MLB Picks for Tonight's Cardinals vs. Giants NLCS Game 5

Joe Gavazzi

Thursday, October 16, 2014 3:53 PM GMT

Revenge and resiliency are two motivating factors behind this shocking results. Find out where the best value lies for Tonight's MLB picks for Cardinals vs. Giants.

I lost my selection last night on St. Louis, which allowed the Giants to take a 3-1 series lead in the NLCS. Two years ago, the Cards came to the Bay Area leading the series 3-2. San Francisco went on to win both games for the series victory, which catapulted them to the World Series title. Do not be surprised if St. Louis returns the favor by keeping alive in Game 5, sending the series home to St. Louis. We know that St. Louis is MLB’s most resilient team. Despite last night’s loss, the Cards are still 91-50 following a defeat since the start of last season. Though All-Star catcher, Molina, is expected to miss his 3rd straight game, the Cards were respectable when he missed time in the regular season. In addition, cannot discount the fact that after a 22-9 home field start, San Francisco is just 25-28 on this field, the last 53 games. 

We now turn our attention to the all-important pitching matchup. For San Francisco, Bumgarner continues to exhibit a clear-cut, inverted home/road dichotomy. Respect is accorded to the recent form of Bumgarner. In his most recent 4 starts, Bumgarner is 3-1 with a 0.59 ERA and .152 BAA. This includes 2-1 in the playoffs. His most recent performance was a 3-0 San Francisco victory in Game 1 of this series AT St. Louis. Note that the two victories were shutout wins on the road, while the defeat came on this field 4-1 to Washington. That drops Bumgarner’s playoff record from this mound to 1-3 with a 5.06 ERA and .282 BAA. Those numbers are reminiscent of his work from this mound this season. In 15 home starts, spanning 91 2/3 IP, Bumgarner had a 4.03 ERA.

As Wainwright struggles with elbow issues and mechanical problems, he has been troubled in the playoffs. His record is just 1-1, allowing 9 runs in 9 IP, including the 3-0 loss to San Francisco in Game 1. But his personal and team revenge will be strong motivation tonight. Consider Wainwright pitched his best ball on the road this season. In 18 road starts, over 130 2/3 IP, Wainwright posted a 1.72 ERA with 0.96 WHIP. 

At this inflated underdog price on the MLB odds board, I favor St. Louis off a loss for my MLB picks and Wainwright in revenge, backed by the inverted home/road dichotomy with Wainwright over Bumgarner in this matchup.

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