The Chicago Cubs will look to eliminate the San Francisco Giants on Monday in Game 3 of the NLDS on FS1. The Cubs won each of the first two games of this best-of-five series at home by scores of 1-0 and 5-2. The series now shifts to San Francisco and the Giants will be counting on Madison Bumgarner to stay alive as he gets the start against Jake Arrieta. Here is a look at the contest and free MLB picks.
MLB Odds – San Francisco Giants -125, total 6 under
Probable Pitching Matchup – Arrieta vs. Bumgarner
Arrieta won 18 games this season but he didn’t pitch well in his last start of the season allowing seven runs. Arrieta had an ERA of nearly five in his last five starts of the season. Arrieta faced the Giants twice this season and pitched well in both starts although the Cubs went just 1-1 in the two games. He matched up against Bumgarner in early September and it was the Giants winning 3-2. Arrieta is just 7-6 with a 4.44 ERA in his last 16 starts.
"I've seen him be a lot better this last month, for the most part,'' catcher David Ross said. "He may have a bad inning here or there, but he's getting back to that consistent guy that we rely on. He's another guy, too, that I'll take him any day of the week. I know his character. I know what he's thinking, and what kind of guts he has. I really like our chances when he's on the mound.''
Bumgarner has simply been brilliant in his career in the postseason and he comes off a shutout in the Wild Card Game against the Mets. He has not allowed a run in his last 23 postseason innings. He is 5-1 with a 0.79 ERA in his nine postseason appearances.
"If there's one thing we've learned about this ballclub, it's that until that last pitch is thrown, where we're not playing anymore, you can't count us out,'' reliever George Kontos said. "Luckily we haven't come to that point yet in our postseason career. I hope this series isn't it. I expect us to go back to San Francisco and play the baseball that we're capable of playing. We've got Madison on the mound on Monday. We all know how good he is. We're just going to rally up and try to play good baseball."
The Giants have won 11 straight playoff series going back to 2003. They have come back twice from 0-2 deficits, beating the Reds and Cardinals in 2012. History is still against them as only 7 of 53 teams have come back to win a Division Series after losing the first two games.
The Cubs are 1-4 in the last 5 meetings in San Francisco. The Cubs are 5-1 in their last 6 vs. the National League West. The Cubs are 5-2 in their last 8 road games. The Cubs are 2-5 in their last 7 games vs. a left-handed starter. The Cubs are 39-13 in Arrieta’s last 52 starts. The Cubs are 36-15 in Arrieta’s last 51 road starts.
The Giants are 6-1 in their last 7 playoff home games. The Giants are 5-2 in their last 7 games vs. a right-handed starter. The Giants are 4-1 in Bumgarner’s last 5 home starts.
The Under is 4-0-1 in the Cubs last 5 vs. the National League West. The Over is 6-2-1 in the Cubs last 9 overall. The Over is 11-2-3 in Arrieta’s last 16 road starts. The Over is 15-5 in the Giants last 20 playoff home games. The Over is 4-1 in Bumgarner’s last 5 home starts. The Under is 4-0-1 in the last 5 meetings in this series.
Free MLB Picks
If Arrieta pitches reasonably well then this should be a low scoring game so I will take the under.