San Francisco at Chicago Cubs NLDS Game 1 Betting Preview

Posted by Peter Boysen on October 6, 2016 in

The postseason fortunes of the Chicago Cubs and the San Francisco Giants could not be more different. The Giants ended a World Series title drought that went back to 1954 when they won the 2010 Fall Classic — and then they won again in 2012 and 2014. The Chicago Cubs have not won a title since 1908. The Giants actually had a better winning percentage than the Cubs did at the All-Star break, but the second half saw the Giants slide precipitously, not clinching a wild card spot until the season’s last game, as they finished off a four-game winning streak and a three-game sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Check out the MLB odds for all of the Division Series games.

San Francisco at Chicago Cubs NLDS Game 1 Betting Preview & TV Info

When: Friday, October 7, 2016, 9:15pm ET
Where: Wrigley Field, Chicago
TV: FS1
RadioSan Francisco / Chicago
Live StreamMLB.tv
MLB Odds: XXXX
Pitching Matchup: Johnny Cueto (18-5, 2.79 ERA) (SF) vs Jon Lester (19-5, 2.44 ERA)

 

Why should you bet on the Cubs?

Jon Lester has a postseason ERA (2.85) that is the envy of many of the other pitchers moving into the postseason this year. His approach in these games resembles his approach during the regular season, and he comes into Game 1 looking much like the ace that the Cubs paid him to be. Only one member of the Giant lineup with more than five at-bats against Lester lifetime has an average higher than .250 against him, and that’s the ageless catcher Buster Posey, who has a .417 average against Lester wit a home run and two RBI. Hunter Pence (.250, 1 HR, 2 RBI) is the only other Giant who has ever taken Lester out of the yard.

Why should you put your money on the Giants?

It’s hard to bet against the San Francisco Giants when they make it to the postseason. After all, the last three times they’ve made it into baseball’s second season, they have taken home the World Series title each time. The Giants’ wild card win over the New York Mets saw a scoreless duel between Madison Bumgarner and Noah Syndergaard until Mets manager Terry Collins blinked and pulled Syndergaard, hoping to preserve him for later postseason action. The Giants left Bumgarner in, and he finished a complete-game shutout, while Met closer Jeurys Familia gave up a three-run blast to Conor Gillaspie, and then Bumgarner came back out in the bottom of the ninth to seal the deal.

Cueto doesn’t have that same sort of mystique around him, but his stuff has been good enough to make him one of the best free-agent signings in the 2016 class. I like him to keep the powerful Cub offense in line for much of the game — after all, only two members of the prolific Cub batting order have ever taken him deep.

My Betting Pick and Final Score Prediction

I like how the Giants stayed patient with the Mets and waited for them to break, but the Cubs have a lot more talent in their lineup than the Giants do. I like the Cubs to break through and for Lester to limit the damage. I predict a 3-1 Chicago win to open the series.