If you are going to win the World Series, you need to have a solid balance between offense and defense, although it is more often than not stellar pitching that ends up carrying the day. The NLDS series between the San Francisco Giants and the Chicago Cubs gets under way on Friday, and the Giants have a little bit of an issue to contend with. Their ace on the mound is undoubtedly Madison Bumgarner, and while he pitched an absolute gem in the Wild Card game versus the Mets, it now means that he will not be available to start until Game 3 of this series. Anyone who has been paying attention to the Cubs this season will be well aware that they can do some real damage in any series, and there is a better than average chance that Bumgarner may arrive on the scene just in time to save the Giants from the sweep. We are getting a little ahead of ourselves here, though, as there is a lot of MLB online betting to be played before we can have that discussion.
Here’s A Closer Look At The Giants At Cubs MLB Expert Predictions
When: Friday, October 7 at 9 PM EST
Where: Wrigley Field, Chicago
Live Stream: FOX Sports GO
MLB Odds: TBA
Why bet on the San Francisco Giants
The San Francisco Giants ended the season on a very solid run of form, winning 4-straight to secure their spot in the postseason. Old school baseball fans will have surely loved the magnificent pitching duel that was on display in the Wild Card game, but as mentioned, that now means that Madison Bumgarner is pushed down the starting order until Game 3. The good news is that they will have Johnny Cueto (18-5, 2.79 ERA) on the mound on Friday night, so they will not be experiencing that much of a drop off in talent on the mound. The Giants lost the regular season series versus the Cubs, and they did not generate a lot of offense in those 7 games. If this series goes the same way, they are going to need their pitching to deliver.
Why bet on the Chicago Cubs
There is no two ways about it, all the pressure in this series, and perhaps even the entire postseason, is on the shoulders of the Chicago Cubs. This is a team that was totally dominant in the regular season, breaking the 100-win barrier and generally looking like a juggernaut all season long. The expectation is that they will continue to roll all the way to a World Series title, but the playoffs are a totally different level of pressure. Game 1 will see Jon Lester (19-5, 2.44 ERA) take to the mound, and his experience may just come in very handy for a very young Cubs team.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
While this is a fantastic pitching match-up, I have to give the edge to Lester and the Cubs. Lester has gone 8 straight games without giving up more than a single run, and is about as close to unhittable as it gets right now.