Zylbert: Will Walker Buehler Continue His Home Prowess?
Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports. Pictured: Los Angeles Dodgers starting pitcher Walker Buehler (21).
Betting odds: Boston Red Sox at Los Angeles Dodgers
- Over/Under: 7.5
- First pitch: 8:09 p.m. ET
- Probable pitchers: Rick Porcello (17-7, 4.28 ERA) vs. Walker Buehler (8-5, 2.62 ERA)
- TV channel: FOX
Regular Season: 102-73-4, +21.45 units
Postseason: 8-10-1, -3.9 units
Last Result: Dodgers-Red Sox Under 8.5, Ryu vs. Price (WIN)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit
After two games at frigid Fenway Park, with the Red Sox garnering an early 2-0 series edge, the World Series heads West for Game 3.
At first glance, that seems to bode well for the Dodgers and rookie Walker Buehler, who makes his fourth start of the postseason.
Buehler registered a terrific 1.93 ERA and 0.83 WHIP in 12 home starts (and one relief appearance) compared to the 3.45 ERA and 1.12 WHIP he posted in 11 assignments on the road.
Will his tasty home cooking continue in the World Series?
As much as I love Buehler, I’m just not sure he’s going to come through with his usual standout outing at Dodger Stadium.
He was great here against the Brewers Game 7 of the National League Championship Series, and still might be good on Friday night. But to combat the mighty Red Sox and their dangerous lineup right now, you have to be completely in rhythm. Boston’s offense finished first in runs scored, extra-base hits, team batting average and OPS this season.
The rousing success of Boston’s lineup smoothly transitioned into October, where its year-long onslaught has continued. The Red Sox have scored four or more runs in all but two of their 11 playoff games — including each of the last six (all wins) — and in the process, the over has gone 7-4 in their postseason action.
Facing a relentless batting order, Buehler will have to be at his sharpest here to keep the Red Sox bats at bay and I don’t think he will be. It only takes one minor glitch from the pitcher for the Sox to wreak havoc at the dish.
Meanwhile, I think there’s an even better shot we can scratch out some runs off the other starter in this affair.
Rick Porcello has mixed results since the end of the regular season. He shut down the Yankees in one start to propel Boston into the ALCS, but he also got bashed by the Astros in his most recent outing.
The 10-year veteran has pitched in 15 career playoff games (six starts), and his numbers have been lackluster, mustering just a 5.09 ERA and 1.33 WHIP for his efforts. Furthermore, only one of those starts was of the quality variety — which came seven years ago.
However, it could be the fact that the Dodgers will be seeing a right-handed starter for the first time in this World Series that jump-starts their offense most.
I’ve highlighted the Dodgers’ struggles with southpaws throughout the year and how that’s spilled into October. After all, they own an abysmal .208/.293/.292 slash line in 154 at-bats versus lefties this postseason.
Not only did they fare considerably better against right-handers during the regular season, the Dodgers should benefit from having Cody Bellinger, Max Muncy, Joc Pederson and Yasmani Grandal in the lineup.
At least one of those guys can make a major difference here.
Play: OVER 7.5 (-105)