Following a day off, the St. Louis Cardinals are back at it on the opposite side of the country on Sunday night in MLB betting action when they take on the San Francisco Giants in Game 1 of the NLCS.
Call them the Cardiac Cards. This is just the team that you cannot knock out of the playoffs under any circumstance. St. Louis just doesn’t know how to say die, and even when it was down 6-0 on Friday going into the fourth inning against the Washington Nationals, there was never a sense of panic. Not only did the team come all the way back, but it ended up winning the game in just nine innings, too. Lance Lynn is going to be back on the mound for the first time since he gave up the game-winning home run to Jayson Werth in Game 4. It is going to be the first start for Lynn since September 30th, and he has had four appearances in relief since that point. In fact, Lynn pitched in three of the five games in the ALDS, which makes us question just how ready for this game he really is going to be. He did go 18-7 this year with a 3.78 ERA, and he is going to be the man that replaces Jamie Garcia in the rotation.
The Giants knew that they had their work cut out for them when they went on the road to take on the Cincinnati Reds for Games 3-5 of the NLDS. They were down 0-2 after losing both games in the Bay Area, and they had to sweep the three games. They did just that though, and here they are in the NLCS, four wins away from the World Series. Madison Bumgarner pitched in Game 2 of this series, and he was a nightmare to watch in that game. He only made it through 4.1 innings of work and allowed four runs in that effort in a game that ended up being a 9-0 defeat. Bumgarner has to know that this is going to be perhaps his last shot here in the second season to be a full-time starter, as he has allowed 31 runs in his last eight starts. Averaging allowing almost four runs per start, and allowing at least four runs in all but two of those outings just isn’t going to cut it.
We are really afraid of both of these pitchers in Game 1 of this series. Lynn has to get back into the mold of being a starter, and that could be tough, while Bumgarner just hasn’t been great. Asking for these two teams to reach three runs apiece isn’t ludicrous in our eyes. San Francisco 5 – St. Louis 4