A few things have happened since you heard from me last. Our two underdogs split on Monday night in a scenario that would have net 30 cents had they been plays. That’s a reminder to remind all of you that I’m easing back into the playoffs after an unexpected layoff at the end of the regular season and gave Monday’s tips as leans rather than plays. Such is again the case on Thursday night and could be for the rest of the way with limited spots available in the playoffs anyway. But I’ll continue to post some analysis for those of us who are perhaps a bit more eager. The Indians were our winners and will host the first League Championship action later this week. The Cubs failed in extras but eventually closed out San Fran in game four on the road. That leaves the Dodgers and Nationals, the only series to go the distance, for the baseball world to indulge on Thursday night.
I only see one way to play this one and it’s on the home team, the favorite and the team that just has to finally get over the hump this year: the Nationals. The overwhelming reason why is Max Scherzer. He’s had some time to see this coming and now that his game five start is confirmed, he’s talking it up like you would only expect of him. But he’s right. This is the biggest game in the history of a team that hasn’t played for a World Series or even the right to get to play in a World Series. So playing for the right to get the right to play for the World Series will have to do.
He was bit by two long balls in his game one start (and 31 HRs allowed in the regular season) but Scherzer was otherwise tough to hit – giving up five hits in six innings and not walking a batter. He’ll be on full rest after throwing the stone 91 times last Friday. Rich Hill will be on three days of rest after getting knocked around a little bit in Washington in game two. Scherzer likes to talk a game like this up a little bit because he uses that adrenaline to his advantage, but he also oozes confidence heading into this one. I think it’s simply because he knows he’s going to dominate.
Again, I’ll restrain from a play in this spot but I like the Nats. And I’ll even lay the run to get them at plus money.
YTD: 36-24-1 +5.75
2015: 31-25-5 +1.09
2014: 45-28-3 +9.02