Two teams that continue to make visits to the National League
Championship Series square off when the St. Louis Cardinals
host the San Francisco Giants in Saturday’s Game 1. The
Cardinals won the NLCS in 2011 and 2013 while the Giants
prevailed in 2010 and 2012 – including a seven-game victory
over St. Louis in the latter matchup. Cardinals ace Adam
Wainwright will oppose San Francisco’s Madison Bumgarner in a
top-tier pitching duel.
Two of the top catchers in baseball will be on display in St.
Louis’ Yadier Molina (the better on the defensive end) and San
Francisco’s Buster Posey (slightly better offensively). The
Giants have won seven straight postseason series, while the
Cardinals are the first team to compete in four consecutive
league championship series since the New York Yankees went to
four straight in the American League from 1998-2001. St. Louis
is hoping to see left fielder Matt Holliday (nine straight
20-homer seasons) get hot, while San Francisco is waiting on
right fielder Hunter Pence (no RBIs yet in the postseason) to
TV: 8:07 p.m. ET, FOX
LINE HISTORY: The opening line had the St.
Louis -135, but the line has been dropping since and currently
sits at St. Louis -120. The total opened at 6.5 and that’s
where is has remained
INJURY REPORT: Giants – N/A
Cardinals – N/A
WEATHER REPORT: Expect a mainly cloudy evening
with a 30 percent chance of rain and a cool temperature of
WHAT CAPPERS SAY: “Who else would you
expect to still be playing in the National League in
mid-October. The Giants and Cardinals aren’t unfamiliar with
the territory, and this has the makings of an entertaining,
back-and-forth series. In the opener we’ll see a tremendous
pitching matchup between Madison Bumgarner and Adam Wainwright,
and I’m not sure oddsmakers can set the total low enough. Yes,
Wainwright struggled in his lone start in the NLDS, but I fully
expect him to bounce back here. Bumgarner is relishing the
opportunity as the Giants staff ace, but he has had some
trouble with the Cards in the past. I’m confident he’ll step up
as well in this one. Side is tough in the opener, but I am
leaning to the under.” – Covers Expert Sean Murphy
WAG WAR: Hunter Pence’s girlfriend Shannon
James and Shelby Miller wife Amy.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Giants LH Madison Bumgarner
(1-1, 1.13 ERA) vs. Cardinals RH Adam Wainwright (0-0, 12.46)
The 18-game winner is San Francisco’s undisputed ace after Matt
Cain suffered a season-ending injury and Tim Lincecum furthered
his deep decline. He pitched a four-hit shutout to beat
Pittsburgh in the wild-card game before losing to Washington in
his lone NL Division Series outing. Bumgarner is 3-4 with a
3.97 ERA in seven career starts against St. Louis and went 1-1
with a 3.00 ERA in two 2014 outings against the Cardinals.
The 20-game winner is rumored to be having elbow issues but
Cardinals manager Mike Matheny insists the reports about
Wainwright are highly exaggerated. He didn’t look too sharp
against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLDS as he was roughed
up for six runs and 11 hits in 4 1/3 innings. Wainwright is 5-5
with a 3.11 ERA in 12 career appearances (10 starts) against
San Francisco and had a 5.25 ERA and 1-1 mark in two outings
against the Giants this season.
*Giants are 20-6 in their last 26 playoff games as an
*Cardinals are 10-1 in their last 11 games vs. a left-handed
*Over is 4-1 in Wainwrights last 5 starts vs. Giants.
COVERS CONSENSUS: 58.41 percent of Covers
users are backing the Cardinals with 52.1 percent on the over.