It's winner-take-all as we enter Game 5 in both NL Division Series matchups, with the Braves hosting the Cardinals while the Dodgers face the Nationals. We break down the odds for both of these contests with in-depth analysis, betting notes and predictions in our MLB postseason Line Drive.
ST. LOUIS CARDINALS AT ATLANTA BRAVES (-115, 8 @ BETAMERICA)
Series tied 2-2
This is essentially a rematch of Game 2 so we have an excellent gauge with which to predict the outcome on Wednesday.
Jack Flahery toes the rubber for the Cardinals. He finished the regular season with a 11-8 record, a 2.75 ERA, a 0.97 WHIP and a batting average allowed of .192.
The Braves respond with Mike Foltynewicz. Folty had an up-and-down regular season going 8-6 with a 4.54 ERA but he finished the season strong and pitched an absolute gem against the Cards in Game 1, pitching a seven-inning shutout while allowing just three hits. In fact over his last six starts he's gone 5-1 with a 1.22 ERA and a 0.65 WHIP.
Both teams have struggled at the plate lately, with St. Louis batting .237 over the last four weeks, and the Braves only marginally better at .238.
We predicted the Under in Game 1 and cashed it with plenty of room to spare as the teams combined for just three runs in a 3-0 Braves victory. We're backing it again in Game 5.
PICK: Under 8
Series tied 2-2
Walker Buehler takes to the mound for L.A. after dominating in Game 1, allowing just one hit and fanning eight batters through six shutout innings. He was ridiculously good at home during the regular season as well, going 6-1 with a 2.86 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP in 14 starts at Dodgers Stadium.
The Nationals respond with Stephen Strasburg who went 18-6 with a 3.32 ERA during the regular season and won against L.A. in Game 2. Over his last 10 outings, Strasburg is 5-1 with a 1.65 ERA and a 0.82 WHIP.
Although both the Nationals and Dodgers have dangerous hitters, expect a playoff game of this magnitude to be low scoring. I don't trust the Nats bullpen (even if Scherzer makes another appearance as a reliever) but I like the Under on the first five innings.
PICK: First Five Innings Under 4
POSTSEASON STARTER STAT OF THE DAY
Jack Flaherty, St. Louis Cardinals (11-8, 2.75 ERA, $-665): There has been no better pitcher on the planet over the last three months than Flaherty. Over his last 17 starts he has a staggering 1.11 ERA with a WHIP of 0.73.
Despite such great individual numbers however the Cardinals are just 10-7 in those starts. The main reason for that: terrible run support. St. Louis is plating just 3.23 runs per game in those 17 contests.
BUY LOW, MARCELL ON A HIGH
The Cardinals have scored a modest 13 runs through the first four games of their series with the Braves but don't blame that lack of scoring on Marcell Ozuna. Ozuna has two hits in every game of this series, going an outstanding 8 for 17 at the plate with three doubles and two homers. He ended the regular season with two hits against the Cubs as well, which makes five consecutive multi-hit games for the Cards outfielder.
When the individual player props on this game drop, consider betting on for Ozuna to go Over on his hits and total bases.
WELCOME TO ATLANTA
The Cardinals might be just 1-7 over their last eight playoff games on the road, but their recent play suggests they might be able to reverse that trend in Game 5.
St. Louis is 7-3 in their previous 10 road games overall, and are 10-4 in their last 14 contests in Atlanta.
TO LIVE AND DIE IN L.A.
If history is any indication, home field advantage could play a big factor for the Dodgers in Game 5. The Dodgers are 55-19 in their last 74 home games, that includes going 28-11 in their previous 39 home tilts against teams with a winning record on the road.
When it comes to the head-to-head trends, the Nationals have gone 17-36 in their previous 53 road contests with the Dodgers. Washington is also just 1-4 in Strasburg's last five starts in L.A.
And for bettors looking to bet on a team total, consider this: The Nationals have been shut out in three of their last five games at Dodgers Stadium. The O/U on Washington's total is 3.
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