The San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals are virtually mirror images of each other, which is why the underdog is the right betting pick to advance to the 2014 World Series.
San Francisco has gone 26-10 in the MLB playoffs dating back to 2010, as it eliminated the heavily favored Washington Nationals in four games in the NLDS, but it lands in the underdog role once again in this matchup.
The Giants are positioned to make a run at three crowns in five seasons, as they captured both the 2010 and 2012 World Series, which is important to consider when making your postseason picks the rest of the way.
It’s important to point out that the club won four of seven regular-season meetings between these two sides, with the OVER going 4-3 in those contests.
A Regular Occurrence
St. Louis will participate in the NLCS for a fourth straight year, with this being the third occurrence under manager Mike Matheny, but he’ll be matching wits with another experienced skipper in San Francisco’s Bruce Bochy.
The Cardinals tallied an NL-best 51 wins at home during the regular season, which can’t be ignored when looking over the MLB betting lines, as they’ve also won 11 of 16 playoff games at Busch Stadium under Matheny.
MLB handicappers will also find that this storied franchise has put together a 10-5 series record in the playoffs when facing off against a foe from the NL West division.
Posey Is the Key
Giants catcher Buster Posey was arguably the best hitter in the Senior Circuit during the second half of the season, and he carried over that success in hitting .391 during the playoffs to this point.
Posey ranked fourth in the Majors with a .346 batting average with runners in scoring position, while his counterpart really struggled down the stretch, as Yadier Molina hasn’t been the same since sustaining a right thumb injury in July.
A Major Question Mark
Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright has been one of the more reliable players in the game for years, but there’s some questions regarding the health of his throwing elbow, especially since his 508 innings since the start of the 2013 campaign leads all pitchers.
St. Louis has relied on the right-hander to go deep into ballgames to save the bullpen for other members of the rotation, but Matheny may have to make some hard decisions in this series if his horse is unable to deliver.
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Giants with their MLB picks to advance past the Cardinals, as their versatile bullpen will be the difference in this fantastic matchup.
Bochy’s ability to maximize this group is uncanny, which will ultimately lead to a third appearance in the Fall Classic in five years.
Free MLB Pick: San Francisco Giants +119 to Win the Series