On Friday night, the NLDS 2016 series will feature the Giants vs. Cubs live stream and television coverage. Viewers around the country will be watching to see which team gets the upper hand in the first game of their National League Division Series. Chicago will host this game as the favorites to win the World Series right now, but they’ll play a team that has won three titles over the past six years. With San Francisco having advanced to this division series after a wild-card game win over the New York Mets, they’ll have to rely on a starting pitcher other than Madison Bumgarner.
A report via Chicago Tribune indicates that Johnny Cueto will get the start for the Giants in tonight’s rotation due to Bumgarner needing rest after pitching a few days prior. On the other side, Jon Lester will get the start on the mound for the Cubs. Lester, who is part of a three-man rotation with Kyle Hendricks and Jake Arietta, is considered amongst Cy Young Award contenders this season.
Even Hendricks said he’d vote for tonight’s starting pitcher for the Cubs.
“My opinion is him, 100 percent. He’s had maybe three bad starts all year. From start to finish, he’s been our horse.”
Lester finished the season with a record of 19-5, 197 strikeouts, and a 2.44 ERA. Among those wins was an early September victory at Wrigley Field by the Cubs over tonight’s opponents. The Cubs ace went the distance for the game, striking out four batters while allowing three hits including a home run. Chicago ultimately won the game 2-1 after scoring two runs early enough.
As for Cueto, he has spent over seven seasons pitching against the Cubs regularly. His stats have included a 9-8 record with a 3.24 ERA in 24 total starts against Chicago during that time. Cueto also helped the Kansas City Royals achieve a World Series title last year as part of their rotation. He led the team in wins for the current MLB season with an 18-5 record while also striking out 198 and recording a 2.98 ERA.
In the first half of the season, the Giants won two of the three games between the two teams. One of those was a 5-3 win over Jon Lester. The two teams played again for a four-game series in early September with Chicago grabbing a 3-1 edge there. The only win for San Francisco came via Bumgarner as the starting pitcher, but the team will have to wait until Game 3 to see him on the mound.
The Giants might also have a bit of momentum, having played several days ago in the National League Wild Card game against the New York Mets. Conor Gillaspie was the hero, hitting a three-run home run in the ninth inning that made the difference. They’ll try to keep that going tonight at Wrigley, but it’s going to be tough against one of the best pitchers in the NL this past season.
The odds for the first game of this National League Division Series favor the Chicago Cubs. The ESPN website listed them as -170 favorites on the money line for their preview of this game. The over/under runs total is listed at 6.5 runs for the complete game at various sports books. In terms of World Series odds, Chicago leads all teams with odds of 9 to 4 to win the championship. Their opponents carry odds of 17 to 1, which ranks them above the Washington Nationals and Texas Rangers.
Tonight’s NLDS 2016 Game 1 has a TV start time of 9:15 p.m. Eastern Time with Fox Sports 1 set to show full coverage of the matchup. To watch the Giants vs. Cubs live stream online, cable and satellite customers will need to have Fox Sports 1 as part of their provider package. From there, the Fox Sports Go app will be needed on compatible devices, or viewers can go to the Fox Sports Go website to log in.
The two teams will meet yet again for Game 2 of their series on Saturday evening in Wrigley but will be shown on MLB Network, while all remaining games of the Best of Five series will be shown on Fox Sports 1.
[Featured Image by Michael Thomas/Getty Images]