Our MLB handicapper, Mark Lathrop, has won 2 of 3 picks in the first three games of the World Series so far. He's dialed in and ready to set the direction to follow as Game 4 is upon us on Saturday night.
After the Houston Astros stole a win in Game 2 and earned a split at Dodgers Stadium going into Game 3 of the World Series, my prediction of the Dodgers dominating with left-handed pitching matchups was thrown out the window. The Dodgers had a right-hander on the mound in Game 3 and summarily got beat as I had suggested in my series price breakdown before the World Series started. Of course, that win was not without its extraordinary measures as Brad Peacock came in relief for the Astros and pitched nearly 3 innings of no-hit baseball to close out the game.
The Dodgers go back to their lefty-heavy starting pitching lineup in Game 4 with the maligned Alex Wood. I faded Wood in Game 4 of the NLCS against the Cubs and he promptly gave up 3 home runs on the road in Chicago. Those were all solo shots though, so his 3 earned run line after 4.2 innings pitched is better than it could have been. Wood did put up a 7/0 K/BB rate in that game though, so perhaps it was a case where he was wild in the strike zone. That would especially be a problem if a pitcher’s velocity has dropped, which it has all year in the case of Alex Wood up until now.
In Game 3 of the ALCS, I backed Charlie Morton against the Yankees and promptly got my face ripped off as he failed miserably, giving up 7 earned runs on 6 hits over 3.2 innings pitched. Morton completely redeemed himself of course by pitching 5 innings of 2-hit shutout baseball in Game 7 of the ALCS and picking up the winning decision. That game came at home, where Morton has struggled on the season to keep the ball in the yard. Morton carries a 16.4% HR/FB rate at home in Houston versus just a 5.1% HR/FB rate on the road.
If my pre-series analysis was to hold form I would be backing the Dodgers here. The Astros have a losing record against left-handed starters on the season, which is the strongest trend that we can point to in this very close matchup. However, now that the total line has come out at 8 runs across the board I must reconsider. The chances of either Alex Wood or Charlie Morton failing to pitch well in this game bring value to the Over at the total of 8. If you’ve followed me at all this season you will probably know I am wagering on Alex Wood to falter, and I’ll be looking at Houston first 5 innings team total lines closely tomorrow. As it stands now though I will take Over 8 as my Game 4 World Series MLB Pick.
2017 MLB Record, 226-200-11, +11.44 units