MLB weekend betting preview: 7th heaven?
Thursday was a rough night on the diamond.
We backed the Atlanta Braves to win the first five innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers, and things started out well with the Braves plating a pair of runs in the top of the first. It was all downhill from there, though, as the Dodgers dinged Max Fried for five runs in the first five innings en route to a blowout win.
There are at least two elimination games on the docket this weekend. Let's take a look at the best way to attack them.
Red Sox (+100) @ Astros (-120)
Oct. 22, 8 p.m. ET
There's nothing better than a Game 7. Despite how high I am on this Astros team, I think we're heading for one in this series.
For starters - no pun intended - the Red Sox have the much better arm on the mound Friday. Nathan Eovaldi enjoyed a strong regular season and has even taken things up a notch as of late, owning a sparkling 2.00 FIP over the last 30 days. While his ERA (3.83) is not nearly as impressive, that stems from bad luck. Nearly 36% of balls put in play against Eovaldi during that time resulted in hits, which is well above what we'd expect.
On the flip side, the Astros' Luis Garcia looks very hittable. He owns a 4.58 FIP and 5.45 SIERA over the last 30 days and is giving up a ton of hard contact with a hard-hit rate of nearly 40%.
Boston is slapping righties around, ranking third in wOBA and second in ISO against right-handed pitching since the beginning of September. I doubt Garcia is going to be the guy to buck that trend, especially in his current form.
There's value in backing the Red Sox with a much better starter and all hands on deck to try to push a Game 7.
Bet: Red Sox +100
Dodgers (-170) @ Braves (+150)
Oct. 23, 5 p.m. ET
I don't know if the Dodgers will win the series, but after staving off elimination in a bullpen game Thursday night, they're in a great position to at least even it up.
Max Scherzer will be rested and ready to take the bump when the Dodgers and Braves reconvene Saturday evening.
Scherzer had yet another fantastic regular season and has continued that into the postseason. He has struck out 23 batters thus far and allowed just four runs through nearly 17 innings of work.
While Scherzer is primarily a four-seam pitcher, which the Braves excel against, he has a strong five-pitch mix that should help him limit the damage Atlanta's bats can cause.
The Braves do not have an arm to match Scherzer and Los Angeles' offense is as potent as anybody's when it's on. The Dodgers should have plenty of confidence at the plate following an 11-run explosion last time out.
Realistically speaking, Scherzer probably won't need much run support for Los Angeles to push this to seven.
Bet: Dodgers -170
Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.