The MLB playoffs march on Tuesday with both League Championship series in action. We might only have two games to wager on, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a profitable evening. Here are a couple of wagers to consider on DraftKings Sportsbook.
Editor’s Note: Dodgers SP Clayton Kershaw (back) has been scratched from tonight’s game vs. the Braves. SP Tony Gonsolin will now start in his place.
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Tampa Bay Rays vs. Houston Astros
Rays ML (-113)
The Rays were pushed to the brink of elimination in the ALDS against the Yankees, but they’ve carried over the momentum from their big Game 5 win by defeating the Astros in both of the first two games of the ALCS. They’ve done so on the strength of their pitching staff, allowing only three runs through two games. It sure helped that they had Blake Snell and Charlie Morton on the mound for those matchups. They will take a step down in the starting pitching department in Game 3 with Ryan Yarbrough expected to take the mound. With that being said, he didn’t exactly have a bad season, posting a 3.56 ERA and a 3.80 FIP.
The reason the Rays get the nod here is Jose Urquidy is starting for the Astros. His 2.73 ERA across five starts during the regular season isn’t nearly as impressive when you consider his 4.71 FIP. His hard-hit rate also jumped up from 29.2 percent in 2019 to 38.9 percent this year. Another problem has been his inability to miss bats, which has resulted in a career 20.1 percent strikeout rate. He was roughed up by the A’s in the ALDS, allowing four runs on four home runs across 4 1/3 innings. With the momentum on the Rays’ side, look for them to take advantage of this matchup against Urquidy and take a commanding 3-0 series lead.
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Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Under 4.5 Total Runs Through 5 Innings (-130)
Runs came at a premium in Game 1 with the score tied 1-1 heading into the ninth inning. It took a four-run outburst from the Braves to get the win in what was an excellent effort from their pitching staff. Starter Max Fried allowed one run while recording nine strikeouts through six innings and then three relievers combined to throw three perfect innings. The Dodgers’ pitching staff was looking just as impressive through the first eight innings with four pitchers combining to allow only four hits.
While both of these offenses were impressive during the regular season, they could be looking at an uphill battle Tuesday.
Starting for the Dodgers will be Clayton Kershaw, who started out the playoffs by pitching eight scoreless innings against the Brewers. He followed that up by allowing three runs across six innings in the NLDS against the Padres, although he had only allowed one run through the first five innings. Taking the mound for the Braves will be the impressive youngster Ian Anderson, who finished the regular season with a 1.95 ERA and a 2.54 FIP. He’s pitched 11 2/3 innings in the playoffs, recording 17 strikeouts while not allowing a single run. Taking the under for the game, overall, feels a bit risky given the Dodgers’ ninth-inning implosion Monday, so let’s ride the strength of these two excellent starting pitchers by going with the under through five innings.
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All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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I am a promoter at DraftKings and am also an avid fan and user (my username is mbarner51) and I may sometimes play on my personal account in the games that I offer advice on. Although I have expressed my personal view on the games and strategies above, they do not necessarily reflect the view(s) of DraftKings and I may also deploy different players and strategies than what I recommend above. I am not an employee of DraftKings and do not have access to any non-public information.