NLDS Game 1 Dodgers vs. Giants Betting Odds, Picks: 107-Win San Francisco Worth Backing As Home Underdog (October 8)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images. Pictured: Brandon Belt and Brandon Crawford.
Looking for Saturday’s Game 2? Click here.
|Over/Under||7 (+100 / -120)|
|Time||9:37 p.m. ET|
After winning 106 wins, the second-most in the entire league, the Dodgers’ prize was a winner-take-all game against Adam Wainwright and the red-hot St. Louis Cardinals.
Max Scherzer got the start and had his night end early, but Los Angeles won a thrilling game on a two-run walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth by outfielder Chris Taylor.
Next up, the defending champs are tasked with the 107-win San Francisco Giants, who have looked like the best team in the league since April. The Giants earned home-field advantage throughout the postseason and will look to win their fourth World Series title since 2010.
These two NL West rivals have never met in the playoffs before, and San Francisco won this season series 10-9 to help clinch the division and make sure this Game 1 takes place at Oracle Park.
Dodgers Turn To Walker Buehler
How nice must be for the Dodgers to have to burn a Cy Young candidate, and then be able to come right back with another one? Walker Buehler (RHP) gets the start in Game 1, and besides the fact that he opens his beers like a savage, Buehler has also pitched like one.
It was a career season for Buehler, as he went 16-4 with a 2.47 ERA and 3.57 xFIP. He allowed just a .199 batting average against, the second-lowest in the NL. During last season’s World Series run, Buehler was phenomenal. In five starts, he posted a 1.80 ERA, allowing just five runs in 25 innings. LA won four of his five playoff starts.
The Dodgers’ offense came into the season expecting to be world beaters, and while they were not as dominant as maybe expected, they have still been very good. LA finished the season seventh in both wOBA and wRC+ and scored the fourth-most runs in the league.
A big reason for the offense not reaching its potential was the down season from the Dodgers’ pair of former MVPs. Mookie Betts and Cody Bellinger both battled injuries throughout the season. Betts hit just .264 with an .854 OPS in 122 games, and Bellinger was horrible, batting just .165 with a .542 OPS in 95 games. Only one player in the league with at least 300 plate appearances had a lower WAR than Bellinger at -0.8.
Los Angeles was dealt a huge blow with the loss of Max Muncy, who will miss at least this series, if not the whole postseason with an elbow injury. Muncy has been the Dodgers’ best player all season, and leads the team in WAR, home runs and RBI.
Steady Webb Starts For San Francisco
San Francisco elected to go with 24-year old Logan Webb (RHP) to make his postseason debut on Friday. Webb has been terrific, going 11-3 with a 3.03 ERA in 26 starts this year, including an NL West-clinching performance in the regular season finale.
Few pitchers have been better than Webb over the second half of the year. He has not taken a loss since May 5, and had a 2.71 ERA and 2.69 xFIP in 16 starts after the All-Star break.
The Giants might not have the big names and star power of the Dodgers, but this lineup is every bit as dangerous. San Francisco finished the season fourth in wOBA and fifth in wRC+. You don’t exactly think of them as a power team, but they slugged the second-most home runs in the league.
San Francisco has seemingly turned back the clock this year. As the rest of the league is filled with young stars, the best team in baseball was led by a pair of 34-year olds and multiple-time World Series champions, Buster Posey and Brandon Crawford. The pair each had a wRC+ over 140 and a wOBA over .375.
However, their other big veteran will be unavailable this series. Just like the Dodgers, San Francisco will be without its star first baseman after Brandon Belt broke his thumb in the last week of the season.
Just like they have been the entire season, I think the Giants continue to be undervalued. San Francisco sat atop the NL West standings for all but one day since May, yet the Dodgers were still favored to win the division practically until the Giants clinched it.
Despite finishing with the best record in baseball, which they held for most of the season, and clinching home-field throughout the playoffs, San Francisco began the postseason tied for the fourth-best odds (+750) to win the World Series.
Buehler has been excellent this season and the Giants have seen plenty of him. The way the schedule worked out, he has already faced San Francisco six times this season. Buehler went 3-1 with a 2.19 ERA against them this season but eventually the familiarity caught up to him. In his last start against San Francisco he got tagged for a season-high six earned runs in three innings.
Webb has been absolutely brilliant since the All-Star break, and the Giants went 14-2 in his second-half starts. He has also been dominant at home. In 12 home starts this year, Webb posted a 1.69 ERA and San Francisco went 12-0 in his home starts.
Only the Seattle Mariners have been more profitable to bet on this year than the San Francisco Giants, so I will back them as an underdog almost every single time.
I also like a future on the Giants to win the World Series at +750. While the best team doesn’t always win the title, the best team at the fourth-best odds is too good to pass up.
Pick: San Francisco Giants +105 (Play to -110) | San Francisco World Series Future +750