It all comes down to Game 5 on Thursday night in the NLDS as the Los Angeles Dodgers visit the Washington Nationals on FS1 with the winner advancing to play the Cubs in the NLCS. The Dodgers will be going with either Rich Hill or Julio Urias while the Nationals will send their ace, Max Scherzer. The Nationals are listed as -150 favorites with the total at 7. Let’s look at Game 5 and MLB playoff picks.
MLB Playoff Odds
Washington Nationals -150, total 7 over
Probable Pitching Matchup – Hill or Urias vs. Scherzer
Hill says he is getting the start in this game after he went 4.1 innings in Game 3. Urias might be a better choice but he is just 20-years old and pitching on the road in Washington will not be easy. “We talked about Rich as an option, obviously,” Manager Dave Roberts said, “But so is Julio, and how we want to strategize to win Game 5, we're going to talk through it.”
Urias faced the Nationals twice this season, and allowed three runs in nine innings.
Scherzer allowed four runs in six innings in Game 1 but he is excited to be pitching in Game 5. "This is probably the biggest start of my career, the biggest start of my life," Scherzer said. "How you handle that, going out there and using the emotion of that scenario that everything's on the line -- look, I'm not going to shy away from it. This is the biggest start of my career."
The Nationals have never won a playoff series in their history so the pressure is definitely on and Washington has the right pitcher on the mound to handle the pressure in Scherzer. “In Game 5, anything can happen, and you've just got to go out there and execute your pitches." Scherzer said. He led the league with 20 wins. He is 4-4 with a 3.93 ERA in his career in the playoffs.
The Dodgers are 5-2 in the last 7 meetings in Washington. The Dodgers are 18-8 in their last 26 games vs. a right-handed starter. The Dodgers are 1-4 in their last 5 road games. The Dodgers are 0-4 in Hill’s last 4 starts.
The Nationals are 4-1 in their last 5 home games vs. a left-handed starter. The Nationals are 13-6 in their last 19 home games. The Nationals are 5-1 in Scherzer’s last 6 home starts.
The Over is 4-1-1 in the Dodgers last 6 games vs. a right-handed starter. The Over is 6-2-1 in the Dodgers last 9 road games. The Under is 5-1-1 in Hill’s last 7 starts overall. The Over is 4-1 in the Nationals last 5 overall. The Under is 9-3 in Scherzer’s last 12 home starts. The Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings in Washington.
MLB Playoff Picks
The Nationals have been an excellent home team this season and Scherzer is a big game pitcher so I will lay the price and take Washington in this contest.