Saturday’s MLB Playoff betting preview

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San Francisco Giants at Washington Nationals (-203,
7)

The San Francisco Giants attempt to extend their postseason
winning streak and put a stranglehold on their National League
Division Series when they visit the Washington Nationals for
Game 2 on Saturday. San Francisco, which advanced to the NLDS
by trouncing Pittsburgh in the wild-card game on Wednesday,
built a three-run lead in Friday’s series opener before holding
on for a 3-2 triumph. Joe Panik, Brandon Belt and Buster Posey
each delivered an RBI single while Jake Peavy yielded two hits
over 5 2/3 scoreless innings as the Giants posted their ninth
straight playoff victory.

NL East champion Washington made a late comeback attempt, with
Bryce Harper and Asdrubal Cabrera belting solo home runs in the
seventh inning, but was unable to gain the upper hand in the
series. The Nationals, who finished with the best record in the
NL during the regular season, look to avoid being pushed to the
brink of elimination in the best-of-five series and hope to
head to San Francisco with the matchup even at one win apiece.
Giants veteran Tim Hudson makes his 10th career playoff start
as he faces Jordan Zimmermann, who enters with one postseason
start – a loss at St. Louis – under his belt.

TV:
5:37 p.m. ET, FS1

LINE HISTORY: Pinnacle Sports opened the Nats
-208, but that is now -203. The total has held at 7.

COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Giants (-184),
Nationals (-199)

WEATHER: Temperatures will be in the low-60s
with wind blowing across the field at 14 mph.

PITCHING MATCHUP: Giants RH Tim Hudson (9-13,
3.57 ERA) vs. Nationals RH Jordan Zimmermann (14-5, 2.66)

Hudson struggled down the stretch, losing each of his last four
outings to extend his winless streak to six starts. The
39-year-old, who hasn’t pitched in the postseason since 2010
while with Atlanta, has surrendered three or more runs in five
straight starts and at least five in three of those contests.
Hudson improved to 18-5 in 31 career turns against the
Nationals franchise on Aug. 22, when he allowed two runs – one
earned – over 5 1/3 innings at Washington.

Zimmermann is coming off the best performance of his career as
he tossed the first no-hitter in Nationals history on Sept. 28
against Miami. The 28-year-old won each of his last eight
decisions during the regular season, ending the campaign with a
13-start unbeaten streak after losing at Philadelphia on July
11. Zimmermann raised his career record versus San Francisco to
5-2 on Aug. 23 as he yielded only two runs while striking out
eight in as many innings.

TWEET BEAT:

TRENDS:

* Nationals are 4-0 in Zimmermann’s last four home starts vs.
Giants.
* Over is 5-1 in the last six meetings.
* Giants are 6-0 in their last six Divisional Playoff road
games.
* Under is 13-3 in Nationals last 16 overall.

COVERS CONSENSUS:
62 percent of wagers on Covers
Consensus are backing the Nationals.


St. Louis Cardinals at Los Angeles Dodgers (-162,
7)

The Los Angeles Dodgers look to shake off a disappointing loss
and even their National League Division Series at one win
apiece when they host the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday. NL
West champion Los Angeles appeared on its way to victory in
Friday’s opener as Cy Young Award favorite Clayton Kershaw was
staked to a 6-2 lead after six innings. But St. Louis touched
the 21-game winner for six runs and six hits during an
eight-run seventh and held off a late comeback attempt to
emerge with a thrilling 10-9 triumph.

Los Angeles outhit NL Central champion St. Louis 16-10 but went
just 4-for-14 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11
while the Cardinals left just one runner on base. Matt
Carpenter belted a solo homer and put St. Louis ahead with a
three-run double during the huge seventh inning while Matt
Holliday capped it with a three-run blast. A.J. Ellis
highlighted a 4-for-5 performance with a two-run homer and
Adrian Gonzalez added a two-run shot of his own for the
Dodgers, who hope to avoid falling into an 0-2 hole in the
best-of-five series.

TV: 9:37 p.m. ET, MLB Network

LINE HISTORY:
Pinnacle Sports opened the Dodgers -160
but that has gone to -162. The total has held at 7.

COVERS POWER RANKINGS: Cardinals (-192),
Dodgers (-202)

WEATHER: Temperatures in the mid-80s under
clear skies. Wind will blow slightly out to right field at 5
mph.

PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Lance Lynn
(15-10, 2.74 ERA) vs. Dodgers RH Zach Greinke (17-8, 2.71)

Lynn ended the regular season with a four-game winless streak
but produced quality starts in each of his last nine outings.
The 27-year-old hasn’t allowed more than three runs since June
28, when he was tagged for seven – six earned – over two
innings in a loss to Saturday’s counterpart Zach Greinke at Los
Angeles. Lynn is 3-1 in five career starts against the Dodgers
but owns a hefty 4.50 ERA.

Greinke finished the 2014 campaign with an eight-game unbeaten
streak that included five victories. The 30-year-old former
American League Cy Young Award winner allowed more than two
earned runs only twice during his run and yielded fewer than
two on four occasions. Greinke fell to 9-4 in 14 career games –
12 starts – against the Cardinals on July 19, when he
surrendered four runs on six hits and five walks over 5 2/3
innings at St. Louis.

TWEET BEAT:

TRENDS:

* Cardinals are 4-1 in Lynn’s last five starts vs. Dodgers.
* Cardinals are 7-1 in their last eight vs. National League
West.
* Dodgers are 5-0 in Greinke’s last five starts.
* Over is 21-4-2 in Dodgers last 27 overall.

COVERS CONSENSUS:
68.33 percent of wagers on Covers
Consensus are backing the Dodgers.

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