MATCHUP AT A GLANCE
Where: Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles, CA
Date: Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2019 at 8:37 PM
Moneyline: LA Dodgers -165
Over/Under Total: 7
Game five, winner take all. It doesn’t get much better as the Washington Nationals, behind Max Scherzer won game four to force a decisive game five Wednesday night in Los Angeles.
All the pressure is on the LA Dodgers, who won 106 games in the regular season and was supposed to ease their way to the World Series for the third straight year.
Pitching Matchup is a Delight
The Nationals will send Stephen Strasburg to the mound to try and win a decisive game for a franchise that has never won a postseason series. Strasburg won game two when he went six innings and allowed one run.
He has had winner-take-all experience as recently as this year’s wild card game when he delivered three scoreless innings of relief in the Nationals’ come-from-behind win over the Milwaukee Brewers. Strasburg has given up just one run in nine innings this postseason and his postseason ERA is 0.64 over 28 career innings.
The Dodgers will counter with Walker Buehler. The 25 year-old righthander was 14-4 in the regular season with a 3.26 ERA. The Dodgers prefer to have Buehler on the mound, but they thought his second postseason start would be in the NLCS and not in a must-win elimination game in the NLDS.
Buehler was a big part of the Dodgers run to a division title where they cruised by a 21 games. He was much better at home during the regular season where he was 6-1 with a 2.86 ERA.
Buehler averaged 11 strikeouts per 9 innings pitched at home and opponents hit .208 against him.
Offenses Pretty Even in Series
The Dodgers offense has been hit or miss as has the Nationals in this series. The Dodgers have outscored the Nationals 17-12 in the series, but a 10-run outlier in game three skews the numbers a bit.
There are only two players hitting over .300. Justin Turner for the Dodgers and Trea Turner for the Nationals are both hitting .333. Justin Turner has hit two home runs and Trea Turner has hit one.
Max Muncy has also hit two home runs in the series. MVP-Candidate Cody Bellinger is hitting just .200 in the series, but he has three hits in the last two games. Nationals’ MVP-candidate Anthony Rendon is hitting .267 in the series and has hits in the last three games.
He drove in three runs in game four. The Dodgers may have an extra left-handed hitter in their lineup as Matt Beaty started game four in place of the ineffective AJ Pollock. Dave Roberts may pull the trigger on that move again.
Betting Lines and Predictions
MyBookie has a moneyline of Los Angeles -165. The spread on the game is Dodgers -1.5 and the over/under is 7. Strasburg is such a big game pitcher that the stage doesn’t bother him.
Buehler has been spectacular at home, but he has never pitched in a do or die situation. All hands will be on deck and it should be a spectacular game. The Nationals are going to pull off one of the biggest postseason upsets of all-time and win game five.