Giants vs. Rangers Betting Pick / Game 5 Preview (Nov. 1st)

Shea weighs in with his MLB Predictions for the 2010 World Series and Game 5 of the series between San Francisco Giants vs. Texas Rangers. The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Texas’s last 10 games when playing San Francisco…

World Series betting: Giants vs Rangers Game 5 Preview & Pick

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The Texas Rangers would never choose to be in this situation: down three games to one in the World Series, one loss away from losing everything. However, if they have to be in this situation, the conditions could still be ideal for redemption. After all, they’re at home and have Cliff Lee taking the mound. Can Lee shake off the only bad postseason start of his career and be Mr. Clutch again?

2010 WORLD SERIES: San Francisco Giants @ Texas Rangers

Game 5: Tonight, 7:57 p.m. ET
Tim Lincecum (3-1, 2.79) vs Cliff Lee (3-1, 2.51)
MLB odds: Giants +162, Rangers-172

The Giants’ destruction of Cliff Lee in Game 1 of the World Series was significant in that it marked the first time that the man many dubbed the best playoff starter in baseball history showed any mortality. Going into that start, Lee had never lost in eight career playoff outings. Lee’s command wasn’t quite right and the Giants punished him for it, torching him for seven runs (six earned) on eight hits in just 4.2 innings. The question bettors must figure out is whether or not San Francisco can repeat the feat.

Lee has gone through slumps before. This past August, he allowed four or more runs in five straight starts. But that was largely because of a wonky back and, as far as we know, Lee’s totally healthy right now. He still has an excellent chance to harness his stuff and put the ball where he wants it tonight. Overall in the playoffs, he has just two walks in 28.2 innings with 41 strikeouts.

Also, as tough as San Fran was on Lee in Game 1, the Giants haven’t hit a ton on the road in these playoffs. They’re batting just .220 as a team away from AT&T Park. They’ve scored a ho-hum six runs over two games in Texas in this series.

The real reason why the Giants are ahead in World Series is that the Rangers’ potent bats have gone ice-cold. They’ve scored just four runs over the last three games and been shut out twice over that span. Rookie Madison Bumgarner dominated Texas with eight scoreless innings in Game 4. Texas’ Murderer’s Row of Michael Young, Josh Hamilton, Vladimir Guerrero, Nelson Cruz and Ian Kinsler went 2 for 16. Ouch.

Now, the slumping Ranger lineup has the tall order of solving Giants ace Tim Lincecum to stay alive in this series. But is that task as tough as it sounds? Lincecum opened the 2010 playoffs with an amazing complete-game shutout but hasn’t been perfect since then. Over his last three starts, Tiny Tim has allowed nine runs over 19.2 innings with six walks. The Rangers beat him up almost as badly as the Giants pounded Cliff Lee in Game 1. Texas notched eight hits and scored four runs off Lincecum in 5.2 innings.

I don’t envy bettors tonight. Now that Lee has shown he’s not God, it’s no longer a slam-dunk to bet on him. Still, I’m doing it. We have to remember a few things about Lincecum. First off, he’s the one pitcher Texas has knocked around in this series. Secondly, he’s still a kid. He’s 26-years old, pitching in his fourth big-league season, one win away from a championship, and pitching his first ever road game in a World Series.

We’ve seen Lincecum struggle with adrenaline before. It’s happened now and again in these playoffs and it happened during the regular season. Don’t be surprised if Lincecum overthrows his stuff tonight and leaves a few juicy fastballs up in the zone.

While Lee ain’t perfect, he’s been here before. This is his 10th playoff start and his fourth World Series start. While there’s certainly pressure on him to keep Texas alive, expectations aren’t too high for a team down 3-1 in a series. Only six teams have ever come back from that deficit to win the Fall Classic.

While it certainly doesn’t look good for Texas to win the World Series, I think the Rangers can extend it to six games. Bet on the vet to school the kid tonight.

World Series Betting Trends:

San Francisco is 6-2 SU in its last 8 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 6 of San Francisco’s last 8 games on the road
The total has gone UNDER in 7 of Texas’s last 10 games when playing San Francisco
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Texas’s last 6 games at home
San Francisco is 10-1 SU in its last 11 games when playing Texas
San Francisco is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games
The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Texas’s last 6 games when playing at home against San Francisco
Texas is 2-4 SU in its last 6 games

Pick: Rangers -172

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