Game: San Francisco Giants at Los Angeles Dodgers
Time: 9:37 PM ET
Starting Pitchers: Alex Wood vs. Max Scherzer
Odds: Giants +183, Dodgers -195
This NL Division Series heads back to LA where the Dodgers have been outstanding all season long. After losing Game 1, the Dodgers responded with a 9-2 win in Game 2. With ace Max Scherzer on the mound tonight, Los Angeles is a big favorite over their biggest rival, the Giants.
Since his trade to the Dodgers at the deadline, Scherzer has been outstanding. In 11 starts since the trade, Scherzer and the Dodgers have not lost. Los Angeles won all 11 games Scherzer started in the regular season and they won the wild card game that he started against St. Louis.
Scherzer’s numbers are incredible in those 11 games. His ERA was 1.98 and his FIP was 1.95. Those numbers would have been even better had Scherzer not given up 17 hits and 10 runs in his final two starts of the regular season. Despite his late-season performances, Scherzer still gives the Dodgers a pitching advantage heading into tonight.
Alex Wood will start Game 3 for the Giants. Wood had a very strong season going 10-4 with a 3.83 ERA. The Giants have won each of Wood’s last four starts and nine of his last ten. Wood pitched against the Dodgers three times this season. He lost all three starts.
Where Wood has struggled more often than not is when he pitches on the road. Two of his three losses to the Dodgers were at Dodger Stadium. Wood’s ERA ticks slightly upward to 4.00 when pitching on the road mainly because he allows too much hard contact. That could be troublesome tonight against a Dodgers lineup that hits left-handers pretty well. Los Angeles ranked ninth in OPS and third in ISO against southpaws this season.
It might not be all sunshine and roses for Scherzer either as the Giants are one of the best when facing right-handed pitchers. San Francisco ranked fifth in OPS and third in ISO against right-handers. Typically, Scherzer doesn’t give up many runs but don’t forget his end of the year debacle when he gave up ten runs in two starts.
One of the big things in this matchup is simply the familiarity the two teams have with each other. After playing each other 19 times in the regular season and twice so far in the postseason, hitters may have the advantage. They have all faced each other’s starters and bullpen arms and, generally, hitters will have the advantage when having faced a pitcher previously.
Tonight’s total is set at 7 which is reflective of two quality pitchers going at it in this one. That total may not be completely reflective of the quality of both teams’ offenses. The Dodgers finished fifth (5.10) in scoring and the Giants were sixth (4.94). The total has gone Over in six of the Dodgers’ last eight games. Four of the last six games in this series though have gone Under. The Giants are 11-1 in their last 12 games on the road.