First pitch: 8:08 p.m. ET
Venue: Globe Life Field (Texas)
Probable pitchers: Julio Urias (3-0, 3.27 ERA) vs. Ryan Yarbrough (1-4, 3.56 ERA)
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Tampa Bay Rays Predictions
Even with over bets out to a “3-0” start (last night’s game obviously shouldn’t have went over) in the World Series, the oddsmakers have curiously decided to roll with a total of 8 for this evening’s Game 4.
That’s particularly notable for a variety of reasons. One, this over/under is just a mere half-run higher than the Series opener — which featured aces Tyler Glasnow and Clayton Kershaw — meaning the decision-makers are saying tonight’s starters are only a half-run off from their Game 1 predecessors. That’s just not true.
But it also plays into oddsmakers potentially baiting people into the over. There’s been some offense on display in the Fall Classic thus far, so that thinking could being trying to lure the public into 8.
However, there’s more than meets the eye here. Julio Urias and Ryan Yarbrough may not be recognized as nearly as household brand names “Kershaw” or “Glasnow” but they can be clung to for solid pitching when handed the ball in critical spots.
Take Urias. The 24-year-old southpaw is transforming into a postseason messiah before our very eyes. In these playoffs, Urias has allowed only one earned run across his four appearances (including one start), spanning 16 innings. That’s good for quite a microscopic 0.56 ERA.
Urias could not be any more confident right now, especially after his last outing consisted of him closing out the final three innings of Game 7 of the National League Championship Series. As we’ve seen plenty glimpses of, when the fifth-year Dodger is on his game, he’s dominant.
His counterpart, Yarbrough, also appears like he can be trusted in these types of big games. He, too, is enjoying a favorable postseason, albeit in a bit of a smaller sample size that showcases 10.2 innings, but Yarbrough has gotten the job done in his three outings. His biggest was the lone postseason start he made when he limited the Houston Astros to a pair of runs in five frames that resulted in a win during the American League Divisional Round stage.
The key for me regarding Yarbrough in this start is that he’ll probably just be in line for the first turn or two throughout the batting order, which can pave the way for a sizable usage of Tampa’s strong bullpen. Trying to avoid a 3-1 series deficit, all their big guns will be available.
Probably most importantly in projecting this contest, both starting pitchers are left-handers. Well, as highlighted several times before, LA is considerably less dangerous against southpaws, while the Rays strike out at an uncomfortable rate when tangling with left-handed pitching.
With that extra boost, it only increases the likelihood of Urias and Yarbrough continuing nice work in the playoffs. Two quality pens can take it home from there.
2020 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*
Regular season: “19-42-4,” -28.91 units
Postseason: 11-8, +1.70 units
Last Result: Dodgers-Rays Under 7.5 (“loss”)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win one unit (postseason 0.5 unit except first one)