Zylbert: How Will Gio Gonzalez Fare in Second NLCS Start?
Benny Sieu, USA Today Sports. Pictured: Gio Gonzalez
Betting odds: Milwaukee Brewers at Los Angeles Dodgers
- Over/Under: 7.5
- First Pitch: 9:09 p.m. ET
- Probable Pitchers: Gio Gonzalez (10-11, 4.21 ERA) vs. Rich Hill (11-5, 3.66 ERA)
- Channel: FS1
- Regular Season: 102-73-4, +21.45 units
- Postseason: 4-7-1, -4.3 units
- Yesterday’s Result: Brewers-Dodgers Under 7.5, Chacin vs. Buehler (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
Gonzalez threw only two innings in his Game 1 start against the Dodgers on Friday night. The veteran southpaw allowed a solo home run to Manny Machado and was replaced by Brandon Woodruff after getting six outs.
After Craig Counsell burned through his bullpen in Games 1 and 3, I think he will be willing to give Gonzalez much more wiggle room on Tuesday, as the 11-year veteran gets set to make his eighth career postseason start.
Looking at the specific matchup, the edge may shift in Gonzalez’s favor as well. It’s well-known that the Dodgers simply haven’t been as consistent against left-handed pitching, managing a paltry .240/.324/.409 slash line opposite southpaws this season. They were considerably tougher on right-handers, posting a .255/.337/.458 line in that department.
This disparity, as expected, has spilled into October. In their seven playoff games, the Dodgers have amassed a putrid .168/.238/.247 line against lefties in 77 at-bats, plating a mere two runs in the process.
I like where Gonzalez is mentally and how he has performed since being traded to the Brewers, and we can anticipate him being eager to be on the mound for this critical affair.
He’ll be squaring off with a fellow veteran left-hander, Hill, the 38-year-old who will be getting his first action since the deciding Game 4 of the NLDS.
In that start, Hill continued to spin his usual steady brand of postseason pitching despite failing to get out of the fifth.
He allowed a two-out, two-run pinch-hit single by Kurt Suzuki, but aside from that, Hill was still able to record his seventh straight postseason start in which he allowed two runs or fewer.
As a result, I think Hill can continue to chug along smoothly as he is healthy and is coming off a great second half. Hill went 9-1 in 13 starts with a 3.03 ERA, 0.94 WHIP and .187 batting average against in the second half this season.
Hill has also looked strong against this opponent in 2018. In his two meetings with Milwaukee, he delivered a pair of quality starts while yielding just two earned runs in 12 innings. Additionally, he racked up 13 Ks over that span.
There’s a slight chance this over/under ticks up to 8, so wait up until first pitch to see if we get that line. Even if it remains at 7.5, I’m still on the under.
Play: UNDER 7.5/8