Tuesday, October 24, 2017
Houston Astros vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (MLB) - 8:09 PM EDT Premium Pick
Pick: Money Line: -166 Los Angeles Dodgers Pick Title: Mike's 9 Star Game 1 WS & Series' Winner (WIN)
The Los Angeles Dodgers haven't won a World Series (over the Oakland Athletics) since 1988 when 29-year-old P Orel Hershiser earned the MVP award. No longer is it required to earn a complete game win in late October like Hershisher did twice that year. This era, it's not about a one-man show for 29-year-old LHP Clayton Kershaw. Manager Dave Roberts will be satisfied if he goes 5+ innings before giving way to a lights-out bullpen. That's the new age of the postseason. You go more than halfway & then yield to your pen. For this matchup, I believe we'll have the upper hand with Kershaw whose earned 3 Cy Young awards, 5 Lowest ERA awards, 3 most strikeout firsts, made 7 All-Star Game appearances & won a MVP award along with a no-hitter to his credits. Look for him to be smarter & motivated since he's been taking heat for his lackluster 6-7 playoff record & 4.40 ERA. This matchup of old NL West teams from the 80's is intriguing since the Houston Astros (joined the NL as the Houston Colt-45's back in 1962) will give the people of Houston something to rally for after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey. The Stros' (now from the AL West) advanced into their 2nd World Series but still are looking for their 1st championship after getting swept 4 straight in 2005 by the Chicago White Sox. Even though the Dodgers have averaged 6 runs per game this postseason, led the majors in walks with 649 & set a franchise record for HR's with 221, Houston still has hit more HR's (238) & led the majors in Slugging Percentage with .478. I believe there's no too much separation @ the plate. However, L.A.'s starting rotation of Clayton Kershaw, Rich Hill, Yu Darvish & Alex Wood gets my nod here especially when you get into the 3rd & 4th starters in the rotation (versus Lance McCullers, Jr. & Charlie Morton). Down the stretch when you examine the bullpens, you'll find that Closer Kenley Jansen (allowed just 2 hits & 0 earned runs in 8 innings of pitching), lefties Tony Watson & Tony Cingrani along with righties set-up man Brandon Morrow (1.08 ERA this post-season) & Kent Maeda have the superior advantage of anything the Astros can come up with. In the National League Championship against the Chicago Cubs, the L.A. bullpen didn't allow a hit in 29 at-bats. For this entire postseason (8 games), the Dodgers' pen has a red-hot 0.94 E.R.A.. On the flip side of the ledger, LHP Dallas Keuchel gets the start here. I believe he is NOT hotter right now than Houston's #2 starter Justin Verlander. My bottom line says a definite X-Factor for L.A. could very well be SS Corey Seager whose rested & back after missing time with back problems as well as rookie sensation Cody Bellinger (39 HR's this year). The Dodgers' Charlie Culbertson (Seager's replacement) did very well in the NLCS hitting .455. Look for Texas-born southpaw Clayton Kershaw to have the upper hand in this pitchers' duel that should end nicely for us with the better pen. Look for Kershaw to be smart & NOT let Houston's best hitter Jose Altuve (.400 lifetime versus him) beat him. Let's take the LOS ANGELES DODGERS as my 9 Star Game 1 WS winner as well as taking them for the series @ around -170!
My 2017 MLB Overall Record is: 59-28-----68% -----Currently #1 in the country down the stretch. Thanks to all loyal customers who've believed we can take it home!