Three teams are fighting for their playoff lives Tuesday.
The Brewers, White Sox and Dodgers each will try to force a Game 5, while the Braves, Astros and Giants are hoping to pop champagne.
Here’s a quick look at today’s three elimination games and the relevant information you need to know before placing your bets.
Astros starting pitcher: RHP Lance McCullers Jr. (13-5, 3.16 ERA regular season/1-0, 0.00 ERA postseason)
White Sox starting pitcher: LHP Carlos Rodon (13-5, 2.37 ERA regular season; N/A postseason)
Series: 2-1, Astros
Location: Guaranteed Rate Field
Time: 2:07 p.m. ET
Moneyline: White Sox (-118); Astros (+100)
Run line: Astros -1.5 (+155); White Sox +1.5 (-188)
Astros run line record: 79-86
White Sox run line record: 82-83
Astros over/under: 88-70-7
White Sox over/under: 72-83-10
The White Sox rallied from a four-run deficit in Game 3 to force Game 4 and must feel confident with lefty Carlos Rodon taking the ball. Rodon dominated the Astros twice this year, holding them to one run on four hits in 14 innings while striking out 18.
Due to the rainout, the Astros are turning to Game 1 starter Lance McCullers Jr. on regular rest in place of Jose Urquidy. McCullers handled the White Sox in Game 1, blanking them on four hits over 6 2/3 innings. The Astros are making the aggressive move to avoid a Game 5, despite the potential ALCS ramifications against the Red Sox.
The White Sox may have provided some bulletin board material for the Astros when reliever Ryan Tepera insinuated Houston may be cheating again. The Astros have not been fazed by all the hate they have received the last two years and this could provide a spark.
Expect runs to be a premium and Houston to tally big hits while making it known that Tepera's comments didn't go unnoticed. These two teams have totaled over 8.5 runs in each of the last two games, but this feels like a tight, pitching-dominated contest.
THE PICK: Astros moneyline, White Sox run line and the under.
Brewers starting pitcher: LHP Eric Lauer (7-5, 3.19 ERA regular season; N/A postseason)
Braves starting pitcher: RHP Charlie Morton (14-6, 3.34 ERA regular season; 0-1, 3.00 ERA postseason)
Series: 2-1, Braves
Location: Truist Park
Time: 5:15 p.m. ET
Moneyline: Braves (-138); Brewers (+115)
Run line: Brewers +1.5 (-167); Braves -1.5 (+140)
Brewers run line record: 87-78
Braves run line record: 80-82
Brewers over/under: 75-70-10
Braves over/under: 74-81-9
The Brewers are in trouble.
Their top three starting pitchers are as stout as any in baseball, yet they have lost the last two games. That’s not to blame the pitching, though, as the offense has scored a grand total of two runs across 26 innings while being blanked in each of the last two games. They haven't scored in 19 innings.
The Braves aren’t lighting the world on fire offensively either, but their starting pitchers have been as good as the Brewers'—if not better. Atlanta’s rotation is similar to Milwaukee’s in that it’s three deep followed by question marks.
This creates a fascinating Game 4 where one would expect runs will score a bit more frequently than they have through the first three games due to the decline in pitching. The Brewers are turning to lefty Eric Lauer instead of using Game 1 starter Corbin Burnes on short rest. Atlanta is going the opposite route, asking Game 1 losing pitcher Charlie Morton to return on three days rest.
Morton pitched well in Game 1, allowing two runs on three hits over six innings while striking out nine. He yielded a two-run homer to Rowdy Tellez.
We hate to harp on the whole Atlanta choking storyline, but it’s hard to bet on the Braves in such spots given their history. Milwaukee also is a legit World Series contender, and one would think they won't go down feebly.
Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell also is a master at navigating his bullpen, while Atlanta's bullpen can be flammable at times. This game script favors the Brewers. We also expect both offenses to have solid days despite three runs being scored in each of the first three games.
THE PICK: Brewers moneyline, Brewers run line and the over
Giants starting pitcher: RHP Anthony DeSclafani (13-7, 3.17 ERA regular season; N/A postseason)
Dodgers starting pitcher: RHP Walker Buehler (16-4, 2.47 ERA regular season; 0-1, 4.26 ERA postseason)
Series: 2-1, Giants
Location: Dodger Stadium
Time: 9:07 p.m. ET
Moneyline: Dodgers (-163); Giants (+138)
Run line: Dodgers -1.5 (+130); Giants +1.5 (-154)
Giants run line record: 79-86
Dodgers run line record: 82-83
Giants over/under: 75-85-5
Dodgers over/under: 72-84-10
The defending champions are on the brink of elimination.
The Giants, with some help from the wind, blanked the Dodgers in Game 3 to move one win away from advancing to the NLCS.
San Francisco will start Anthony DeSclafani, while the Dodgers are turning to Game 1 starter (and losing pitcher) Walker Buehler on short rest.
Buehler allowed three runs in 6 1/3 innings in the 5-0 loss in Game 1, surrendering a pair of homers. He went 3-1 with a 2.19 ERA in six starts against the Giants in the regular season. The Dodgers need that type of production from him Tuesday night.
Yet again, it feels like the Giants have us at a point where we have to forget all the preconceived notions that followed them all year. They don't have 107-win talent. They are due for regression. The Dodgers are simply the better team.
But it's the Giants that are up 2-1 and in the driver's seat.
This game is tough to pick, but expect the Dodgers to show why they are the defending champions and set up an epic Game 5 between two bitter rivals. Hopefully that game is more entertaining than Yankees-Red Sox.
The under seems appealing here since two of the three games have featured less than eight runs, and both teams often hit the under.
THE PICK: Dodgers moneyline, Giants run line and the under
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