Chicago at San Francisco NLDS Game 3 Expert Pick
The Chicago Cubs had the best record in baseball during the regular season and were betting favorites to win the franchise’s first World Series since 1908. The Cubbies can get back to their second straight NLCS with a victory in San Francisco in Game 3 of the NLDS on Monday. But to do so, the Cubs will have to beat arguably the greatest postseason pitcher ever in San Francisco lefty Madison Bumgarner. Because of him, the Giants are favored in the MLB lines.
Take a Closer Look at the Chicago at San Francisco NLDS Game 3 Expert Pick & TV Info
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) October 10, 2016
When: Monday, Oct. 10, 9 PM ET
Where: AT&T Park, San Francisco
Probable pitchers (away/home): Jake Arrieta/Madison Bumgarner
TV: Fox Sports 1
Radio: Chicago / San Francisco
Opening MLB Lines: Giants -130, Cubs +110 (6)
Why Bet on Chicago?
The first two games have pretty much gone the way of the regular season: The Cubs have outpitched their opponent. No surprise. They were the best team on the mound all year, and manager Joe Maddon was able to rest and set up his entire staff exactly the way he wanted.
Then again, not everything has gone according to plan. Anthony Rizzo has swung at some bad pitches and hasn’t reached base yet. Kris Bryant bobbled a ball then threw another one away, earning two errors on one play in Game 2. In Game 2, Chicago’s Travis Wood became the second reliever — the first in 92 years — to homer in a postseason game. The only other was Rosy Ryan, who homered against the Washington Senators in Game 3 of the 1924 World Series. Cubs pitchers led the majors with 54 hits in the regular season. Over the last six seasons, they’ve hit 18 home runs. Only the Giants (21) have more.
The Cubs go with 2015 Cy Young winner Jake Arrieta on Monday. He won’t win the Cy this year but was still very good. Arrieta had an 18-8 record, a major-league- leading .194 opponents’ batting average, a workload of 197 1/3 innings, a selection to his first All-Star team and his status as leader of a rotation that fueled a 103-win season. But since the start of June, Arrieta has gone 9-8 with a 4.05 ERA, looking human more often than not. Even as he was the most difficult pitcher to get a hit off in 2016, his walks per nine innings rose from 1.9 to 3.5. His fastball velocity is down a tick. He averaged 93 mph in September, down from 94.2 earlier in the season, and whereas he topped out at 97.1 mph in June, his max velocity was 95.8 late in the season.
“This season, everybody’s been over-scrutinizing him based on what he had done last year,” Maddon said. “He’s had a great season. It’s not maybe as great as last year was, but it’s hard to replicate that
Why Bet on San Francisco?
Because of Bumgarner. He’s 6-1 with a 0.79 ERA over his past eight playoff starts, beginning with Game 2 of the 2012 World Series. That doesn’t include his five-inning save on two days’ rest to lock down the 2014 World Series.
Last week in the wild-card game at the Mets, he threw a complete-game shutout. His four-hitter improved him to 8-3 with a 1.94 ERA in 15 career postseason appearances. He has now spent 23 innings on the mound in winner-take- all baseball games. And he has hung a zero on the scoreboard in all 23 of them.
The Giants have outscored opponents 50-11 in their last nine postseason elimination games. They havewon all 11 postseason rounds under Manager Bruce Bochy, matching manager Joe Torre and the 1998- 2001 New York Yankees for the longest streak in major league history.
Bumgarner has been a thorn in the Cubs’ side regardless of what the calendar says. The left-hander is 8-2 with a 2.25 ERA in 12 starts against Chicago, including a pair of wins and a 1.32 ERA in two starts this season. He’s 5-0 with a 1.74 ERA in six starts against the Cubs since the start of 2013.
The Giants faced a similar 0-2 NLDS deficit against the Reds in 2012, though those first two losses came at AT&T Park. San Francisco answered with three straight wins.
My Expert Prediction
Under is 4-0- 1 in the last 5 meetings.
Giants are 4-0 in Bumgarner’s last 4 starts vs. Cubs.
Under is 6-1- 2 in Bumgarner’s last 9 starts vs. Cubs.
Can’t go against Bumgarner. Take the Giants and the under in MLB betting.