Zylbert: Can Walker Buehler Bounce Back From Shaky Postseason Debut?

Zylbert: Can Walker Buehler Bounce Back From Shaky Postseason Debut? article feature image

Brett Davis, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Walker Buehler.

Betting odds: Milwaukee Brewers at Los Angeles Dodgers 

  • Over/Under: 7.5
  • First Pitch: 7:39 p.m. ET
  • Probable Pitchers: Jhoulys Chacin (15-8, 3.50 ERA) vs. Walker Buehler (8-5, 2.62 ERA)
  • Channel: FS1

>> All odds as of 5 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time MLB odds and track your bets

Zylbert’s 2018 MLB Over/Under Betting Record

  • Regular Season: 102-73-4, +21.45 units
  • Postseason: 3-7-1, -5.3 units
  • Yesterday’s Result: Astros-Red Sox Under 8.5, Cole vs. Price (loss)

*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit

Buehler had quite the interesting postseason debut a little more than a week ago. For the most part, he looked sharp in his five innings of work, recording seven strikeouts and allowing a mere two hits.

Unfortunately, one of those knocks went for a grand slam off the bat of fellow young sensation Ronald Acuña Jr., which followed an incredibly unlikely chain of events. Buehler had two outs and only a runner on first in that fateful inning when he gave up his first hit of the ballgame. Thanks to an error in center field, the runners ended up on second and third.

As a result, that forced Buehler’s hand in intentionally walking No. 8 hitter (and dead bat) Charlie Culberson to bring up the pitcher. From there, we would bear witness to one of the strangest moments in recent postseason history, as Buehler then walked his counterpart Sean Newcomb — he of a career .042 batting average — on four pitches! Acuña’s grand slam ensued after Buehler fell behind 3-0 in that count, too.

So, that brings us to the question: Is the 24-year-old capable of handling these big spots in his second year in the majors?

This series shifting to Los Angeles figures to assist Buehler in getting back on track. He was considerably better in his home ballpark this year, logging a 1.93 ERA, 0.83 WHIP and .174 batting average against. By comparison, that easily edged the 3.45 ERA, 1.12 WHIP and .214 BAA he churned out on the road.

In his lone career home start against the Brewers on July 31, the righty gave up only a run in seven innings, yielding just five baserunners and striking out seven.

Buehler has already solidified himself as one of baseball’s best young strikeout artists. As a resylt, he could potentially excel in this particular outing, considering that Milwaukee hitters were retired via the K once every 3.8 at-bats during the regular season.

When it comes to makeup in the postseason, we might not have to stress as much as it concerns the other starter in this matchup, Chacin, who blossomed in his first career playoff start on Oct. 5.

He blanked a hard-hitting Rockies lineup for five effective innings, ultimately picking up the win.

That followed his start in Game No. 163 for the division, when he outpitched Jose Quintana and beat the Cubs on the road to secure the NL Central crown.

Above all, however, the key here might be that we’re getting a really good Brewers bullpen at full strength.

That means, as we saw from Craig Counsell in Game 1, all hands will be on deck in trying to regain the advantage in this series, so Chacin just has to provide a handful of decent innings to put us in a favorable position for this under.

Let’s also consider, as Paul Lo Duca noted in his quality piece on this matchup, that the early game time on the West Coast means hitters will have to deal with those distinct shadows at Chavez Ravine over the first few frames.

You might as well get your Action in on the under right away at 7.5, with there being no chance it goes any higher.

Play: UNDER 7.5 (-120)