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Wednesday evening on the MLB diamond and the National League East will square off with the National League West as the Washington Nationals grapple with the Los Angeles Dodgers in game five of this best-of-five series. The Nats won game four of this series by a score of 6-1 to send it to a game five as the scene shifts back to Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles, California.
Pitching Matchup: The Nationals will trot out Stephen Strasburg (18-6, 3.32 ERA) and he will be opposed by Walker Buehler (14-4, 3.26 ERA).
Nats Force A Game FiveThe Washington Nationals were the hottest team in the league down the stretch of the regular season and now they are one step away from moving on to the next round of the playoffs. This did not seem like a possibility when the season started as the Nats had just lost Bryce Harper to the Phillies but here we are. The Nats came into this series having won their previous nine games in a row, so they are now 11-2 over their last 13 games. The offense has been the catalyst of late as they have a 5.68 rpg over their last 16 games and if they keep that up, then Washington could very well move on to the next round, especially with who they have on the mound tonight and I'll get to Strasburg in a minute.
The Nats won game four of this series by a score of 6-1 and snatching up the win in the contest was Max Scherzer, who allowed just the one run on four hits and three walks while striking out seven in 7.0 innings of work. Dominant pitching from one of the best in the league and at a time when the Nats needed it most. Anthony Rendon and Ryan Zimmerman led the attack on offense with three RBIs each while Trea Turner had three hits and scored two runs. Zimmerman had their lone dinger in the contest. Washington is currently 44-39 on the road and they have averaged 5.11 rpg and have allowed 4.19 rpg in those games.
Taking the hill for the Nationals will be Stephen Strasburg and went 18-6 with a 3.32 ERA in 33 starts during the regular season, including 8-4 with a 3.39 ERA in 19 starts on the road while in his last three starts overall, he has gone 2-0 with a 0.95 ERA. In his career (Regular Season), he has gone 59-29 with a 3.24 ERA in 115 starts on the road and 18-4 with a 1.95 ERA in 38 starts during Sept/ Oct. Strasburg has gone 3-5 with a 2.54 ERA in 11 career starts against the Dodgers, including 0-3 with a 2.08 ERA in four regular-season starts against them here at Dodger Stadium. He has gone 3-2 with a 0.64 ERA in five games (four starts) in the postseason in his career, including 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA in two games (one start) in the postseason this year. Strasburgh beat the Dodgers in game two of this series, here in LA, and he allowed just one ER on three hits and no walks with 10 strikeouts in that game.
The Nationals were a very solid offensive team this year as they ranked 6th in the league in scoring at 5.39 rpg, while also ranking 6th in hitting at .265 and 13th in homers with 231. On the mound, they were above average, ranking 13th in the league in ERA at 4.27, while also ranking 8th in WHIP at 1.29 and 8th in K’s with 1511. Their pen ranked 29th in ERA at 5.68.
Dodgers Are Being Taken To The LimitThe Los Angeles Dodgers were also hot down the stretch as the won their final seven games of the regular season. They had clinched the number seed in the National League and are facing the wildcard winner. It should have been an easy series for the Dodgers, right? Not so fast my friend. The Washington Nationals were even hotter coming into this series and that made them a dangerous team. The Dodgers are finding that out right now as the Nats have pushed them to a deciding game five. With the kind of season that LA has had, anything less than a trip to the world series would be a major disappointment.
The Dodgers had a shot to close out the series on Monday night, but they couldn't Solve Max Scherzer and they fell by a score of 6-1. Their lone run in the game came on Justin Turner's second homer of the series. The Dodgers had five total hits in the game and no one had more than one. Taking the loss was Julio Urias, who allowed three ERs on three hits in 0.2 innings of work in relief. The Dodger pen has been strong all season, but this was not their night. Los Angeles comes in at 60-23 here at home for the year and they have averaged 5.41 rpg and have allowed 3.31 rpg in those games.
"It's something I'm familiar with and getting to do it at home certainly helps." @buehlersdayoff speaks about starting tomorrow's #NLDS Game 5 showdown at Dodger Stadium. #Dodgers pic.twitter.com/ezYN7ekgpD— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) October 9, 2019
The Dodgers will trot out Walker Buehler and he went 14-4 with a 3.26 ERA in 30 starts on the year, including 6-1 with a 2.86 ERA in 14 starts here at home while in his last three starts overall, he has gone 2-1 with a 3.18 ERA. in his career (Regular Season), he has gone 10-4 with a 2.60 ERA in 30 games (26 starts here at Dodger Stadium and 6-2 with a 3.42 ERA in 19 games (11 starts) during Sept/ Oct. Buehler has gone 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA in three games (two starts) against the Nats in his career. Buehler won game one of this series by a score of 6-0 and he allowed just one hit and three walks while striking out eight in 6.0 innings of work. He is now 1-1 with a 3.03 ERA in five career postseason starts.
The Dodgers were a solid offensive team this year as they ranked 5th in the league in scoring, putting up 5.47 rpg, while also ranking 10th in hitting at .257 and 4th in homers with 278. On the mound, they were very strong ranking 1st in the league in ERA at 3.39, while also ranking 1st in WHIP at 1.10 and 7th in K’s with 1519. The bullpen ranked 5th in the league with a 3.85 ERA.
Los Angeles is:
- 8-2 in Buehler's last 10 starts when their opponent scores 5 runs or more in their previous game.
- 20-7 in Buehler's last 27 starts with 5 days of rest
- 54-24 in their last 78 games following an off day
- 1-4 in their last 5 during game 5 of a series
- 17-36 in the last 53 meetings in Los Angeles
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
This is a toughie, especially with the way Strasburg pitches in the postseason, but still, I have to go with the Dodgers here. They have been the best team in the National League all year and they will not get bitten by the upset bug in this one. Stephen Strasburg has been dominant in his postseason appearances in his career, but Walker Buehler shut out the Nats through six in a 6-0 win over the Nats in the opening game of this series. Buehler allowed just one hit and three walks in the game. The Dodgers have been a strong home team all year as they have gone 60-23 here at Dodger Stadium and they will not let the Nats come in and take game five here at home. The Dodgers are 18-7 in Buehler's last 25 home starts and that seals the deal for me.
Prediction: Los Angeles -153
Full-Game Total Pick
Going with the Over here, which goes against all a preach about, which is a great pitching matchup in a deciding game five should lead to a low scoring game. Well, I see it going the other way. Strasburg has a solid 3.30 ERA on the road, but his road starts have averaged 9.60 rpg. Buehler has a very nice 2.68 ERA at home but his home starts have averaged 8.60 rpg. The Nationals have averaged 5.50 rpg over their last 10 games and 5.11 rpg on the road while the Dodgers have averaged 5.20 rpg in their last 10 games and 5.41 rpg here at home. Both teams have been solid on offense this year and while deciding games do tend to be low scoring one, but both teams are desperate for this win and will break out the big bats. Take the Over in this one.
Prediction: Over 7