Thursday MLB Odds, Betting Picks & Predictions: 3 Ways to Bet Giants vs. Dodgers Game 5
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images. Pictured: San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey.
Editor’s note: Corey Knebel will start for the Dodgers on Thursday night as the opener, but he is expected to be followed by Julio Urías.
This is it.
The Dodgers and Giants, who won the most games in MLB with 106 and 107 this year, will duke it out in Game 5 of the NLDS for the right to advance to the NLCS against the Braves.
MLB Odds & Picks
Buster Posey Total Bases
DJ James: Buster Posey has been one of the most reliable bats in the San Francisco Giants’ lineup down the stretch of the regular season and thus far in the playoffs. Julio Urías toes the rubber for the Los Angeles Dodgers, and he has a strong track record against the Giants. In fact, this postseason he held them to one earned run in five innings of work.
That said, Posey is one matchup to watch. He owns a .875 OPS in 16 at bats in the playoffs and even if it is a small sample size, he’s 10 for 20 against Urías in his career with a .360 xwOBA. He was also the second-strongest bat this year for San Fran versus southpaws (174 wRC+) and remained at 178 wRC+ from Sept. 1 to the end of the regular season.
On lefty curveballs, he had an impressive .326 xwOBA and absolutely crushed lefty fastballs at 93.6 MPH on average with a .547 xwOBA. These are two of Urías’ predominant pitches.
Given the matchup and the success that Posey has seen facing lefties, and in particular Urías, he should be able to string a couple of hits together today. His over on total bases is 1.5 (+140), so take this to 1.5 (+115).
Michael Arinze: It’s finally time to put some respect on Logan Webb’s name. The California native catapulted to the front of the Giants rotation after an 11-3 season with a 3.03 ERA and a 1.11 WHIP. The advanced numbers have been even better given his 2.72 FIP and 2.79 xFIP.
Whether it’s his 0.55 HR/9 ratio or his 9.59 strikeouts per nine innings, Webb seems to check all the boxes. But what’s most impressive about him is his 3.29 GB/FB ratio. Try doing that over 26 starts in the regular season.
Essentially, we have a serial groundball pitcher, who rarely gives up home runs, pitching in a pitcher’s park. Sign me up!
The light bulb went on for Webb in just his third season in the majors. He’s everything you want in an ace, and the fact that he’s gone at least seven innings in five of his last eight starts could give him an edge in Game 5 over his counterpart Julio Urías.
The Dodgers’ left-hander has completed seven innings just once over that span. There’s no question that Urías pitched well this season. After all, he led all of baseball with 20 wins — three more than the second-place finisher Adam Wainwright.
However, Urías isn’t even the best pitcher on the Dodgers staff. He’s not even in the top-15 in the WAR metric. His 3.13 FIP and 3.73 xFIP suggests he’s been a bit fortunate given his 2.96 ERA. He’s also been more of a flyball pitcher, as evidenced by his 0.98 GB/FB ratio.
That could be problematic with the wind blowing out to the right field. The Giants have a .269 / .327 / .396 line against Urías in 182 at-bats compared to the Dodgers .208 / .266 / .327 line against Webb.
Kenny Ducey: It’s hard to find better pitching staffs than the ones we have in this unforgettable NLDS. The Giants have posted a .524 OPS through four games with just four homers and nine runs scored, hitting .184. That’s the worst mark of any team in the Division Series. The Dodgers aren’t much better, hitting .243 with a .663 OPS and three homers. It’s a testament to just how great the starters — and the bullpens — have been on both sides.
I’ve got the utmost confidence in Urías to spin a gem here. He’s the proud owner of a 2.68 ERA in his postseason career, and when you combine his five innings against the Giants in Game 2 of this series with his 2020 performance, you get a 0.56 ERA with 16 strikeouts in 16 innings. That’s pretty insane.
Urias has improved since 2020, too, increasing his strikeout rate around 6% and bringing his walks down. In the second half, he’s also been maybe the best pitcher in baseball with a 2.04 ERA.
With all of that said, Webb has been brilliant in his own right with a 2.71 ERA since the All-Star break and he is coming off 7 1/3 shutout innings against the Dodgers in Game 2 of this series, a game in which he struck out 10 hitters.
Both of these bullpens have been stellar in the second half, too, with the best ERAs in baseball during that span. Given the fact that this is an elimination game, neither manager is going to let their starter get into much trouble here, so I’m not sure the issues that could potentially plague these two starters in the later innings will be present. With four or five clean innings to start, I think we will see a very low-scoring affair.