The San Francisco Giants visit the Chicago Cubs in Game 1 of the NLDS on Friday on FS1. The Giants are coming off a win over the Mets in the Wild Card Game while the Cubs have been waiting, having finished with the best record in the Major Leagues this season. The Giants will be sending Johnny Cueto to the mound in this game while the Cubs counter with Jon Lester. The Cubs are listed as -180 favorites in this contest. Let’s look at the matchup and MLB picks.
Probable Pitching Matchup - Cueto vs. Lester
Cueto had an excellent regular season for the Giants going 18-5 with a 2.79 ERA. He pitched in the playoffs a year ago as he dominated the Mets in the 2015 World Series. Cueto was great down the stretch this season for the Giants as he went 3-0 with a 1.69 ERA in this last three starts.
Lester had similar numbers to Cueto this season as he was 19-5 with a 2.44 ERA for the Cubs. In his last 10 starts, Lester was 9-1 with a 1.46 ERA. He has a 2.85 ERA in his career in the playoffs.
The Giants were 42-39 on the road in the regular season with 33 going over, 45 going under with 3 pushes. San Francisco is scoring 4.4 runs per game and allowing 3.6 per contest.
The Cubs were 57-24 at home this season with 31 going over, 47 going under with 3 pushes. Chicago is scoring 5 runs per game and allowing 3.1 per contest.
The Giants are 7-0 in their last 7 Divisional Playoff road games. The Giants are 4-1 in their last 5 games vs. a left-handed starter. The Giants are 19-7 in their last 26 playoff road games. The Giants are 3-8 in their last 11 road games vs. a left-handed starter. The Giants are 13-4 in Cueto’s last 17 road starts.
The Giants are 1-7 in the last 8 meetings in Chicago. The Cubs are 38-12 in their last 51 games vs. a right-handed starter. The Cubs are 82-34 in their last 116 home games. The Cubs are 7-3 in their last 10 vs. the National League West. The Cubs are 2-7 in their last 9 playoff home games. The Cubs are 18-5 in Lester’s last 23 home starts.
The Under is 7-0 in the Giants last 7 road games vs. a left-handed starter. The Under is 12-5 in the Giants last 17 road games. The Over is 7-3-1 in Cueto’s last 11 starts overall. The Over is 6-1 in the Cubs last 7 overall. The Under is 41-19-2 in the Cubs last 62 home games. The Under is 9-1 in Lester’s last 10 starts overall. The Under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Chicago.
The Giants don’t hit lefthanders well and they normally struggle in Chicago so I will take the Cubs in this game and also play the game under the total.