The Dodgers finished off the Giants in an intense game 5 last night to secure the final spot in baseball’s final four. Cody Bellinger had a clutch RBI single in the 9th to give the Dodgers the 2-1 lead and Max Scherzer came in to close it out and send the Dodgers back to the NLCS for the fourth time in 5 years.
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Let’s take a look at the Championship Series Betting Odds and Pitching Matchups:
The Dodgers have been the favorites for most of the year and they head into the championship series
The Red Sox have caught fire over the last 8 weeks of the season and will face off against the Astros team that has been cruising along in first place all year. Both lineups are swinging the bat very well and we should see plenty of offense which is great news if you are a casual baseball fan. The key to this series will likely come down to the starting pitchers in the middle of the series and their ability to avoid giving up crooked numbers.
Chris Sale vs. Framber Valdez
Sale has been one of the game’s dominant starters over the last 10 years and only started 9 games this year after missing most of 2020 and the first part of recovering from Tommy John surgery. Sale has been up and down in his 9 starts but he has the big-game experience and he should put up a quality start against the Stros’ powerful offense.
Valdez is one of baseball’s best young lefties and was quietly one of the best pitchers in the AL this season putting up an 11-6 record and a 3.14 ERA.
Nathan Eovaldi vs. Luis Garcia
Eovaldi has been sensational so far this postseason and has a career 1.93 postseason ERA and was a vital piece of the Red Sox’s 2019 title run. Garcia is a high-velocity right hander and has some of the best stuff in baseball. I like Eovaldi’s experience in this matchup as you can’t underestimate the importance of pitching in big games.
Evaluating the hitters
The Red Sox lineup has been on a historic tear over the last month led by Rafael Devers who finished the season with 38 home runs. The top of the lineup is arguably the best in baseball and the Astros will have their work cut out for them facing this lineup that produced the following home run totals:
The Astros are almost equally as impressive on the offensive end and showcase the following numbers on the offensive end:
We have a rematch of last year’s NLCS between the Dodgers and Braves who kick things off this weekend in Atlanta. The series went 7 games last year and this year looks like it could be another epic series with both teams coming in with plenty of momentum.
The Braves have announced Max Fried as the game 1 starter but nothing yet from the Dodgers on who they will roll out in Game 1. It will probably be Max Scherzer since he only threw thirteen pitchers in the final inning of the series clincher vs. the Giants.
The Dodgers had the best team ERA this year at 2.97 and the Braves finished 7th with a 3.82 ERA. This series should have much less scoring than the ALCS and will likely be a National League-style series with strategic baserunning and great pitching.