Lo Duca: Will Pitching Dominate Brewers-Dodgers Game 3?
Benny Sieu, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Josh Hader
Betting odds: Milwaukee Brewers at Los Angeles Dodgers
- Brewers moneyline: +167
- Dodgers moneyline: -177
- Over/Under: 7.5 (+102/-122)
- First pitch: 7:39 p.m. ET
- Channel: FS1
>> All odds as of 1 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time MLB odds and track your bets
Is this going to turn into the Josh Hader series?
After splitting the first two games in Milwaukee, the Dodgers and Brewers head to Chavez Ravine for the next three games. That should be good news for the pitchers as Dodger Stadium is a better park for pitchers than Miller Park.
The Brewers won Game 1 thanks to some early offense and heroic efforts from bullpen arms Brandon Woodruff and Hader.
Hader was especially huge, pitching three shutout innings to allow Milwaukee to build a 6-1 lead heading into the eighth. Things almost came undone for the Brew Crew thanks to some suspect pitching from the back end of the pen, but Milwaukee held on.
What that showed me is that Craig Counsell will be going to Hader if the Brewers build a lead early in Game 3. It’s now a Best-of-5, so winning Game 3 has become paramount, and I expect Counsell to play this like a must-win game, something he’s been doing all postseason long.
The best way to manage in the postseason is to do everything to win today and worry about tomorrow later. Counsell has been adroit at deploying that strategy so far.
The path to victory for Los Angeles is by taking Counsell’s best weapon, Hader, out of his hands by building an early lead. Don’t think that Milwaukee’s Game 3 starter, Jhoulys Chacin, doesn’t know that.
The veteran starter will empty the tank and try to keep Los Angeles at bay until he hands the ball to Hader for the middle innings. With Chacin knowing he won’t have to put together six or seven innings, he will be throwing his best stuff from the jump.
The game plan for Walker Buehler will be different. The Dodgers don’t have a dominant arm in their pen, so that means Dave Roberts will want his young starter to give him as much as he can.
Buehler has dynamic stuff. He looked great in the divisional tiebreaker against the Rockies before stumbling against the Braves in Game 3 of the NLDS. The most important takeaway from that game for me is how the young starter rebounded after a disastrous second inning.
Following a five-run frame, Buehler regrouped and retired 10 batters in a row to complete five innings.
I think the most likely scenario is that Buehler and Chacin keep this thing tight in the early going. If that’s the case, it means we can expect to see Hader pretty early.
One other thing to keep in mind here is that this game will start at 4:39 p.m. in Los Angeles. The shadows could make it pretty tough for hitters in the early innings.
I don’t see this one getting out of hand either way and think the value is with the under.
Bet: Under 7.5 (-122)