By Mary Cunningham
Tonight’s deciding game 5 of the NLDS is a bettor’s dream.
Nationals vs Los Angeles Dodgers (Matchup Report)
Tonight 8:37 p.m. ET
TV Coverage: TBS
Opening Odds: NATIONALS +131 / Los Angeles -145 | O/U 7 (Line History)
Starting Pitchers: LAD Buehler (15-4, 3.15 ERA), WAS Strasburg (20-6, 2.79 ERA)
Action on the Dodgers has bumped Los Angeles up to a -154 favorite while the Nationals would now pay +144 with an upset. The total has remained steady at 7 runs.
Saving Max Scherzer for Game 4 instead of having him pitch on short rest in Game 3 wound up paying off for the Nationals. Scherzer was in top form on Monday, giving up only four hits and one run with seven strikeouts through seven innings. The bullpen got a much-needed break with only Sean Doolittle and Daniel Hudson needed to close out a 6-1 win over the Dodgers.
Now Washington enters Game 5 with Stephen Strasburg on normal rest. Through nine innings of work this postseason, Strasburg has allowed five hits and one run while striking out 14 batters. Since getting off to a 19-31 start to the 2019 season, the Nationals have rallied to go 76-40 over their last 116 games.
The Dodgers are 7-1 over their last eight games with Walker Buehler starting, including his brilliant performance in Game 1 of this series when he struck out eight and allowed just one hit in six scoreless innings. In 30 appearances and 26 career starts at Dodger Stadium, Buehler owns a sterling 2.60 ERA and a 0.89 WHIP with 200 strikeouts in 169.1 innings pitched.
Los Angeles had the National League’s best record in 2019 at 106-56, its best offense with 5.47 runs per game and its best ERA at 3.37. But due to the harsh best-of-five format in the division series, the Dodgers now find themselves in a must-win situation.
OddsShark Betting Pick: Washington +144
This one feels like a true toss-up with two excellent starting pitchers on the mound and both of these teams playing at such a high level. As such, the price on the Nationals at +144 is too sweet to pass up on.