It all comes down to Thursday night. The two best records in MLB during the regular season, intrastate foes and NL West rivals, will square off in Game 5 of the NLDS as the Los Angeles Dodgers (2-2) take on the San Francisco Giants (2-2). The Giants will host this one at Oracle Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 9:07 pm ET.
After falling behind two games to one, the Dodgers were able to stave off elimination Tuesday night in Los Angeles with a 7-2 victory.
In the win, the Dodgers exploded for seven runs on 12 hits and home runs by both Mookie Betts and Will Smith. Walker Buehler threw 4.1 innings, allowing one run before handing the game over to the bullpen.
In the loss, the Giants just couldn’t get any sort of sustained success going on offense. They managed seven hits and two walks, but they were only able to scratch across two runs.
Anthony DeSclafani took the loss for the Giants after giving up two runs in just 1.2 innings pitched.
This is basically a coin flip game as the moneyline sits at -105 for both teams. The runline does feature Los Angeles +1.5 (-240), and the over/under for total runs is seven.
The Dodgers will turn to 25-year-old lefty Julio Urias in the deciding game. During the regular season, Urias went 20-3 with a 2.96 ERA, 1.02 WHIP, and he had 195 strikeouts in 185.2 innings.
Urias picked up the win in Game 2 of this series after going five innings, allowing just one run on three hits and striking out five.
The Giants will counter with 24-year-old Logan Webb. He was absolutely sensational in Game 1 of this series as he went 7.2 innings of scoreless ball, allowing five hits and striking out 10.
In 27 games this season, he went 11-3 with a 3.03 ERA, 1.11 WHIP, and he struck out 158 in 148.1 innings.
By The Numbers
Offensively, these were two of the best teams in baseball this season. The Dodgers ranked fifth in the majors in scoring, averaging 5.08 runs per game. The Giants ranked seventh, averaging 4.90 runs.
In terms of defense, these were the two best teams in baseball. The Dodgers ranked atop the list of scoring defenses as they allowed just 3.42 runs per game to opponents. The Giants ranked second, allowing 3.67 runs.
Dodgers Trying To Win When It Matters Most
As the two best teams in baseball, it is not surprising to see the head-to-head matchup between the Dodgers and Giants so close. Between the regular season and postseason, these two teams have faced each other 23 times.
In that span, the Giants hold a slim 12-11 edge; however, the Dodgers are trying to win their final matchup when it matters the most.
Leading the way for the Dodgers on offense this postseason is catcher Will Smith (.333 avg., 2 HR, 3 RBI), outfielder Mookie Betts (.350 avg., HR, 4 RBI), and outfielder Chris Taylor .250 avg., HR, 3 RBI).
One player the Dodgers would like to see break out is the third baseman Justin Turner. Known as a big postseason contributor, Turner is hitting just .095 (2 for 21) with a single home run and five strikeouts thus far this postseason.
Giants Look To Home Field Advantage To Propel Them To NLCS
It is games like this why you fight so hard for the best record in the regular season. In Game 5, the Giants will be able to host the Dodgers at Oracle Park, where they are 55-28 this season. With their postseason lives on the line, the Giants hope home-field advantage will carry them through.
This postseason, Kris Bryant has been the Giants’ hottest hitter. The Trade Deadline pickup is hitting .462/.500/.692 with a home run and two runs batted in over 13 at-bats.
Brandon Crawford, Evan Longoria, and Buster Posey have also homered this postseason.
One player to keep an eye on is second baseman Tommy La Stella. In eight at-bats, he is hitting .375, but he had to leave Game 4 with Achilles discomfort. According to manager Gabe Kapler, the plan is for La Stella to play, but it will be interesting to see if he is at full strength.
Taking Los Angeles And The Runs
There is a reason this is a coin flip game, as it is easy to imagine either of these powerhouses coming out victorious Thursday night.
The smart bet is to take the runs. Especially with an over/under of seven, runs are expected to be at a premium. For that reason, getting the Dodgers at +1.5 is the best bet.
Take L.A. on the runline at +1.5 (-240)