After the excitement of the wild card round now we find ourselves into the meat of the playoffs with the beginning of the NLDS. In two fantastic matchups we will see the St. Louis Cardinals travel to the Atlanta Braves before the Los Angeles Dodgers host the wild card winning Washington Nationals.
Here are Today’s MLB Picks:
St. Louis Cardinals @ Atlanta Braves
1u – Under 9 Total Runs @ -105
- Miles Mikolas finished the season strongly, with a 3.34 ERA in September
- Dallas Keuchel has a 2.40 ERA at home this season
If you were to simply look at the road form of Mikolas this season you would be tempted to bet the Braves. However, Mikolas was much better down the stretch, allowing just five earned runs in his last three road games. Instead you can combine that good form with the home form of Keuchel and it makes the under a tempting play with the line set reasonably high at nine. Per statschecker, in Atlanta the under has been the slightly more common result this season, with the under going 41-36-4. If you look at games with a line of nine or above in Atlanta then those numbers shift further into the favor of the under, which has gone 35-26-4.
Washington Nationals @ Los Angeles Dodgers
1u – Washington Nationals +1 @ +110
Imagine being able to use your two best pitchers in the first game of the playoffs and still being able to turn to Patrick Corbin to lead you in the next game. That is the luxury the Washington Nationals have with the pitching staff they have built. Corbin spluttered a little out of the gate for the Nationals but was incredible in the second half of the season. Only a calamitous six earned run performance at home to the Cleveland Indians in his final start of the year pushed his ERA for the second half of the year over the three-run mark.
Walker Buehler had an interesting season, bookending four impressive months of pitching with two mediocre ones. In September he allowed 14 earned runs, but 10 of those came in his two home starts, which is a concern. This game has the makings of a tight one, with the Nationals coming in full of momentum after their late game heroics against the Brewers. Both of these teams are riding impressive week-long winning streaks, so I expect this game to be decided by just a single run either side. Therefore, I am taking the Nationals getting the one run as I believe with Corbin on the mound they have a good chance to come out victors, but the extra run protects me in the case of a close loss.
By Ben Rolfe