For the next two days, we get Championship Series doubleheaders instead of the standalone games we have had for the last two. The Los Angeles Dodgers are in serious trouble after burying themselves in an 0-2 hole against the Atlanta Braves. However, they have come back from big series deficits before, as just last year they won the pennant after climbing back from down 3-1 in last year’s NLCS against Atlanta. Either way, the Dodgers started the NLCS as the second-biggest favorites in an LCS since 2004, with -225 odds. Currently, the Dodgers are +160 to win this series and represent the National League in the NLCS.
The Red Sox won yesterday’s pivotal Game 3 in Fenway Park to take a 2-1 series lead in the ALCS. They continue to make history, as not only are they the first team with three grand slams in a single postseason, but they have hit three grand slams in back-to-back games of a postseason series. Will their offense continue to mash tonight?
Here are my best bets for Tuesday’s MLB playoff action. (Odds courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook)
YTD: 192-162-8 (+13.62 units)
Astros-Red Sox OVER 10 runs (+100)
At this point, how does one not wager on the over in the ALCS, regardless if this is the first time oddsmakers have made the total double digits? The over has cashed in Houston’s last six games, including their last five games as an underdog. Even though starting pitcher Zack Greinke may only throw a couple of innings, the over is 4-0 in his previous four starts as a road underdog. On the other side, the over has also cashed in Boston’s last six games and is 5-0 in the previous five meetings between these teams. With all of these trends pointing to the over, can oddsmakers even make this line high enough?
In addition to Boston’s grand slam history-making, their offense has also made history of a different kind. Per ESPN Stats & Info, the Red Sox have ten or more hits in six consecutive games, which is the longest streak within a postseason in MLB history. In addition, their 19 home runs this postseason is one shy of their franchise records for most home runs in a single postseason, which they accomplished in 2003.
These teams have beaten up each other’s best starting pitchers, and now they aim at the weakest of each’s starters in Greinke and Nick Pivetta. Oddsmakers are compensating for recent trends by making the over/under ten runs, but even this does not feel high enough.
Los Angeles Dodgers First Five Innings ML (-175)
Raise your hand if you thought Los Angeles would be down 0-2 to the Braves after losing the first two games of the NLCS as favorites. Many will point to manager Dave Roberts’ questionable pitching decision of inserting Julio Urias in the eighth inning of Game 2 as the reason they lost. However, more of their 0-2 hole can be pinned on the fact that the Dodgers went a combined 2-for-18 with nine strikeouts when hitting with runners in scoring position. History is against the Dodgers coming back, as home teams that take a 2-0 lead in a best-of-seven series have eventually won those series 84% of the time.
If the Dodgers are to climb back into this series, they will need a Herculean effort from Walker Buehler tonight. Buehler’s opposition is no stranger to postseason success, as Charlie Morton makes his 16th postseason appearance. Morton has pitched to a 3.44 ERA in 70.2 career postseason innings and allowed four earned runs in 9.1 innings in two appearances against the Brewers. However, we trust Walker Buehler in this spot, as he has a 2.50 ERA in 72.0 career postseason innings.
The Dodgers are 9-0 in their last nine games against the Braves at Dodger Stadium. In addition, they often jump on Atlanta early, as the Braves have trailed after the third inning in eight of those nine games.
Los Angeles’ bullpen is taxed, as evidenced by them using Julio Urias in relief last game. With the possibility of them going with another bullpen game in Game 5, we think Roberts will push Buehler in this one and ask him to get more outs than usual. However, we still prefer to take the bullpens out of the equation in case Roberts has a quick hook, so backing the Dodgers’ moneyline odds for the first five innings makes the most sense.
The Dodgers have played in 71 series over the last two regular seasons.
— Inside Edge (@IE_MLB) October 18, 2021
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