The NLDS returns Sunday with both series poised brilliantly at 1-1 heading into game three. Who will grab the initiative heading into Game 4, and where can we find some value?
Here are Today’s MLB Picks:
Atlanta Braves @ St. Louis Cardinals
1u – Under 2.5 Runs in the first 3 innings @ -125
- Mike Soroka has a 1.55 ERA on the road this season
- Adam Wainwright has a 2.56 ERA at home this season
This game is fascinating with the series poised at 1-1 entering the third game. The two pitchers are fascinating as well, as we have the former ace facing off with the young pitcher currently trying to establish himself as an ace. Both pitchers have favorable stats in this environment, and the weather is expected to favor pitching. For this pick I am looking at their numbers the first time through the lineup. Adam Wainwright has an impressive 2.94 ERA and .304 wOBA against the first time through the order. Meanwhile Soroka is also impressive, with a 2.98 ERA and .262 wOBA against lineups the first time they see him in a game. I am expecting a low scoring start to this game through the first three innings.
Los Angeles Dodgers @ Washington Nationals
1u – Los Angeles Dodgers ML @ +110
- Max Scherzer has a 5.40 ERA in September/October this season
- Hyun-Jin Ryu bounced back from a tough August with a 2.13 ERA in September
This game is absolutely huge! If the Nationals can take the victory, they will host Game 4 with a chance to put the series away. However, a Dodgers victory gives them two chances to wrap-up the series, including a home game in Game 5. Per statschecker, the numbers are fairly even, with the Dodgers having won 58% of games on the road this season, good enough for the fourth best number in the league. However, the Nationals have won a sixth best 62% of games at home this season.
With those numbers so close the decider for me lies in the starting pitching. Scherzer struggled in the wild card game, continuing a trend of poor performances from the end of the regular season. In contrast, Ryu has come through his dip and is now pitching back close to his best. The Nationals have got to this point off the back of impressive performances from Stephen Strasburg, who is unlikely to be available in this one. The Dodgers and their left-handed load line should just have too much for Scherzer.
By Ben Rolfe