National League Championship Series Game 3: St Louis Cardinals at San Francisco Giants
Date/Time: October 14, 4:07 p.m. ET
TV: FOX Sports 1
MLB Betting Odds From 5Dimes Sportsbook
Probable Starters: STL: John Lackey (0-0, 0.00) v. SF: Tim Hudson (0-0, 0.00)
Moneyline: San Francisco -120
Tim Hudson is the active leader in pitching wins with 214. John Lackey is sixth with 152. Yet, between the two of them, they have only combined for eight career postseason wins and seven of those belong to Lackey. Thanks to Kolten Wong’s heroics in Game 2, this series headed to the Bay Area tied at 1-1. The Giants were 45-36 at home during the regular season and split their two home games in the NLDS. The Cardinals were just 39-42 away from Busch Stadium and split with the Dodgers in the NLDS. The Giants are a slight favorite for Tuesday afternoon’s Game 3.
John Lackey was a hero of the postseason for the Boston Red Sox last season and he gave the Cardinals seven spectacular innings in Game 3 against the Dodgers. In 20 career playoff appearances, 17 of them starts, Lackey is 7-5 with a 2.92 ERA. He’s a big game pitcher and his playoff performance has proven that. In his last 10 playoff starts and one relief appearance, Lackey is 7-4 with a 2.44 ERA. Lackey was just 3-3 with a 4.30 ERA after he was traded to the Cardinals, but his playoff performance could certainly make people forget about the few regular season starts he made.
Tim Hudson has a very small amount of playoff experience given the fact that he has made 457 starts over 16 years in the Major Leagues. To add insult to injury for Hudson, he was 0-6 in playoff series up until the Giants won the NLDS over the Washington Nationals. To Hudson’s credit, he has pitched well in the playoffs with a 3.19 ERA even though he is just 1-3. Hudson threw 7.1 solid innings in his NLDS start, scattering seven hits, with eight strikeouts. Hudson was 9-13 with a 3.57 during the regular season. However, Hudson had a terrible month of September with an 8.72 ERA in five starts.
Lackey is 1-1 in two career starts against the Giants. He hasn’t faced the Giants since 2009 and his other start came in 2006. Current Giants only have 12 career plate appearances against Lackey. The Cardinals were 6-4 in Lackey’s 10 regular season starts and won his lone postseason start.
Hudson is 4-4 with a 5.26 ERA in 13 career starts against the Cardinals. He threw seven shutout innings against St. Louis in his lone start against them in 2014. The Giants were 17-14 in Hudson’s 31 starts and also won his postseason start.
Free MLB Pick: St. Louis Cardinals
Both bullpens were beaten up a bit in their last game and that’s a concern for both sides. Luckily, both pitchers are rather efficient and don’t issue a lot of walks. There’s a slight nod here to Lackey at plus money because of his level of playoff success. The Giants have played well at home in the postseason, so there’s certainly enough reasons for them to be favored. It’s a very tough game to pick, but at plus money or better, start with the Cardinals and Lackey and possibly live bet the game if you can.