San Francisco Giants
Baseball betting fans surely won't want to miss this one on Saturday night, as the NLCS kicks off between the San Francisco Giants and the Philadelphia Phillies in the City of Brotherly Love.
The Giants needed four games to take care of the Atlanta Braves in the NLDS. Their offense wasn't fantastic through, but the pitching staff didn't miss a beat. The team allowed a grand total of two earned runs in the four games in the series, and San Fran put Bobby Cox's career to rest once and for all.
The Phillies are either that good, or the Cincinnati Reds were just that overmatched in their first postseason appearance since the mid 1990s. There really weren't too many moments of doubt right from the get go for the Phils, as they rolled to a three game sweep of Cincinnati.
This fantastic pitching duel features two of the best in the game. It's hard to think that this wasn't the best performance by a hurler in the playoffs, but RHP Tim Lincecum's complete game two hitter was certainly one for the ages. He struck out 14 men and allowed just three to reach base for his third win in as many starts in Game 1 of the NLDS. Lincecum is also 6-1 in his L/7 MLB betting affairs. It wasn't a thrilling season for the righty, but at 16-10, he was still good enough to be the ace of this staff all year long. Lincecum hasn't allowed more than three earned runs in a start since the end of August. He is 2-1 with a 3.17 career ERA against the Phils and struck out 11 the last time he faced them.
The reason that Lincecum was overshadowed was because on that same day, RHP Roy Halladay threw only the second no-hitter in the history of baseball. Halladay's only blunder in the game was a single walk, and many think that this was the greatest playoff performance by a pitcher ever. Not bad for a postseason debut, eh? Halladay has been on an absolute tear of late, picking up the win the last six times that he went to the bump. With 21 wins on the season, the argument could be made that this is the Cy Young Award winner in the National League.
How could we pick against either of these arms? The only hope that we have in this one is that the Giants find a way to scratch together a couple runs, whether by bloop or by blast. We can't lay -170 chalk against Lincecum even though the big three starters for the Phils have been beaten a grand total of one time at home since July.
Selection: San Francisco Giants +160