Monday Night MLB Picks: Giants-Cardinals, Rematch of 2014 NLCS

Joe Gavazzi

Monday, August 17, 2015 3:45 PM GMT

I am backing the St. Louis Cardinals with my money-line MLB picks today as they are playing at home where they are 44-18. The San Francisco Giants are priced at +138 to pull the upset.

San Francisco Giants (Heston) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (Wacha) (-150) 8:05 ET ESPN
The San Francisco Giants and St. Louis Cardinals meet in Game 1 of this early week set in a rematch of last year’s NLCS of 2014 in which the Giants defeated the Cards.  San Fran eventually defeated Kansas City for their 3rd title in 5 years.  This year, the Giants, at 64-53, trail the Dodgers by 2 ½ games for the division lead and trail the Cubs by 3 ½ games for the final Wild Card spot.  St. Louis, conversely, has an MLB best record of 75-42, good enough for a 5 game lead over the Pittsburgh Pirates.  St. Louis also has the Majors best home record at 44-18.  The Giants are hot entering with a 4-game winning streak, including the weekend sweep of the Nationals by a combined score of 28-12.  St. Louis suffered a 6-4 defeat against Miami Sunday, but remains on a 19-9 run.  Must favor the Cards here, playing with post-season revenge and coming off a defeat.

The Giants have been a wildly streaking team with recent runs of 25-9 followed by 13-23 and now 21-10.  In the role of the hunter, they should be hungry tonight.  Tonight’s starter, Heston, however, may not be the answer.  In 3 recent starts, Heston is 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA.  In his most recent 2 road starts, Heston has lasted just 8 2/3 IP, allowing 8 runs.  

With a 5-game lead over the Pirates, St. Louis looks for motivation wherever it will come.  Tonight’s matchup, off a loss and with revenge, provides that motivation.  St. Louis has been doing it all year with their pitching and timely hitting.  Their .711 batting OPS puts them in the middle of MLB.  On the mound, it’s a different story.  St. Louis has an MLB leading .652 OPS, including a bullpen with a .635 OPS.  Leading the way is tonight’s starter, Wacha.  In his last 3 starts, Wacha has worked 20 IP, allowing just 2 runs.  Key to the buy sign in this pitching matchup, however, is a 1.01 home WHIP by Wacha.   

ESPN picked a beauty to start the week!  Each team enters with strong motivational factors with San Fran as a hunter and the Cards off a loss with revenge.  Deciding factors to note before placing your MLB picks are the St. Louis home field where they are 44-18 and the strong current form of Wacha, along with his outstanding work from this mound.

MLB Picks: Take St. Louis Cardinals (Wacha)