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New Life for Dodgers; Open as Game 4 Favorites

 Max Muncy #13 of the Los Angeles Dodgers rounds the bases after hitting a walk off solo home run in the 18th inning to beat the Boston Red Sox in Game 3 of the 2018 World Series at Dodger Stadium on Friday, October 26, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.

When a team has you by the throat, your lineup isn’t producing and your World Series is hanging by a thread, you need something out of the ordinary to get you back in the game. The LA Dodgers got that and more in Game 3 and can make the World Series a best-of-3 affair with a win tonight in Game 4. LA opened as a -155 favorite with the Red Sox at +135. The total opened at 8 but has already moved to 8.5 at some books.

SHARK BITES
  • Eduardo Rodriguez as a starter in 2018: 3.79 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, .239 opponents’ batting average.
  • Rich Hill has a 1.65 WHIP this postseason with nine walks in 10.1 innings pitched.
  • Boston is hitting .286, LA is hitting .210 vs LHP this postseason.

Red Sox vs Dodgers Game Center

OK, Who’s Left?

Game 3 was the longest game in World Series history lasting 18 innings and spanning seven hours and 20 minutes. One shudders to think how long it would have been if Walker Buehler didn’t mow through the first seven innings in just over two hours. The teams used a combined 18 pitchers with the majority of stress placed on the Red Sox staff.

So that brings us to Game 4, less than 16 hours after Max Muncy’s dramatic walk-off home run and the unlikely pitching matchup of Eduardo Rodriguez and Rich Hill. Two left-handed pitchers who throw in the low 90s and rely on weak contact more than the strikeout. A definite change of pace from Game 3.

Rodriguez was a mainstay in the Red Sox rotation until they sent him to the bullpen in mid-September to prepare him for his role as a reliever in the postseason. He pitched to just one batter last night, so fatigue shouldn't be an issue for the Venezuelan left-hander.

Rich Hill, or as his teammates call him, Dick Mountain, has proven valuable this postseason but has not started since October 16 in Game 4 of the NLCS when he was instrumental in shutting down Milwaukee for five innings while allowing three hits and one earned run. Walks have been a problem for him, issuing nine free passes in 10.1 innings of work.

Boston Bats Went Cold in the California Sun

The Red Sox were scoring over six runs per game until they ran up against Walker Buehler in Game 3. Buehler went seven strong and gave way to the LA bullpen and held the Red Sox to seven hits over 18 innings.

The top six hitters in Boston’s lineup went 1-34 with Brock Holt’s 10th inning single the only ball to find its way through. Through 67 innings in this postseason, the Dodgers pitching staff has allowed just nine earned runs at home, struck out 70 vs walked 16, and have held batters to a .161 average.

My Pick for Tonight

With Boston’s bullpen decimated and likely to be used plenty again tonight, I like the Dodgers on the moneyline. It might take a unit and a half to get some value but Boston seems to be in a lot of trouble in Game 4.

The other bet I like is OVER 8 runs. The total has gone OVER in 12 of Boston’s last 17 games and their hitters are too good to stay quiet for long. A bullpen game does not usually make for low-scoring affairs, so I expect LA to get their fair share of runs as well. 

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