Only one of the NLDS series has been extended to a winner-take-all Game 5, and it should be a great pitching duel as Jacob deGrom of the Mets faces Zack Greinke of the Dodgers.
Three of the four participants in the upcoming respective League Championship Series are set, and it should be a great pitching duel to fill the final spot Thursday night when Jacob deGrom and the New York Mets make the trip out west for visit fellow right-hander Zack Greinke and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the deciding Game 5 of their NLDS from Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, CA at 8:07 ET in a game televised nationally on TBS, with the series tied 2-2.
The posted 5-inning total at Pinnacle Sports is 3 for this contest with the current odds on the ‘under’ set at -116.
Kershaw Forces Game 5
These teams have alternated wins over the first four games of this series, which is a pattern that the Mets would love to see continue after being the winning MLB picks in Game 1 with tonight’s starter deGrom and Game 3 with Matt Harvey. The Mets had a chance to end this series at home in Game 4, but it was not to be, necessitating another cross-country trip back to Los Angeles for this penultimate Game 5 of a best-of-five series.
The Dodgers obviously then took the even numbered games of this series, with tonight’s starter Greinke winning Game 2 here at home in Chavez Ravine and then Clayton Kershaw setting aside his playoff demons and snapping his personal five-game post-season losing streak while saving the Los Angeles season for now by allowing one run on three hits in seven innings of the crucial 3-1 Game 4 road win in New York.
Dominant deGrom in Game 1
deGrom introduced himself to the Major League by being named the National League Rookie of the Year last season, and as if there was any doubt about his ability, he certainly avoided the Sophomore Jinx this season by going 14-8 with a 2.54 ERA and 205 strikeouts in 191 innings vs. just 38 walks! That strikeout rate of 9.66 per nine innings ranked ninth in the majors, and he then dominated this Dodgers’ lineup here in this stadium in Game 1.
Matched up with Kershaw in that series opener, deGrom matched goose eggs with the reigning two-time Cy Young Award winner tossing seven shutout innings and allowing five hits with an impressive 13 strikeouts vs. one walk, getting the win when New York finally broke through for three runs in the eighth inning while deGrom was pinch-hit for en route to the 3-1 win.
That means that the Dodgers have still not scored a single run off of deGrom this year, as he was also splendid in his only regular season start against them when he threw 7.2 shutout innings and allowed just two hits with eight strikeouts vs. two walks, actually outpitching tonight’s opponent Greinke in that contest with the latter allowing two runs in seven innings.
Probably Cy Young Runner-Up
Greinke probably outpitched his teammate Kershaw this season while going 19-3 with a microscopic 1.66 ERA, although in all likelihood he will finish second in the Cy Young voting this year behind the unworldly Jake Arrieta of the Chicago Cubs. Still, Greinke is a stud in his own right that has personally lost one decision since June 13th, and he even pitched well in that one loss falling 3-1 to the Astros in Houston on August 22nd.
So Greinke has not tasted defeat in nearly two months and he was the winning pitcher in Game 2 of this series here in Los Angeles when he allowed two runs on two solo homers on five hits with eight strikeouts and not a single walk in seven innings. Identical to deGrom in Game 1, Greinke was the winning pitcher because the Dodgers took the lead in the inning in which he was pinch hit for, thanks primarily to the now infamous Chase Utley slide in that 5-2 win.
Quality Start Machines
Finally, Greinke has basically been automatic to post a Quality Start whenever he has taken the mound this year, posting Quality Starts in 31 of his 33 starts overall including the one playoff start in this series! And deGrom has not been too shabby either, allowing more than three earned runs just four times in 31 starts including Game 1. It should come as no surprise then that Greinke led the National League in ERA at 1.66 and deGrom finished fourth at 2.54.
With that in mind and with this contest having a low full-game posted total of 6 possibly trending toward 5½, our recommendation is to take the bullpens out of the equation here and to back deGrom and the Mets and Greinke and the Dodgers to stay ‘under’ over the first five innings in Game 5 of this NLDS from pitcher-friendly Dodger Stadium on Thursday.
MLB Pick: Mets, Dodgers ‘under’ 3 (-116) (5 innings)