Every year people wonder, once the playoffs come around will this be the year that Clayton Kershaw doesnt blow it? And sooner or later, he charges his team a shot at a World Series Championship and blows , each year. So, when I saw Kershaw and the Dodgers as favorites in game two, my attention was grabbed by it.
And when I noticed that on the other side of the starting pitching matchup, we had Stephen Strasburg starting, whos coming off his best regular season of his career and had an ERA of just .40 life in the playoffs, I had been all in on the angry, and endorsed the Nationals in +141.
And Kershaw did as he has rocked for 3 runs in the first two innings as I anticipated. He ended up hurling six innings and settled down, but the damage was done, along with the Nationals managed to hold onto the lead, and we cashed a large underdog ticket. Strasburg pitched six innings on break, striking out ten across the way and allowing just 1 run on 3 hits.
Im petrified of the horrible Nationals bullpen, and we saw at the wild card round that the Nationals were also as they brought Strasburg rather than turning it to their relievers out of the bullpen. Final night well, they did it again. After watching him quickly give up runs and bringing in Sean Doolittle, the Nationals brought in the eighth inning on basically no rest in wild card starter Max Scherzer. Scherzer mowed throughout the Dodgers, hitting out all three guys he faced on fourteen pitches.
Scherzer is supposed to begin game three, and at this point, it seems that the Nationals will ride their starters by using them whether by starting them. The triumph for Washington was enormous because they have stolen home-field benefit as well as Mad Max moving in game three, theyve a excellent opportunity.
Last year we watched by using their bullpen all game the Milwaukee Brewers make it all of the way to match of the NLCS, and the Nationals are doing the opposite this year. It will be very interesting to observe how it works out to them. For the pick of today, well return into the American League, in which the Houston Astros and the Tampa Bay Rays play.
We have a pitchers duel on our hands in Houston since the Astros host the Rays in match two of their American League Divisional Series. The Astros took the series lead in game one. Verlander pitched seven shutout innings and allowed just 1 hit, and the Astros won the game 6-2. Jose Altuve homered for Houston, and they will look to induce the Rays to the brink of elimination tonight in game two.
Starting for the Rays is last years Cy Young Award winner in the American League Blake Snell (6-8 4.29 ERA), also for the Astros its Gerrit Cole (20-5 2.50 ERA). The match is placed in seven and a half runs. The Astros are giant -295 home favorites. First pitch is scheduled for 6:07 PM PST out of Minute Maid Park in Houston.
In the majority of years, Gerrit Cole would walk away with all the Cy Young Award. His twenty five wins are second in the league, and his 2.50 ERA is tops at the AL.. He also led the league in strikeouts with 326. This guy had a year for the ages. But teammate Justin Verlander was equally as good, if not better, because Verlander threw a no-hitter, had wins (21) and led the league in WHIP (.80), while striking out 300 himself. Both guys have been almost unhittable as they certainly deserve it, and if there were any justice, the award would split.
Cole turned it on in the second half of this year because his ERA post-All-Star break was a blink and you will miss it 1.79 in two starts. He had 156 strikeouts in and two-thirds of an inning pitched. The Astros have lost just 3 matches on the mound as April! Houstons record during that span is 23-3. Cole has had double handed strikeouts in nine consecutive starts and twelve from the past thirteen.
Blake Snell nt looked for the same guy that won the Cy Young Award last year during this years first months. Throughout June, he had been just 5-7 with a 4.97 ERA. He began to figure things out in July, however, because he was 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 3 starts, before getting injured and lost nearly two months. Snell rejoined the group and theyve used him very sparingly since he has pitched in 3 starts. The Rays will need a enormous effort out of him tonight if they want any shot.
Look, this is a number that is lousy. The Astros are great, and they are going to win this series, likely in a sweep. But to see them placing nearly -300 with the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner, from a Rays team that is gifted on the mound doesnt make any sense. Houston will win this match.
Yesterday, the Rays lineup had nothing for Verlander and I expect a functionality tonight. So, although the Astros are being over-priced, I cant touch it as they are going to win the match. But when I visit the game total of seven and a half runs, I feel like the under offers significant value.
Cole will close down the Rays, and I think he is still great, and I expect him to provide a fantastic performance tonight, even though Snell has not looked great lately. Both novices will get into the game, and dont be surprised if they are in the game in the seventh inning or later. And when they do finally turn things over with their bullpens, you can anticipate good results there as well as the Rays and also Astros finished number one and three in bullpen ERA this year.
Playoff baseball tends to be scoring, and this feels like a 3-2 type of sport. I will anticipate a pitchers duel and a low scoring match tonight. Give me the under seven and a half runs tonight in game 2 from Houston!

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