Lo Duca: The Brewers Can’t Afford To Fall Behind Dodgers in Game 1

Lo Duca: The Brewers Can’t Afford To Fall Behind Dodgers in Game 1 article feature image

USA Today Sports. Pictured: Dave Roberts, Craig Counsell

Betting odds: Los Angeles Dodgers at Milwaukee Brewers

  • Dodgers moneyline: -155
  • Brewers moneyline: +132
  • Over/Under: 7.5 (+100/-120)
  • First pitch: 8:09 p.m. ET
  • Channel: FS1

>> All odds as of 6 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time MLB odds and track your bets

Before I get into Game 1, I do want to say I am on the Dodgers to win this series. I don’t think the Brewers will be able to hang with the Dodgers over a seven-game set.

The narrative for this series is going to be the Dodgers’ starting pitching vs. the Brewers’ bullpen.

Clayton Kershaw gets the ball for LA in Game 1 on the road against fellow southpaw Gio Gonzalez.

The fact that Brewers’ manager Craig Counsell waited until the day before the series start to name a starting pitcher tells you everything you need to know about the pitching matchup.

Counsell was smart to sit Gonzalez in the NLDS as the Rockies owned lefties this season, but that also means that the 33-year-old hasn’t pitched since Sept. 30.

Gonzalez has been strong with the Brewers but he has always struggled with the walk. In 2018, the veteran left-hander averaged 4.21 walks per 9 innings. That doesn’t bode well against a Dodgers’ lineup that led the Major Leagues with a 10.2% walk-rate.

Overall, Los Angeles finished 14th in wOBA (.317) against lefties this season but since July 20 — which just happens to be when Manny Machado joined the lineup — the Dodgers improved their wOBA to .326.

This Dodgers’ lineup looks locked in right now, so I think this could be a long night for Gio and that’s bad news considering he’s going to need to bring his A-Game to keep up with Kershaw.

Milwaukee has a nasty bullpen, but as we saw with the Yankees-Red Sox series, you can only utilize that strength if you get ahead. Having a great bullpen does no good if you’re chasing the game.

Last but not least, Los Angeles has a lot of postseason experience. I know you can’t measure it on paper, but the fact that most players on this team played in the World Series last year gives them an edge.

I think taking a shot on the Dodgers To Win In Six Games prop (+519 at Bookmaker) is worth a punt. I think that’s the most likely outcome here.

As for Game 1, I’m comfortable laying the juice because I think the Dodgers will be able to negate Milwaukee’s biggest strength behind a solid effort from Kershaw.

Bet: Dodgers -155

Editor’s note: The opinions on this game are from the individual writers and are based on their research, analysis and perspective. They are independent of, and may not always match with, the algorithm-driven Best Bets from Sports Insights.