Dodgers/Astros Game 2: Epic recap and series betting outlook

Dodgers/Astros Game 2: Epic recap and series betting outlook article feature image

The Astros scored a run on a seeing eye single from Carlos Correa in the eighth inning to get within one run, which ended the LA bullpen’s MLB record 28 consecutive postseason inning scoreless streak.

However, the Dodgers were still in great position to take a 2-0 series lead, as Kenley Jansen, one of the most dominant closers in the game, entered the ninth inning for a save opportunity with a 3-2 lead. These were his 2017 postseason numbers entering Wednesday night:

9.0 Innings, 2 Hits, 0 ER, 14 K, 1 BB

Dodgers fans had to feel confident, especially considering Jansen, who only blew one save in 2017 and had never blown a postseason save in his career, was set to face 7/8/9 in the Astros lineup, which included:

  • Marwin Gonzalez
  • Josh Reddick
  • Carlos Beltran

Over the previous 10 games this postseason, those three players entered the ninth inning a combined 12-84 (.142) with two total RBIs.

If Jansen got the save, today’s headlines would have featured stories on the Dodgers’ dominant pen and how Dave Roberts made all of the right moves.

However, you can’t predict baseball On an 0-2 count to Marwin Gonzalez, who was 3-30 over his last 10 games with 0 RBIs, this happened:

After Cody Bellinger just missed a walkoff home run on a Ken Giles meatball in the bottom of the ninth, we headed to extra innings, and complete chaos ensued. The Astros took a 5-3 lead on back-to-back home runs from Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa in the 10th inning, but the Dodgers tied it up at 5 in the bottom of the 10th on a two-out Keke Hernandez single, the first Dodgers hit of the game that wasn’t a home run.

In the top of the 11th inning, the Astros took a 7-5 lead on a George Springer home run, and they eventually held on for a 7-6 victory.

If Jansen did secure the save, the Dodgers would have been the first team in 54 years to win a World Series game with two or fewer hits. Instead, the game featured the following absurd World Series records:

World Series Records

  • No team had ever hit two extra innings home runs in a World SERIES (for the entire series). The Dodgers hit two last night… and lost. The Astros hit three last night, including two back-to-back, and won their first World Series game in franchise history!

  • Most total home runs in a World Series game (8)

  • Most home runs in extra innings of a World Series game (5) – and of any game, ever, including the regular season!

  • 22.5 percent of all extra inning World Series home runs were hit last night (5/22).

  • First ever back-to-back home runs in extra innings of a World Series game.

  • The Astros became the first team in MLB postseason history to homer in the 9th, 10th and 11th innings.

  • Marwin Gonzalez is the first player to hit a home run to tie a World Series game in the ninth inning on the road since 1975.

  • Josh Fields became the first pitcher in World Series history to give up three extra base hits without recording an out. Fields now has given up the most extra inning home runs in World Series history; no other pitcher has ever given up more than one in his career.

To get a visual sense of the wild momentum swings from Game 2, just take a look at this win probability chart from fangraphs.

The Blame Game

Many will blame Dave Roberts for the way he managed his bullpen last night, but I actually didn’t have a problem with any of the moves he made. Yes, they didn’t have any elite arms left in extras, but they had Kenley Jansen on the mound in the ninth against the bottom of the Astros’ order. You can’t ask for anything else.

I would actually place some blame on Joc Pederson for the way he approached his at bat in the bottom of the seventh inning. With the Dodgers up 3-1, Pederson came up with one out and a man on third. An insurance run would have been absolutely massive, but Pederson decided to swing for the fences and eventually struck out.

Series Betting Outlook

In my World Series Preview, I mentioned how I wanted to hit the Dodgers for the series if they lost one of the first two games at home since I believe their bullpen advantage will be magnified in Games 3 and 4; I don’t anticipate the projected starters in those games to go as deep (or to be as effective) as the aces of both staffs. Additionally, with the DH in play for the three games in Houston, the Dodgers can manage their much more talented bullpen with additional flexibility.

Game 2 actually strengthened this sentiment. The Dodgers’ primary pen rotation pitched very well again, with the exception of one mistake from Jansen, who you obviously have no worries about moving forward. Conversely, the Astros’ primary bullpen arms were hit hard again. A unit already low on confidence took it on the chin again Tuesday night. Ken Giles is throwing batting practice right now, and he appears lost on the mound. Chris Devenski finally threw a beautiful change to strike out Yasiel Puig to end the game, but even he gave up some hard hit balls, including a home run to Charlie Culberson. I would be very concerned about trying to close out any remaining games if I’m an Astros fan or backer moving forward.

Wager: Dodgers World Series Champions -119

No matter who you like, can we all agree that if this does go seven, MLB should take a week break so we can have Clayton Kershaw vs Justin Verlander on full rest for a winner-take-all World Series game 7?

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