Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Dodgers (OFF)
Nationals lead series 2-1
The Los Angeles Dodgers are on the brink of elimination from the National League Division Series and can’t figure out where to turn in search of a savior on the mound. The Dodgers don’t plan to name a starting pitcher until the morning before the game when they host the Washington Nationals in Game 4 of the NLDS on Tuesday.
A rainout in Washington over the weekend changed things around for Los Angeles manager Dave Roberts, who is still deciding whether to bring back ace Clayton Kershaw on short rest or to turn to rookie Julio Urias. “I think you look at Julio at home, but you look at Kershaw on short rest at home,” Roberts told reporters after an 8-3 loss in Game 3 in which he needed six innings from his bullpen. “So as an organization, we’ve got to figure out what gives us the best chance tomorrow.” The Nationals aren’t rushing to name a Game 4 starter, either, and will go with either Joe Ross or Reynaldo Lopez instead of asking Max Scherzer to pitch on short rest. Washington lost behind Scherzer in Game 1 but broke out the offense in the last two contests, including a pair of four-run innings that decided things in Game 3.
TV: 5 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1
LINE HISTORY: The Dodgers opened as heavy -235 faves once Clayton Kershaw was announced as their starter. However, they have been bet down slightly to -232. The total for the game opened opened at 6.5 and has actually been bet up to 7. Check out the complete line history here.
WEATHER REPORT: It should be a beautiful day for baseball in Los Angeles. The forecast is calling for clear skies and temperatures will be in the high 60’s. There should be a slight hitters wind gusting out to right field at five to seven miles per hour.
SERIES PRICE (PER SPORTS INTERACTION):
PITCHING MATCHUP: Nationals RH Joe Ross (7-5, 3.43 ERA) or RH Reynaldo Lopez (5-3, 4.91) vs. Dodgers LH Clayton Kershaw (12-4, 1.69) or LH Julio Urias (5-2, 3.39)
Ross had his innings carefully monitored down the stretch after returning from injury and worked a total of 9 2/3 frames over his last three starts while allowing three runs. The 23-year-old surrendered two runs in 6 1/3 innings at Los Angeles on June 22 and could work the first few innings before yielding to Lopez. The 22-year-old Dominican started in six of his 11 appearances and made his major league debut against the Dodgers on July 19, when he was hammered for six runs on 10 hits in 4 2/3 frames.
Kershaw allowed three runs and eight hits in five innings of Game 1 but came away with the win to improve to 3-6 with a 4.65 ERA in his postseason career. The three-time Cy Young Award winner missed over two months with a back injury before returning in September and could instead go on regular rest in Game 5 if Los Angeles could win Game 4 behind Urias. The 20-year-old Mexican did not allow more than two earned runs in any of his final eight appearances during the regular season and is 3-0 with a 3.05 ERA in nine home games – seven starts.
* Dodgers are 5-0 in Kershaw’s last five home starts versus Nationals.
* Under is 5-0 in Kershaw’s last five home starts versus Nationals.
* Over is 5-1 in the last six meetings.
* Nationals are 5-1 in Ross’ last six starts versus a team with a winning record.
COVERS CONSENSUS: The public is giving Kershaw the edge in Game 4 with 58 percent of wagers on the Dodgers. Fifty-eight percent of wagers are also on the Over in this game.
Chicago Cubs at San Francisco Giants (+117, 7.5)
Cubs lead series 2-1
The San Francisco Giants refuse to panic in elimination games and second baseman Joe Panik thrived to became their latest postseason hero. The Giants have won a record 10 straight in elimination contests and they attempt to tie the best-of-five National League Division Series at 2-2 when they host the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday.
Panik reached base five times on three hits and two walks Monday and belted the blistering walkoff RBI double off the wall in right-center field to provide San Francisco with a 6-5, 13-inning victory. “We’re always a confident bunch,” Panik said on the postgame television interview. “We’ve been there before and we’re facing a really good team in the Cubs. So it’s a matter of trying to stay within ourselves and not try to do too much and play the way we know how to play.” San Francisco used a three-run eighth inning — third baseman Conor Gillaspie’s two-run triple was the big hit — to take a two-run lead into the ninth inning before Chicago third baseman Kris Bryant hit a tying two-run homer to force the extra frames. The Cubs have dropped eight of their last 10 postseason road games and manager Joe Maddon has this to say of Monday’s defeat: “We played it hard, we played it right — and they beat us.”
TV: 8:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1
LINE HISTORY: Game 4 has opened with the Giants as +117 home dogs, but have been bet back slightly to +113. The total for Game 4 is set at 7.5. Check out the complete line history here.
WEATHER REPORT: There is a strong hitters wind in the forecast for Game 4, with a 10-13 mile per hour wind gusting out to right field. It will be partly cloudy, with temperatures in the mid 50’s.
SERIES PRICE (PER SPORTS INTERACTION):
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cubs RH John Lackey (11-8, 3.35 ERA) vs. Giants LH Matt Moore (13-12, 4.08)
Lackey is a veteran of the postseason wars dating to 2002 and has compiled an 8-5 record and 3.11 ERA in 23 career appearances (20 starts). “Yeah, I’ve had several postseason starts, and one doesn’t really affect the next one,” Lackey said at a news conference. “You kind of know what to expect on the outside like as far as the flyovers and all the more time in between innings and that kind of stuff, you know how to handle that, but once you get in the game, it’s another game, another challenge.” Lackey, who turns 38 later this month, is 1-1 with a 2.37 ERA in three career starts against San Francisco, including a no-decision Sept. 4 when he gave up two runs (one earned) and one hit in five innings.
Moore is making his fifth postseason appearance and third start, with the others coming when he played for the Tampa Bay Rays — then managed by Maddon. Moore went 1-1 with a 4.41 ERA in those four appearances that occurred when he was 22 and 24 years old and he said he learned from the experience. “I think just taking a little bit relaxed mindset, maybe stepping back and realizing that it’s the same game; it’s just a bigger moment,” Moore said at a news conference. “Try not to get caught up too much in the second.”
* Cubs are 2-8 in their last 10 playoff road games.
* Giants are 5-0 in their last five home games.
* Over is 4-0 in Cubs last four road games.
* Over is 4-0 in Moore’s last four starts overall.
COVERS CONSENSUS: Bettors are giving the Cubs a slight edge to get the job done and move on in four games, with 52 percent of wagers on Chicago. As for the total, 57 percent of wagers are on the Over.
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