A nice winner with the Rays as big +215 dogs last night and now at 5-1 in my last 6 the playoffs are starting to take shape pretty nicely. Today back at it as the NL takes center stage with a couple of game 5’s. Here’s what I’m going with…
Cardinals (-104): I know Mike Foltynewicz was lights out in game 2, but I’m going to go with the far more consistent pitchier in this one. In his last 16 starts of the regular season Jack Flaherty had an ERA of 0.93 and right now outside of Gerrit Cole he’s probably pitching better than anyone in the sport. Foltynewicz certainly has the stuff to put up a big outing but at the end of the day this is a guy who had an ERA of 4.54 and even made 10 starts in AAA while working through some struggles. It’s just hard to trust him to put together back to back gems right now. It should be just about all hands on deck for both teams on the pitching front so trying to cap the bullpens is almost impossible. If you can go an inning without your arm falling off and are needed, you’ll probably pitch. I don’t want to over simplify this play but the starting pitching gap is just too much to ignore.
Nationals (+151): Without a doubt the Dodgers have been the class on the National League all season and are rightfully favored to win this game tonight. That said, I make the Nats only a +127 dog so at +151 there’s no way I’m going to pass. Stephen Strasburg at times gets lost in the shadow of Max Scherzer but he had an exceptional regular season and then followed it up with a gem in game 2 at LA last weekend. Walker Buehler is excellent in his own right but not to the point he should be favored like this over Strasburg. This feels like a low scoring game that comes down to the final innings. To be honest strategically I think Dave Martinez and Dave Roberts are two of the worst managers in the league so it very well could come down to which guy gives the game away. In any event I feel the Dodgers are inflated and I’m going the other way with the Nats as a road dog.