Each day during the MLB Playoffs, LT Profits seek out a total that does not add up and offers the most value that day. Here is their Playoff Total Value Play of the Day for Thursday.
There is a pitching rematch of aces from Game 1 of the NLCS, and look for a carbon copy production wise Thursday night when right-hander Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals (95-76, 40-45 away) try to save their season as they again pay a visit to southpaw Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants (95-76, 48-37 home) in Game 5 from AT&T Park in San Francisco, CA at 8:07 ET in a game televised nationally on FOX Sports 1.
The Giants are one win away from advancing to the World Series leading this series 3-1.
The posted total at Pinnacle Sports is 6 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -101.
Was a Nice Pitching Duel in Game 1
When these pitchers hooked up in Game 1, the visiting wild cards from San Francisco took away the home field advantage that the Cardinals had earned by winning the National League Central Division this season, and that is the reason the Giants are in a position to end this series tonight as the home teams have prevailed ever since. However, the pitchers did their jobs in that series opener with the Giants winning by just a 3-0 score.
And that has still been the only time the ‘under’ has been the winning MLB pick to date in this NLCS, but that is rather understandable with these hurlers being the aces of their respective staffs. Yes, Wainwright is reportedly battling through elbow issues, but he was much better in Game 1 than he was in the NLDS vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers, while Bumgarner just may be the Giants’ MVP this post-season, so we see no reason why the offenses will do better here.
One of Best Southpaws in NL
Bumgarner was one of the best southpaws in the National League during the regular season when he finished 18-10 with a 2.98 ERA that ranked third among all National League southpaws (Clayton Kershaw and Cole Hamels) and he had an outstanding ratio of 219 strikeouts vs. 43 walks in 217.1 innings. But as good as those numbers are Bumgarner has reached another level during these playoffs!
Bumgarner has made three starts this post-season beginning with the Wild Card Playoff Game, and he has allowed a grand total of two earned runs on 14 hits with 23 strikeouts in 23.2 innings vs. just three walks, including two scoreless outings with the 7.2 innings in Game 1 of this series being the latest! Furthermore, let’s not forget that in the one start where he was charged with those two earned runs, two runners scored on his own throwing error.
If Bumgarner had thrown the runner out at third base on that play, it would be quite conceivable that he could have had a scoreless post-season entering this appearance!
Probable Cy Young Runner-Up
Now, Wainwright will in all likelihood finish second to Kershaw in the Cy Young voting after going 20-9 with a 2.38 ERA, 1.03 WHIP and 179 strikeouts vs. 50 walks during the regular year. However he did miss a start around the All-Star break with an injury very similar to tennis elbow, and the whispers are that the injury has resurfaced and that “Waino” is attempting to pitch through it.
That could partly explain his awful outing in Game 1 of the NLDS vs. the Dodger where he was lit up for six earned runs on 11 hits in 4.1 innings. Wainwright was a bit better in Game 1 of this series, although he was again lifted early after 4.2 innings allowing two earned runs on six hits. Wainwright admitted after the game that the elbow was not 100 percent but that it felt much better than it did vs. the Dodgers, and he then had a successful bullpen session on Wednesday.
As long as he progresses normally, that should mean that he will be even better for this start and it would be just in the nick of time with his Cardinals facing elimination.
Masterpiece in San Francisco Last Time
And remember that the last time Wainwright faced the Giants when he was presumably in perfect health during the regular season, he tossed a gem right here in San Francisco hurling 7.2 scoreless innings and allowing just four hits back on July 2nd.
With all of this in mind, look for a similar pitching duel as when these pitchers matched up in Game 1 and for another ‘under’ in Game 5 of the NLCS from San Francisco on Thursday.
MLB Pick: Cardinals, Giants ‘under’ 6 (-101)