As we went to press Monday one of the four League Divisional Series has been decided as Toronto completed a three game sweep of AL West Division winner Texas, winning the first two games on the road and completing the sweep Sunday night at home.
Toronto had advanced to the ALDS with a thrilling 10 inning 5-2 home win over Baltimore last Tuesday. That win was just the precursor to one of the best pitched and dramatic postseason games in recent history the following night when San Francisco defeated the New York Mets in the NL Wild Card game in New York.
Giants ace Madison Bumgarner continued his post season mastery by pitching a complete game 4 hit shutout, outdueling Mets ace Noah Syndergaard who pitched 7 shutout innings. The Giants scored all 3 runs in their 3-0 in the top of the ninth inning of Mets closer Jeurys Familia.
The Giants were on the wrong end of another well pitched game as Chicago’s Jon Lester outpitched the Giants’ Johnny Cueto in the Cubs’ 1-0 win. Javier Baez accounted for the lone tally with his eighth inning home run off Cueto.
The Cubs won again on Saturday and can clinch the series with a win in San Francisco on Monday as Jake Arrieta faces the Giants’ Bumgarner.
Should the Giants force a Game 4 on Tuesday in what should be priced close to Pick ‘em, look for the Cubs to wrap up the series with John Lackey expected to face Matt Moore. Lackey likely comes as a modest favorite. OVER 7 or less can also be considered.
Should the Giants force a Game 5 back in Chicago the pressure will clearly be on the Cubs while the Giants will be playing with the confidence of having won in such situations before. Although the Cubs should win a fifth and decisive game the value will be with the Giants if priced at plus 160 or more.
Should home field hold and Boston sweep to force a Game 5 in Cleveland the Red Sox would be the play to advance if laying minus 125 or less in that decisive contest.
The Dodgers and Nationals split their two games in Washington as they headed west to Los Angeles for Monday’s Game 3. It would not be a surprise if the Dodgers sweep the two games in Los Angeles in what should be a pair of low scoring contests.
The League Championship Series are set to start this weekend and with none of the matchups yet known realistic forecasts cannot be made as the length of the Divisional series will determine the pitching rotations for the series that will decide the pennant winners.
Only Toronto can be assured of setting up its optimal rotation.
With that in mind the early forecasts would have Toronto getting past Cleveland but Boston eliminating Toronto in the ALCS. In the NLCS the pick would be for the winner of the series between the Cubs and Giants to get past either the Dodgers or Nationals.
In betting the League Championship Series either underdog prices at plus 160 or more would provide value from that perspective.