Free MLB Picks for Tonight's National League Division Series

Willie Bee

Monday, October 6, 2014 12:41 PM GMT

We already know the two teams that will compete for the AL flag, and we may know one of the NLCS semifinalists at the end of Monday's baseball betting card.

One by one, the favorites to win the American League have fallen to the wayside. MLB futures odds this past February had the Tigers (+385), Red Sox (+500), Angels (+600), Yankees (+600), Athletics (+800), Rays (+800) and Rangers (+800) occupying the top half of the list, four of those seven never even making the playoffs.

Instead, a combined 60 years of AL Pennant frustration are about to come to an end for either the Kansas City Royals or Baltimore Orioles. Listed as 15/1 and 10/1 picks, respectively, to bring home the league championship about eight months ago, the Royals and Orioles will begin the 2014 ALCS this Friday evening in Baltimore.

This matchup may not interest many, and lord knows TBS would've preferred to have the Angels and Tigers, but KC and Baltimore should make for an interesting series after each swept Los Angeles and Detroit. Indeed, it's going to be a shame when one of those teams falls short in this best-of-7 set.

Baltimore will no doubt be favored after winning the AL East to give them the home-field edge against the Royals. Kansas City has won three of its last four games at Camden Yards, and I'm leaning towards a Royals upset.  Stay tuned for my final free pick for the series, and a Game 1 preview on Friday.

 

Washington Nationals vs. San Francisco Giants
Before we get to the O's and Royals in the ALCS, there's still some NLDS action to reckon with. The San Francisco Giants can punch their ticket to the NLCS on Monday (5:07 PM ET) when they host the Washington Nationals for Game 3 of their division series. San Francisco has a 2-0 lead over the Nats, and the Giants are favored behind staff ace Madison Bumgarner to complete the sweep.

SBR's live baseball odds show San Fran in the low-to-mid -130s at most sports books, along with a 6 run total that leans to the 'over' in the duel between Bumgarner and Washington's Doug Fister.

These two hurlers went at it back in mid-June on this diamond, and each handled the bats pretty well in a 2-1 Nationals win. Fister worked seven scoreless for the dubya, Bumgarner taking the loss while allowing both Washington plate crossings. They are also both coming off shutout performances in their last starts, Fister whitewashing the Marlins on Sept. 26 while Bumgarner went the distance in San Francisco's 8-0 pasting of the Pirates in the NL Wild Card clash last Wednesday.

The extra rest could mean Fister needs a half-inning to shake off a little rust, but there's reason to like him and the under dog Nats. As good as Bumgarner has been lately, he struggled at times on the AT&T Park mound, the Giants going 7-8 in his 15 home starts with his ERA up over 4.00. Washington +120 at Pinnacle Sports will be my free pick.

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Los Angeles Dodgers vs. St. Louis Cardinals
While we're on the subject of extra rest, Los Angeles Dodgers southpaw Hyun-Jin Ryu hasn't pitched since Sept. 12 as he prepares to take on the Cardinals in St. Louis tonight (9:07 PM ET). Baseball bettors still like LA's chances, however, pushing the Dodgers from initial underdogs around +100 to slight favorites in the -105 to -110 range.

John Lackey gets the call for the Cardinals with this NLDS deadlocked, 1-1, and a 7.5 run total is priced to the low side.

St. Louis won a wild 10-9 affair in the opener last Friday in Los Angeles, but the Dodgers bounced right back with a 3-2 victory Saturday to level things. Lackey definitely has the edge with 19 postseason appearances against Ryu's two. One of those starts for Ryu was a good one against the Cards in last year's NLCS, and despite his long layoff with a sore shoulder, I'm agreeing with this line movement with a free MLB pick on the Dodgers.

MLB Pick: Nationals +120; Dodgers -110
Season: 124-118-8 (+5.30)

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