After what started off as a pitchers’ duel, the Dodgers’ bats awoke in the middle innings of Game 1, leading Los Angeles to a convincing 8-3 victory. In Game 2 we’ll see Blake Snell versus Tony Gonsolin, so despite the gap offensively, the Rays will have the starting pitching advantage this time around, at least on paper. Here’s what stands out from a betting perspective on DraftKings Sportsbook on Wednesday.
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The Dodgers are labeling this a “bullpen game,” but Tony Gonsolin started eight of his nine regular season appearances, finishing with a 2.31 ERA. While he struggled a bit with the Braves in the NLCS, that was the second-best offense in baseball, only behind his own team. Gonsolin was essentially stretched into a starter in September, lasting five or more innings in all five of his starts that month. I’m not expecting him to show us what Clayton Kershaw did in Game 1, but he’s capable of giving us a solid start. Blake Snell has been consistent this season — a 3.24 ERA in the regular season, and a 3.20 ERA in the postseason. The Dodgers are smashing left-handed pitching in the playoffs, though, batting .309 with 11 homers and 11 other extra-base hits in 162 at-bats. Outside of Mookie Betts, the Dodgers haven’t seen much of Snell, so I think this could be a lot like Game 1, where we get through the order before we start to see some damage. However, if the Dodgers can get to Tyler Glasnow like they did, they can get to Snell.
Given the Dodgers’ first-five play, I’m planning on Snell giving up some production. I gave you the numbers against LHP, and the Rays will be under more pressure to make a quick change if they go down in this game. After giving a quick hook to his pitchers all season, Kevin Cash left Glasnow out there to self-destruct. If Snell gets into any early trouble, he should be gone. Snell only exceeded five strikeouts in five of his 15 starts in the regular and postseason combined, and the Dodgers have been striking out at a 22% rate against LHP in the playoffs. This is a disciplined offense.
DraftKings Sportsbook is offering the best number in the industry on this prop, so it’s worth grabbing the value. I’ve seen no runs in the first inning priced as high as -160 on other books. Nine of Gonsolin’s 11 appearances this season have been starts (including the postseason), and he’s yet to give up a run in a first inning of those nine starts. Snell has been very strong to start games as well, giving up first inning runs just twice through 15 total starts — although both came in the playoffs against high-powered offenses in New York and Houston.
Betts leading off is my only real concern with this play. I think the order will struggle against Snell the first time around, with the exception of Mookie. Betts has seen plenty of Snell from his time in Boston — 7-for-23 with two doubles, a homer, six RBI, three walks and only two strikeouts. I do have interest in backing Mookie in the props, but you’ll need to decide what way you’re most comfortable doing so. Laying -225 to record a hit is too steep for me.
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