Boy, have I taken a beating two of the last three days. The overall playoff record is 15-14, but I went a brutal 0 for 5 on Tuesday and Thursday combined. Wednesday was very kind to me in helping to keep me above water, so let’s run that back. Time to go two for two and get some breathing room. Let’s do it.

ALCS Game 6

Houston

Tampa Bay (-1.5)

6 p.m.

TBS

8.0

NLCS Game 5

L.A. Dodgers

Atlanta (+1.5)

9 p.m. 

FS1

9.5

All lines via William Hill Sportsbook

There’s a gut feeling there that this thing is going to run seven games, I’ll admit. The way the last two games went, I really don’t see the Astros going quietly. They still haven’t really busted through on offense, but they’ve been overall the better offense in the series, hitting .255/.337/.422 to the Rays’ .200/.285/.363. The Rays are doing that with Randy Arozarena hitting .381/.409/.857. There’s only so much one man can do, right? If the Astros start driving in more of that traffic they are creating I just can’t see the Rays’ offense doing enough. 

Also, there a small-sample something staring at me with Blake Snell. Twice this season he saw teams on a quick turnaround (the Yankees on Aug. 7 and 18th; the Marlins on Aug. 30 and Sept. 5). His ERA in the second starts there: 6.30. 

Astros starter Framber Valdez has been going really well his last five outings (last two regular season and three postseason), too. 

Dodgers-Braves over 9.5

As I stare at the -210 for the Dodgers, that’s just too heavy a favorite to bet, especially with how they’ve played other than basically a six-inning stretch on offense. I also don’t want any part of the Braves as a +190 underdog because I just can’t get behind the 43-17 Dodgers going down in five games to a Braves team that didn’t have much competition in the first two rounds.

I do think I can get on board with scoring here. These are two high-powered offenses and we’ve seen one team show up in such fashion each of the four games. The Braves are going with a bullpen game and though their bullpen is really good, it’s a tall order to ask every single pitcher to be “on” in a given game like this against a Dodgers offense that can explode like it did in Game 3. Dustin May gets the ball for the Dodgers and while he has amazing stuff, he’s not very stretched out right now. He’s worked five times this postseason and hasn’t thrown more than 27 pitches in any given outing. Even going back to the regular season, he threw just 55 pitches on Sept. 27. Less of May means more of the Dodgers’ bullpen, which has a 4.06 ERA and 1.35 WHIP in the playoffs. 

Bonus: Altuve homers +350

Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is going really well at the plate right now. In his last seven games, he’s hitting .444/.545/1.037 with five homers. He’s particularly owned lefties and Snell is one of those. Oh, and he’s 4 for 13 with three homers in his career against Snell. No reason to get cute, we’ll just order up another. I also considered the odds boost option, which was George Springer homering in an Astros win at +600 and it was very tempting to dial up Carlos Correa homering again at +333. Any of these work for me. I’d be pretty confident one of the three homers, we just have to hope we pick the right one. 

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