MATCHUP AT A GLANCE
When: Wednesday, October 9, 2019 at 5:02 PM EST
Where: SunTrust Stadium in Atlanta, GA
Moneyline: St. Louis Cardinals -115
Betting Total: 8 runs
It will be a rematch of Game 2, when Foltynewicz earned the win by allowing just three hits over seven scoreless innings as the Braves evened the series with a 3-0 victory. Flaherty took the hard-luck loss after allowing all three runs in seven innings.
The Cardinals are tapping ace Jack Flaherty for the second time in this series. He's been on fire since the second half, compiling a 0.91 ERA and 101 more strikeouts than walks in his final 15 regular-season starts.
Meanwhile, Mike Foltynewicz pitched so poorly early in the year that he was demoted to the minors. Since returning in August, he's thrown the ball well: a 2.65 ERA and 38 more strikeouts than walks in 10 starts.
Cardinals Have The Right Man On The Mound
If you ask anyone in the Cardinals Organization who they would want on the mound for Game 5 the answer would overwhelmingly be Flaherty. He has been the best pitcher in baseball in the second half and although he wasn't great in Game 2, I expect he will be much better today.
Although he shut them down in game 2, St. Louis hitters have had good success against Foltynewicz in the past. They have combined for a .821 OPS in 180 plate appearances. Kolten Wong, Yadier Molina, the Game 4 hero, and Matt Carpenter all have an OPS over 1.000 and a home run against the Braves right-hander. Marcell Ozuna also has two homers against Foltynewicz and is coming off a two home run game 4.
The biggest question is who will close it out if Flaherty doesn't go a complete game, which is entirely possible? Carlos Martinez has been awful in the series and Andrew Miller, who has the most experience closing, has been up and down all year.
Braves Look To End Drough
It is no secret that Atlanta hasn't been to the NLCS since 2001. After being a playoff regular in the 90's Atlanta is ready to end the drought.
They won't be able to not deliver when they get runners in scoring position like they did in Game 4. They had multiple chances to come add-on and never did. They had good scoring chances in innings four, five and six and came away empty.
Atlanta hitters haven't had as much success against Flaherty in the past, but were able to get to him in Game 2. They have a team OPS of .688 against Flaherty in 104 plate appearances.
Adam Duvall hit a pinch-hit two-run homer in the seventh and Josh Donaldson singled in a run in the first. Flaherty gave up eight hits but no Braves hitter had more than one hit off the Cardinals right-hander.
Mybookie has the Cardinals at -115 and the Braves at -105. The over/under is 8.
Free Betting Pick
This one is tough to call as Game 5's are a lot different than any other game of the series. The pressure gets to some players more and everything is magnified. I like Flaherty to outduel Foltynewicz, but I don't know about the Cardinals bullpen to hold on.
I think the best bet here is the under. Both of these pitchers can deal and offenses can get a little tight in a winner take all game. I think this will be a low scoring affair and I have the Cardinals coming away with a one-run win.