Last night, the Boston Red Sox ended the New York Yankees’ season with a 6-2 win in the AL wild-card game. Tonight, we get another do-or-die game in the NL wild-card game as the Los Angeles Dodgers host the St. Louis Cardinals. The Dodgers are -225 favorites to win the game and the total is currently set at 7.5 runs on BetMGM.
The Dodgers finished the regular season with the second-best record in baseball, but they’re forced to play in the wild-card game because the best record in baseball also resided in their division with the San Francisco Giants. For that reason, the Dodgers are prohibitive favorites and a moneyline bet might not be appetizing. If you’re looking for another way to bet the game, below are some props for the game courtesy of BetMGM.
The St. Louis Cardinals will be handing the ball to 40-year-old Adam Wainwright with their season on the line. Wainwright has been terrific this season, pitching to a 3.05 ERA while throwing 206 and 1/3 innings. In this new era of baseball, Wainwright was just one of four pitchers to pitch over 200 innings this season.
Since June 1, Wainwright has made 22 starts. In those 22 starts, Wainwright has gone at least six innings in 20 of them. He’s had a quality start (six innings pitched, 3 earned runs or less) in 18 of those starts. In his lone start against the Dodgers this season, Wainwright pitched into the ninth inning.
Wainwright has been able to go so deep into games because he’s mastered the art of efficiency and pitching to contact. His strikeout numbers are hardly eye-popping with just 7.6 strikeouts per nine innings. However, he manages hard contact and allows his defense to make plays for him. The Cardinals +78 defensive runs saved leads all playoff teams.
I don’t think Cardinals manager Mike Shildt will be in a rush to get to the bullpen, which is an obvious concern in postseason baseball, especially in elimination games. St. Louis has the worst bullpen of any team in these playoffs based on xFIP. I like Wainwright to record over 15.5 outs in this game at +115. He’s been doing it all season long, so why stop now?
Trea Turner won the batting title this season, and it wasn’t particularly close. The former Nationals star came over to Los Angeles after a trade deadline deal and has bolstered an already dangerous lineup. Turner batted .328 this season in 148 games between the two teams.
Turner is perhaps the fastest player in baseball, and with his propensity to make contact, any routine groundball has the potential to become a hit. He also has power, hitting 28 home runs on the season.
Of all Dodgers batters, nobody has faced Adam Wainwright more than Turner. Turner has had success against Wainwright, just like he does against most pitchers. In 19 career at-bats against Wainwright, Turner is batting .421. Wainwright doesn’t miss many bats and that’s a recipe for Turner to put the ball in play and make things happen.
I like Turner to go over 1.5 total bases on Wednesday at -105. There’s a lot of avenues for Turner to reach this number. He’s capable of hitting one over the wall, he’s capable of stretching a single into a double, and he’s definitely capable of a multi-hit game.
Moneyline and Both Teams to Score 4 or more runs
We haven’t even mentioned Max Scherzer yet in this article. He’ll be on the bump for the Dodgers in this one and we all know what he’s capable of. The Dodgers have not lost a single game that Scherzer has started since he came over from the Nationals at the trade deadline.
Scherzer’s last two starts of the regular season were far from ideal, as he gave up 10 earned runs over 10 and 1/3 innings to the Padres and Rockies. However, his performance before then had him in the Cy Young conversation. If for some reason Scherzer falters again, Dave Roberts has proven over his playoff managing career that he’s not afraid to go to the bullpen early.
The Dodgers are -225 favorites to win this game and the Cardinals’ team total for runs scored is set at over/under 2.5 runs. Therefore, I think there’s value in betting Dodgers to win, and NO on both teams to score 4 or more runs. The current price on this prop at BetMGM is -120. You can find it under the “Win/Total” tab. This is an effective way of reducing the juice if you want to back Mad Max and the Dodgers.
Stats courtesy of FanGraphs.com