Last Updated: 2018-12-30
The Los Angeles Dodgers will try to bounce back from last night’s debacle that saw them blow a 4-0 in a big way against the Boston Red Sox, who will be looking to wrap up the World Series title. The Dodgers send Clayton Kershaw to the mound against David Price in a matchup between two starters not really known for the playoff success. The Red Sox have won all three of Price’s playoff starts this season and his teams are now 3-7 when he takes the mound, while the Dodgers are just 1-2 in Kershaw’s three playoff starts this season, which includes a couple of poorly pitched games, as the Dodgers have given him 14 runs over those three games, which is typically enough for Kershaw to get the win.
The Red Sox don’t have many weaknesses, but one of them has been against left-handed starters on the road. Even though they got the win last night against Rich Hill, you certainly can’t blame the Dodgers’ starter as he was outstanding. Whether or not the Dodgers should have made the pitching change is up for debate, but not the effort LA got from Hill.
The Red Sox are now just 11-11 against lefties on the road and they average just 4.07 runs, which includes the nine runs they scored last night, so Boston did struggle away from Fenway.
The Dodgers didn’t score much more against left-handed starters at home, 4.21 runs per game, so this one is likely going to come down to pitching and despite Kershaw’s struggles in these playoffs, I still would take him over Price.
Kershaw knows he needs to give the Dodgers seven or eight good innings here and might try to pace himself a little more than he traditionally does, which I believe will work to his advantage. Kershaw looks to be one of those pitchers who gets a little too ‘amped-up’ at times and it hurts him at times.
There is some question about how the Dodgers will respond to losing last night, but I think they’re professional enough to know that any sort of comeback will have to start with a victory tonight and they can’t afford to worry about Tuesday in Fenway.
The betting public is on the Red Sox pretty good, as this one opened -140 for the Dodgers and is now down to Dodgers -136 with nearly 65% of the early wagers on Boston, so will take a stab on the Dodgers, who my numbers have squeeking it out, as an anti-public play here.
END OF OCT. 28 PICKS
We’re 1-1 with our World Series plays and now the LA Dodgers have their backs against the wall and will turn to Walker Buehler to get them back into the Series. He has come up big for Los Angeles in the playoffs in pressure situations already, so the atmosphere shouldn’t have any effect on him. But bettors aren’t so sure, as the Dodgers opened -160 and are now -153 with the Sox getting a little more than 50% of the early wagers. The total has moved from 7.5 to 7.5-under (-120) even though 80% of the early bets have been on the over.
The Red Sox are sending Rick Porcello to the mound and Boston was solid on the road against right-handed starters this season, going 43-19 and averaging 5.47 runs per game. Boston was 8-7 as an underdog and 12-3 in totals in that situation, scoring a similar number of runs per game, but also allowing quite a bit more.
Boston is 13-7 with Porcello on the road when the visiting team, 11-7 in the regular season and 2-0 in the playoffs, where he’s had one decent start and one on the ugly side against Houston, but the Boston bats came to life and the Sox won an 8-6 decision. The Sox were 5-4 with Porcello as an away dog.
Buehler may have been the Dodgers’ best pitcher this season and LA was 8-5 when he started at home and allowed three or more runs in just four of his 13 home starts. The main problem for Buehler was that the Dodgers didn’t give him a lot of run support at home, scoring less than three runs per game.
The odds on the game are a little inflated, as the sportsbooks know this is basically a must-win game for the Dodgers, but the line isn’t that far our of whack, as I have the Dodgers -150, primarily due to how Buehler has pitched at home.
Offensively, the Dodgers are an average team at home, scoring 4.54 runs against right-handed starters, which is the league average, so despite a few big names in their line-up, they haven’t been anything to get terribly excited about.
Normally would sit this game out, as the odds and the total projection are too close to my numbers, but it is the World Series, so am going to go ahead and follow the money and take the under 7.5, as I have this one LA 3.85 to Boston’s 2.84, basically making it a 4-3 game.
END OCT. 26 PICKS
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