[9:10 PM] Giants @ Cubs

Who will WIN this matchup?

San Francisco Giants

@ Chicago Cubs


Starting Pitchers:

Cueto (SF): 18-5; 2.79 ERA

Lester (CHC) 19-5; 2.44 ERA


Last 10 Games Played:

San Francisco Giants: 7-3

Chicago Cubs: 6-3-1


Current odds:

San Francisco Giants: (+164)

Chicago Cubs: (-174)


ESPN simulations have San Francisco as XX% favorites to win the game.

XX% of sports bets are currently on Chicago to win as (XX) favorites.

The Chicago Cubs led the majors with 103 regular-season victories but that doesn’t guarantee them rare postseason success when they open the National League Division Series on Friday against the visiting San Francisco Giants. Chicago was swept out of the playoffs last season in the NL Championship Series by the New York Mets and hasn’t won the World Series since 1908.

Cueto went 4-0 with a 1.91 ERA over his final four outings to reach the third-highest victory total of his nine-year career. The 30-year-old is 2-3 with a 5.35 ERA in seven career postseason starts and struggled badly in his first three outings in last year’s postseason with Kansas City before coming up big in Game 2 of the World Series with a complete-game two-hitter in a 7-1 victory over the New York Mets. Cueto is 9-8 with a 3.24 ERA in 24 career starts against the Cubs and is 5-5 with a 3.07 ERA in 15 outings at Wrigley Field.

The 32-year-old Lester was superb at home this season with a 10-2 mark and 1.74 ERA and that helped make him an easy Game 1 choice for manager Joe Maddon. Lester, who is 4-1 with a 2.25 ERA in five career starts against the Giants, dropped both turns last postseason for the Cubs but is 6-6 with a 2.85 ERA in 16 career appearances (14 starts).

The Cubs won four of the seven regular-season meetings with two of their defeats coming against Giants ace LH Madison Bumgarner.

San Francisco 3B Eduardo Nunez (hamstring) isn’t ready to return, so wild-card game hero Conor Gillaspie (decisive three-run homer) is expected to start.

Bryant (6-for-34, two home runs) and 1B Anthony Rizzo (6-for-32, two homers) struggled in the 2015 postseason.

StreakSmarts Pick: Chicago Cubs

Confidence: 5/10

StreakSmarter Pick