We pushed our postseason record to a perfect 3-0 ATS last night with the Cubs cashing the plus-money runline 5-2 win. They sent their former teammate, Jeff Samardzija, to the showers early with four runs in just 2.1 innings pitched and held the rope from there with a balanced effort from the entire pitching staff. Five pitchers appeared for the Cubs, starting with a short outing from Kyle Hendricks and an emphatic close from Aroldis Chapman. They Northsider’s now own a commanding 2-0 lead heading out to the Bay for Monday night’s Arrieta/Bumgarner highly-anticipated matchup.
Meanwhile, the Nats and Dodgers were cancelled yesterday due to rain and will resume play this afternoon. Every DS series is in a 2-0 position and the Dodgers will be looking to keep things relatively UN-interesting. Standing in there, and Rich Hill’s, way are Tanner Roarke and the Nationals. Can Washington give us one even series with a HUGE home win today?
Let’s see if we can push to a perfect postseason 4-0 with another weekend winner.
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Today’s Free Pick:
Los Angeles Dodgers -117 at Washington Nationals +107 (Total: 7.5)
Rich Hill vs. Tanner Roarke
There was some splashy trades and acquisitions at the trade deadline, but perhaps none have proven to be more impactful than Rich Hill. The Dodgers desperately needed pitching to bridge the Kershaw injury gap, and all Rich Hill did was step in to the rotation and be the ACE. He posted a 2.10 ERA with the Dodgers and helped them easily hold off the Giants and breeze to the pennant when most pundits were expecting the opposite result.
Opposing Hill is another massively underrated starter, Tanner Roarke. Roarke is overshadowed by teammates Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg, and while his stuff is less dominant, his results are actually BETTER. Roarke led the team in ERA at 2.83 and posted below-three ERA’s in each of the last three months of the season (and a single run allowed in an October 1st start).
I actually give a slight edge to Roarke, but apparently Vegas disagree. The combo of Roarke/home field/must-win is pretty compelling; especially at very slight plus-money. The Nats and Dodgers are going to be a tricky series to handicap most games because of their similar team makeups. The Dodgers have a little more pop in the lineup, especially with Ramos out for the Nats, but they are also very young (Utley excepted) and new to postseason pressure.
I think we have another close game on our hands this afternoon, but I give a slight edge to the Nats no matter the line. Add in the plus money favorability and it’s hard to go in another direction. Rich Hill has been a godsend for the Dodgers, but they have lost in each of his last three starts, perhaps a sign that the 36-year old veteran is losing just a little bit of steam.