National League Championship Series Game 1: San Francisco Giants at St. Louis Cardinals
Date/Time: October 11, 8:07 p.m. ET
MLB Betting Odds From 5Dimes Sportsbook
Probable Starters: SF: Madison Bumgarner (0-0, 0.00) v. STL: Adam Wainwright (0-0, 0.00)
Moneyline: St. Louis -120
A lot of faces very familiar with the postseason will take the field on Saturday night at Busch Stadium as the San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals kick off the National League Championship Series. One of the Giants or Cardinals has represented the National League in the World Series in each of the last four postseasons. The Cardinals have one World Series win and the Giants have two World Series wins. The Cardinals won in 2011 and lost in 2013, while the Giants won in 2010 and 2012. One of these two teams will have a crack at another championship.
The Giants will send ace Madison Bumgarner to the mound to open up the series. It was Bumgarner’s throwing error in Game 3 that gave the Washington Nationals some life in that series, but Ryan Vogelsong pitched the Giants on to the second round in Game 4. Bumgarner was good outside of the error, with three runs allowed, two earned, over seven innings. In two postseason starts, Bumgarner is 1-1 with a 1.13 ERA and 16 strikeouts in 16 innings. In 51.2 career postseason innings, Bumgarner has a 2.96 ERA. He ended the regular season on a great run with 2.29 ERA over his final 13 starts.
There was some question about the availability of Adam Wainwright, whose elbow is acting up once again. Something was noticeably off about Wainwright in his Game 1 start against the Dodgers in the NLDS. He only lasted 4.1 innings and allowed six runs on 11 hits. For a frame of reference, Wainwright allowed two runs over his final four regular season starts. The Cardinals will reportedly have Lance Lynn in the bullpen and ready early in the game if necessary. For Wainwright, this will be his 11th career postseason start and he has a 3.61 ERA in those 11 games.
Bumgarner is 3-4 with a 3.97 career ERA in seven starts against the Cardinals. He faced the Cardinals twice this season and was 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA, though he did strike out 16 batters in just 12 innings. The Giants were 20-13 in Bumgarner’s 33 regular season starts and are 1-1 in his two postseason starts.
Wainwright is 5-5 with a 3.11 ERA in 10 starts and two relief appearances against the Giants. He faced the Giants twice this season and was 1-1 with a 5.25 ERA. He allowed seven runs in his first start against the Giants and threw 7.2 shutout innings in his second. The Cardinals were 23-9 in Wainwright’s 32 regular season starts and are 1-0 in the postseason when their ace pitches.
Free MLB Pick: St. Louis Cardinals
There’s going to be value on the Cardinals in this game because of the concerns about Wainwright’s health. For a team that has struggled mightily with left-handed pitching, the Cardinals beat Clayton Kershaw twice in the last round. They’ve got one of MLB’s top home-field advantages and it’s tough to bet against a Wainwright bounce back outing with a little bit of extra rest.