The Dodgers have cut the Braves series lead in half. It’s now 2-1 with Clayton Kershaw taking the hill. Is he healthy enough to perform and give the Dodgers their second win in the NLCS?
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Atlanta Braves
Thursday, October 15, 2020 – 8:08pm EST NLCS Game 4 at Globe Life Field
|Dodgers||Clayton Kershaw||6-2 2.16 ERA; Postseason: 1-0 1.93 ERA|
|Braves||Bryse Wilson||1-0 4.02 ERA, Postseason: 0-0 0.00 ERA|
The Dodgers went on a rampage to defeat the Braves and take the third game of the NLCS. They are still down two games to one, but will now pitch their ace pitcher in Clayton Kershaw, who has been experiencing back spasms this week.
Kershaw is healthy enough to start this one and can help the Dodgers tie the series up at two a piece with a win.
In the regular season, Kershaw went 6-2 with a 2.16 ERA and a 3.31 FIP. The lefty struck out nearly 10 batters per nine innings, limited walks to just 1.23 per nine innings, and induced 53 percent of ground balls on the season while leaving 82.5 percent of runners on base.
In the postseason, Kershaw has gone 14 innings and has allowed just nine hits and three runs with 19 strikeouts and one walk. The Dodgers were finally able to get solid starting pitching against the Braves with the left-hander Julio Urias on the mound. Lefties perform better against the Braves and now the Dodgers will pitch another left-hander in Clayton Kershaw. He’s not just any left-hander. He’s one of the best left-handers in this generation.
On the season, Kershaw held opponents to a .194 batting average, with righties and lefties hitting lower than .200 from each side of the plate. The one issue for Kershaw was that he did allow eight home runs on the season, which is a bit high. However, Kershaw only walked eight batters in 58.1 innings to help ease the pain.
The Dodgers are 9-2 when Kershaw takes the mound this year. Remember, Kershaw started the season on the injured list and had fewer starts on the season because of that. On the road this season, Kershaw has a 1.84 ERA and has gone 5-1 in seven starts. This shows just how comfortable he was away from Dodger stadium.
The only question will be if Kershaw is actually healthy. Can he go the usual six or seven innings or will he leave the game early due to back spasms? That will scare many bettors off of the Dodgers on the best betting sites.
The Braves will start another young pitcher in Bryse Wilson who had his struggles this season. Wilson started two games and played in six. He struck out 8.62 per nine innings but walked 5.17 per nine innings. It’s a small sample size, but Wilson also had a batting average of balls in play of .348 and struggled getting ground balls this season.
Dating back to last season, Wilson has had a high SIERA, 5.80 ERA when you combine the last two seasons, a low strikeout rate, high walk rate, doesn’t get many swinging strikes and lacks ground balls. This is the kind of pitcher you like to fade in the regular season. Yet, he’s right here, in the playoffs.
In 21 at bats this season, lefties hit the right-hander with a .429 average with two doubles and nine hits. Meanwhile, righties hit .214 in 42 at bats, but hit two home runs and a triple with an on base percentage of .340 due to seven walks. The Dodgers lineup can stay patient, hit solid launch angles and get on base.
It’s understood that Wilson will have a short leash, just like his teammate Kyle Wright did last night. But the Braves had to use their bullpen for 8.2 innings and surely don’t want to have to do that again. On the road, Wilson relieved in two games and allowed three runs in 2.2 innings with two home runs and four walks and just four strikeouts.
The Dodgers scored 11 runs in the first inning and had 15 by the third inning. I won’t predict that, but Bryse Wilson has not been good the first time around the order and has barely been given the opportunity to pitch the second time around the order this season. The Dodgers should pounce on Wilson and when he’s out of the game, they’ll get that Braves bullpen that just pitched 8.1 innings the night before.
The lefties did all the damage last night with Max Muncy, Corey Seager, Joc Pederson, and Cody Bellinger doing their thing. That should continue into this one. Again, I won’t promise 11 or 15 runs, but the Dodgers should be able to get to Wilson early and have some comfort early as well.
An offensive explosion is in store, and with the MLB odds set a 5 for the Dodgers’ team total, we’ll need six for the game. Also, I would recommend the runline for the Dodgers at -1.5. We just don’t know how healthy Kershaw is going to be. Therefore, I’ll stick to the team total. But again, if Kershaw was 100 percent healthy, I’d recommend those odds at -1.5 in the first five and full game.
MLB Pick: Dodgers Over 5 Runs (-130) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)