Houston has shown life again, and the Dodgers have avoided the sweep. With three lefties taking the mound between Wednesday’s two playoff games, let’s take a look at how to approach the NLCS and ALCS on DraftKings Sportsbook.
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It doesn’t matter which team you like on Wednesday, both lineups have proven in this series they can take over a game in a blink. Both offenses feature game-changing hitters, both bullpens are very hit or miss and the best performances we’ve seen from starting pitchers have been a six-inning, three-run showing from Eduardo Rodriguez and a five-inning, one-run outing from Nick Pivetta. Far from bad, especially vs. Houston, but neither starting rotation has been able to consistently stifle the hitters in this series.
That said, when Chris Sale and Framber Valdez went toe-to-toe in the ALCS opener, these two teams did not hit the over on the total DraftKings Sportsbook has set for Wednesday’s Game 5. It’s worth noting because that’s the only game in this series that didn’t happen.
However, since Game 1, each contest has seen the winner score nine-plus runs. I’m not saying we can bank on that again, but offense is clearly running the show in this series — which shouldn’t surprise anyone, given both Boston and Houston ranked among the best lineups against both righties and lefties throughout the regular season.
Game 4 was quiet for most of Boston’s lineup, including Kike Hernandez — Tuesday’s contest was the first of the ALCS in which he didn’t log multiple hits. But, Boston’s center fielder still got a hit in the big loss.
Hernandez is now up to 19 knocks in nine games this postseason, and nine of those hits have gone for extra bases. One of those extra-base hits came against Valdez, who’s back on the bump for Game 5. In fact, Hernandez not only went 2-for-2 with a homer against Valdez in Game 1, he also laced a double and second homer off of Houston’s bullpen in that contest.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Braves SP Huascar Ynoa has been scratched. RP Jesse Chavez will start Wednesday vs. the Dodgers.
The Braves have only gone under this number once this series, scoring three in their low-scoring Game 1 win. Since then, Atlanta hitters have scored five runs in back-to-back games in an effort to keep pace with the sleeping giant opposite them.
While Julio Urias came up big for the Dodgers in the NLDS, Atlanta didn’t welcome the left-hander as warmly as the Giants. Rather than turn to his relievers with L.A. up 4-2 late in Game 2, Dave Roberts turned to the lefty in the eighth — the move did not pay off.
Still, that one-inning, two-run relief appearance was the first time Urias has given up multiple runs in three 2021 postseason appearances — which is why I’m going this route instead of taking the over on Atlanta’s first five innings total (1.5) in Game 4.
The Braves may have had mixed results against left-handed pitching throughout the entirety of the regular season, but Freddie Freeman, Austin Riley, Ozzie Albies and Adam Duvall have all done damage against lefties in the postseason. And to score four-plus runs, Atlanta only needs a section of it’s lineup to have a strong night.
Brian Snitker may want to wait a bit before he names his Game 4 starter, but signs point to Huascar Ynoa getting the ball. The right-hander has seen the mound once in the 2021 postseason, logging one inning in Game 4 of the NLDS. While he was probably happy to move onto the NLCS, Ynoa was also probably trying to move on from his rough relief appearance. But even if Atlanta doesn’t go with Ynoa in this one, you have to like Betts in Game 4 after he had the game-winning hit on Tuesday. He’s only faced Ynoa once, so there’s nothing to go off of from a batter vs. pitcher standpoint.
However, we do know Betts has been very consistent this postseason. He only has a pair of extra-base hits — the second one coming in Game 3 — but he’s logged five multi-hit games in nine chances. I’m more inclined to expect some more power from Betts on Wednesday; either way, between his recent form and the player everyone knows him to be, two bases is very much in reach for the Dodgers leadoff hitter.
All odds provided by DraftKings Sportsbook and all odds subject to change.
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