San Francisco Giants vs. St. Louis Cardinals - 2014 NLCS Series Pick, Odds, Prediction
San Francisco Giants (88-74) at St. Louis Cardinals (90-72)
October 8, 2014
The Line: St. Louis Cardinals / San Francisco Giants --- Over/Under: See the Latest Odds
The St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants will begin the 2014 NLCS Saturday night in what should be a fantastic series. The Giants won the regular season series, 4-3.
With both teams experienced at this time of year, the Cardinals are a slight favorite at -130, while the Giants have odds of +110 to win the series.
USA TODAY Sports
Who you got?
For me, this series all comes down to which team is able to get timely hits and produce just enough offense to squeak by. The Cardinals were the worst offensive team in the postseason, producing three or less runs in 12 of their last 16 games. Matt Carpenter was terrific in the NLDS with three homers and seven RBIs. But besides him, Jon Jay and Matt Holliday, no other Cardinals hitter had more than three hits in the series. The Cards are extremely limited offensively and you have to believe that Carpenter can’t stay that hot for another series, as it’s simply unfair and unrealistic expectations.
While the Giants are better statistically offensively, they also have their moments where they can’t score, producing three or less runs in 11 of their last 15 games. However, Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, Brandon Crawford, Hunter Pence, Joe Panik and Pablo Sandoval all had four or more hits in their NLDS matchup. The San Francisco Giants have the better lineup from top to bottom and should be able to win another series where offense is hard to come by.
They say pitching wins in the postseason, but the Los Angeles Dodgers allowed three or less runs in three straight games and are now watching the playoffs from their couch. Yes, pitching is huge, but you also have to be able to put runs on the board and the Cardinals lose in that department.
The St. Louis Cardinals have the advantage in pitching with Adam Wainwright, John Lackey and Lance Lynn. Those three experienced pitchers are tough customers and will make hitting tough to come by. However, the Cardinals have shown that they struggle to put runs on the board against just about anybody all season long. I’ll take my chances with the better offense and a coach in Bruce Bochy who has won the World Series the last two times he’s reached the postseason.
The San Francisco Giants will win a highly competitive series and return to the big dance.