Each day during the MLB Playoffs, LT Profits seeks a side that has a better chance of cashing than its odds would indicate. Here is their MLB Playoff Value Play for Sunday.
Although the home team could be in desperation mode, the pitching matchup and line value both seem to favor the visitors going up 2-0 in the series when Jake Peavy and the San Francisco Giants (93-75, 47-38 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Lance Lynn and the St. Louis Cardinals (93-74, 53-31 home) in Game 2 of the NLCS from Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MO at 8:07 ET in a game televised nationally on FOX Sports 1.
The posted money line at Pinnacle Sports has San Francisco as a decent road underdog for the contest at current odds of +126.
Drawing First Blood on Road
The wild card Giants continued their hot playoff season by taking the series opener 3-0 here in St. Louis last night with their ace Madison Bumgarner getting the best of Cardinals’ ace Adam Wainwright. That made San Francisco 5-1 this post-season, a run that began with a road win in the single elimination National League Wild Card Playoff Game.
The Cardinals were also hot entering this series after beating Clayton Kershaw twice while eliminating the Los Angeles Dodgers in four games in their NLDS, and we thought picking a winner in this series was a very difficult MLB pick. Thus, the kneejerk reaction would be to take the Cardinals to avoid losing the first two games at home and take this series back to San Francisco 1-1.
The problem with that though is the anticipation of St. Louis money seems to be factored into this line, as the Giants look like an overlay considering they have the favorable pitching matchup.
Surprise, Surprise, Surprise
We probably would have never said that earlier in the year as we were never big fans of Jake Peavy, as we thought the good numbers he had early in his career with the Padres were a by-product of pitching at spacious Petco Park and that his mediocre numbers since leaving San Diego were more reflective of his true ability. We must give credit where credit is due however and Peavy has been terrific since being acquired by the Giants!
Jake may have gone just 6-4 in his 12 starts in a Giant uniform, but he had a 2.17 ERA and 1.04 WHIP back in the National League after coming over from the Boston Red Sox and, most remarkably, he has allowed two earned runs or less in each of his last 10 starts including 5.2 scoreless innings in a 3-2 win over the top-seeded Washington Nationals in the NLDS.
And he has the support of a San Francisco bullpen that has also sparkled this post-season, posting a stellar 1.74 ERA over 20.2 innings with 18 strikeouts while yield just a scant .129 opponents’ batting average!
Consistency May Not Be Enough
Now Lynn gets an “A” for consistency since his first full season in the majors in 2012 and he had another solid year this season going 15-10 with a nice 2.74 ERA and an above average 1.26 WHIP. He was then on the hook for the loss in Game 2 vs. the Dodgers after allowing two earned runs on seven hits in six innings, although the Cardinals did take him off of that hook by rallying to tie the game despite ultimately losing anyway 3-2, their only loss of the NLDS.
Generally, what you see from Lynn is what you get, and the problem with that is he does have an unwanted penchant for pitching around putting runners on base. And lately that has not served him well as his rather high 1.39 WHIP over his last thee starts has led to an 0-1 mark with a 3.50 ERA. Well, he was not able to escape damage in his only start vs. San Francisco this season, allowing seven runs (four earned) on eight hits in just 3.1 innings right here at Busch Stadium.
The fact that he is now facing what looks like a Giant team on a mission that is averaging 4.20 runs over the last 10 games does not help matters either, nor does the St. Louis bullpen having a nondescript 3.25 ERA over the last 10 games.
San Francisco Road Warriors
Finally, the Giants have experience great post-season success on the road and that has not been only limited to this year. The Game 1 win last night made it eight straight playoff road wins overall for the team that won the World Series in both 2010 and 2012.
The Cardinals may be the more desperate team being down 0-1 at home, but that may not help them with San Francisco having the pitching edge and at a nice underdog price in Game 2 of the NLC from St. Louis on Sunday.
MLB Pick: Giants +126