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St. Louis Cardinals at San Francisco Giants - 10/16/14 NLCS Pick, Odds, Prediction

St. Louis Cardinals (90-72) at San Francisco Giants (88-74)

MLB Baseball: Thursday

Adam Wainwright (R) (20-10) (2.593) vs. Madison Bumgarner (L) (20-11) (2.764)

The Line: San Francisco Giants / St. Louis Cardinals --- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds

TV: Fox Sports 1

The San Francisco Giants can return to the World Series with a win Thursday night over the St. Louis Cardinals in game five of the NLCS.

Despite having a 4-1 lead at one point in game four, the St. Louis Cardinals find themselves trailing the series 3-1. Before this series started, the Cardinals won seven straight games when scoring more than three runs. Now, the Cardinals have lost back-to-back games despite scoring more than three runs. Matt Carpenter has hit safely in four straight games, Matt Holliday has four hits in his last two games and Kolten Wong has four RBIs in his last three games. The St. Louis Cardinals are simply getting beaten by their own game, as the Giants refuse to go away and somehow continue to find ways to win when they probably shouldn’t. The Cardinals have to dig deep Thursday or the series is over. Taking the mound for St. Louis will be Adam Wainwright, who is 20-9 with a 2.38 ERA and has 179 strikeouts in 227 innings. In this postseason, Wainwright is 0-1 with a 8.00 ERA and has seven strikeouts in nine innings.

St. Louis Cardinals at San Francisco Giants - 10/16/14 NLCS Pick, Odds, Prediction

USA TODAY Sports

The San Francisco Giants have now won 14 of their last 15 games when scoring more than three runs, and that one loss was game two of this series. The Giants haven’t been the best offensive team by any stretch, but they continue to score timely runs and seem to get going most when their back is against the wall. It continues to be the usual suspects for San Fran, as Buster Posey has 13 hits in the postseason, Pablo Sandoval has hit in every postseason game except one and Hunter Pence has an RBI in three straight games. The San Francisco Giants are a team that refuses to die and seems to live for the big moments. Taking the mound Thursday will be Madison Bumgarner, who is 18-10 with a 2.98 ERA and has 219 strikeouts in 217.1 innings. In this postseason, Bumgarner is 2-1 with a 0.76 ERA and has 23 strikeouts in 23.2 innings.

The Cardinals are 4-11 in their last 15 playoff road games, 10-4 in Wainwrights last 14 road starts and 54-25 in Wainwrights last 79 starts overall. The Giants are 8-1 in their last 9 playoff home games, 20-7 in their last 27 home games and 8-2 in Bumgarners last 10 starts. The Cardinals are 5-2 in Wainwrights last 7 starts vs. Giants, while the Giants are 2-5 in Bumgarners last 7 starts vs. Cardinals.

The same reason I picked the Giants in game four is the same reason I like them to end this series. The Giants are an experienced bunch that knows the importance of putting a team away when it has the chance. The Giants don’t want things to go back to St. Louis and give the Cardinals new life. The San Francisco Giants will end this series Thursday night.

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San Francisco Giants

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