as a huge favorite to pick up the win.
MLB Playoff Odds
Total: 7 runs
San Francisco is one again a threat to win a World Series in an even year. The Giants won the Wild Card game 3-0 over the Mets a few days ago, now they’ve traveled back west and will take on the Cubs in what should be an awesome series. The Cubs were the best team in baseball all season, but the Giants have shown to be a model of consistency for many years under Bruce Bochy.
Jon Lester gets the ball for the Cubs, he finished an impressive 19-5 with a 2.44 ERA for Chicago and was dominant in home starts this season, going 10-2 with a 1.74 ERA over 15 starts. This Giants team he will face is patient, full of experience and not going to back down from him.
Lester made two starts against the Giants this season, they were polar opposite starts as well. In the loss in San Francisco on May 21, Lester gave up five earned runs over six hits and just 2 2/3 innings. Then, on Sept. 2, Lester threw a complete game and allowed just one earned run in the win. Lester is 4-1 with a 2.25 all-time ERA against San Francisco, including 1-1 with a 4.63 ERA this season.
The Giants have arguably the best pitcher alive, certainly in the post season, with Madison Bumgarner, but he clearly can’t start tonight following the Wild Card game. Johnny Cueto gets the ball instead, he went 18-5 with a 2.79 ERA though he wasn’t as sharp in the second half comparatively. He did, however, win his last four starts after earning a no-decision against the Cubs back on Sept. 4, that game was his only start against Chicago this season.
This is just the second time these two historic franchises have met in a playoff series. The last time was a 4-1 Giants series win in the 1989 NLCS.
San Francisco has the experience, having won 11 straight playoff series, but it will be a tough task looking to knock off the Cubs. Cueto is an excellent guy to start with for the Giants, he went 10-2 in road starts and was very good for them over 110 innings of work.
The total sure is low, and it is a night game at Wrigley Field, but the Giants have the experience and a very strong guy on the mound.
Free Pick: Giants
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