It worked. A day after the worst day I’ve had all postseason, I went out and got both games right. It wasn’t quite a Dodgers-like blowout, but I went 2 for 2, running the postseason record to 15-12; a swift recovery from the pathetic goose-egg for three on Tuesday. As I’ve often said here this playoff season, let’s stay hot.

ALCS Game 5

Tampa Bay

Houston (-1.5)

5 p.m.

TBS

9.0

NLCS Game 4

L.A. Dodgers

Atlanta (+1.5)

8 p.m. 

Fox

9.0

All lines via William Hill Sportsbook

Dodgers -1.5

As evidenced by the -213 money line on the Dodgers, pretty much everyone thinks they are going to win. Personally, I’m not sure I’ve been as confident in a team winning an LCS game in recent memory (which, in and of itself does give me pause, I’ll admit, but we can’t stray for this reason). We can’t count on a repeat of the historic bloodbath the Dodgers gave the Braves in Game 3, but I think they win with relative ease again. 

Braves starter Bryse Wilson hasn’t pitched since Sept. 27 and he hasn’t gone more than five innings all season. He’s fastball-heavy and the Dodgers can absolutely feast on heat. He wasn’t even good the first time through the order this year and the underbelly of the Braves’ bullpen is now tired after having to get so many outs in Game 3. 

On the flip side, Clayton Kershaw is on extra rest. Assuming his back holds up, I expect him to deal deep into the game. Don’t be surprised if he’s pitching with a first-inning lead. He’ll hold it, too. 

Rays-Astros over 9

I like the Rays to win this thing but the odds for them are -140, so that’s too easy a pick. By no means do I think it’s a sure thing, but I don’t love the Astros at +130 either, which means we turn to the run line (I’ll pass) or the over/under. The over it is! The ball has been flying at Petco Park during the day but not so much when it gets to late afternoon/evening. No worries here with the 2 p.m. local start time. 

In looking at the state of the pitching, the Astros are starting a kid with one career start. It’s Luis Garcia, who actually had a good ERA in his five outings in the regular season. He is, however, prone to the walk and the Astros think so highly (sarcasm font!) of using him that this is his first postseason appearance. The Rays are going to work him over early in the game and get into that unreliable Astros’ bullpen. 

The Rays are using John Curtiss, presumably in the role of an opener. He was excellent in the regular season but has a 10.80 ERA and is allowing a .409 batting average in the playoffs. I expect lefty Josh Fleming to be the one from whom the Rays plan on getting length and he hasn’t pitched since Sept. 27. The Astros’ big bats are mostly righties, so it fits with me looking for the runs to pile up. 

Bonus: Dodgers over 6.5 runs at +170

After getting hot (hitting on three of our first five) with picking a player to hit a home run, we’ve hit a dry spell so it’s time to look elsewhere. I liked the Dodgers offense to explode in Game 3 and didn’t go far enough. We aren’t going to make that mistake again. After staying quiet for for nearly two games, they are ready to keep exploding. We could go bigger, too. 

  • Over 7 is at +225
  • Over 7.5 is +260
  • Over 8 is +360
  • Over 8.5 is +390

So it just depends on how nuts you wanna get. Also, just to get it out there, my home run pick would’ve been Corey Seager (+260). 

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