- Entering Game 6 of the NLCS, the Dodgers are one game away from winning a second straight NL pennant.
- The starting pitching matchup for Game 6 pits Hyun-Jin Ryu vs Wade Miley.
- But the bullpens could prove decisive, as they have in much of the series, so where does the value lie for bettors?
While the Los Angeles Dodgers hold a 3-2 series lead over the Milwaukee Brewers, the 2018 NLCS could not be tighter at this point. Both teams have scored 16 runs in the series so far, and three of the five games have been decided by a single run.
That doesn’t include Game 5, however, which saw a masterful performance from Clayton Kershaw (7.0 IP, 3H, 2 BB, 1 ER, 9 K) and some timely hitting from the bottom-half of the Dodger lineup.
The odds for Game 6 tomorrow at Miller Park (Friday, Oct. 19, 8:39 PM ET) reflect just how close this series has been, with the Dodgers opening as very slight road favorites. Below, find the latest odds, key statistics, weather forecast, and score prediction.
Dodgers vs Brewers Odds
|DODGERS||-1.5 (+142)||-115||OVER 8.0 (+101)|
|BREWERS||+1.5 (-162)||+105||UNDER 8.0 (-121)|
Game 6 Pitching Matchup
|82.1 IP||REG. SEASON INNINGS PITCHED||80.2 IP|
|11.1 IP||PLAYOFF INNINGS PITCHED||10.1 IP|
|1.97 ERA||REG. SEASON ERA||2.57 ERA|
|1.59 ERA||PLAYOFF ERA||0.00 ERA|
|1.01 WHIP||REG. SEASON WHIP||1.21 WHIP|
|0.88 WHIP||PLAYOFF WHIP||0.68 WHIP|
|9.73 K/9||REG. SEASON K/9||5.58 K/9|
|9.53 K/9||PLAYOFF K/9||4.36 K/9|
The Game 6 pitching matchup is a repeat of Game 2, which the Dodgers won 4-3 thanks to back-to-back two-run innings in the 7th and 8th.
Wade Miley was technically Milwaukee’s Game 5 starter, as well, but he faced just one batter before manager Craig Counsell inserted de facto starter Brandon Woodruff.
The veteran junkballer has made two real starts this postseason, and both were phenomenal. He pitched 4.2 scoreless innings in the deciding Game 3 versus Colorado (a 6-0 win), surrendering just three hits and a walk while striking out two. He followed that up with another 5.2 scoreless innings in Game 2 versus LA, giving up just two hits and no walks while striking out three.
Miley’s postseason performance is a carry over from the regular season, when he posted a career-low 2.57 ERA, by far the best of his seven-year career. His lifetime ERA is nearly two runs higher (4.26).
Hyun-Jin Ryu’s season is following a similar script to Miley’s. He recorded a career low ERA (1.97) and WHIP (1.01) in the regular season and has been even better in the playoffs (1.59 ERA, 0.88 WHIP). For comparison, over his four-year career, he has a 3.20 ERA and 1.22 WHIP.
In other words, this year he went from reliable top-two starter to Cy Young-type numbers, albeit in limited innings (82.1).
While his first start of the postseason (Game 1 vs Atlanta) was a gem (7.0 IP, 4 H, 0 BB, 0 ER), he was only average in Game 2 versus Milwaukee, allowing six hits and two earned runs over 4.1 IP. Light-hitting shortstop Orlando Arcia went yard on him in the 5th, Arcia’s third HR of the postseason, matching his total from the entire regular season.
Batting & Bullpen Matchup
|+194||REG. SEASON RUN DIFFERENTIAL||+95|
|+12||PLAYOFF RUN DIFFERENTIAL||+11|
|.250||REG. SEASON TEAM BATTING AVG.||.252|
|.216||PLAYOFF TEAM BATTING AVG||.238|
|235||REG. SEASON HR||218|
|.774||REG. SEASON OPS||.747|
|3.72||REG. SEASON BULLPEN ERA||3.47|
|1.11||PLAYOFF BULLPEN ERA||2.76|
Both of these teams are struggling at the plate, seeing their batting average and OPS decline sharply in the postseason.The Dodgers probably feel like they’re in a better place than the Brewers, though.
LA’s biggest bats — Manny Machado, Justin Turner, Yasiel Puig, and Joc Pederson — are all hitting at least .250 in the playoffs with an OPS of .773 or higher. Rookie phenom Max Muncy is hitting just .197, but is still reaching base (.382 OBP) and has a solid OPS (.805) thanks to his two homers. All in all, their stars have come up just big enough.
The Brewers, on the other hand, have had to rely on contributions from unlikely sources to atone for dismal performances from their stars. Presumptive NL MVP Christian Yelich has a .179/.395/.286 slash line in the playoffs with a .680 OPS. His lone home run came in Game 1 against Colorado, and that also happens to be his only extra-base hit of the postseason.
Lorenzo Cain hasn’t fared much better, slashing .194/.256/.278 with a .534 OPS, no homers, and one RBI.
The bottom of the Brewers’ order is the only reason they have been able to put any runs on the board. Arcia leads the team in both HR (3) and RBI (4), while catcher Erik Kratz has a team-high .316 BA.
The Brewers’ bullpen was supposed to be their big advantage against the Dodgers. But that group has been inconsistent, as well. Josh Hader (0.00 playoff ERA), Corey Knebel (1.17 playoff ERA), and Brandon Woodruff (1.74 playoff ERA) have been lights out, while middle reliever Joakim Soria (7.71 playoff ERA) and, more concerningly, regular-season closer Jeremy Jeffress (6.35 playoff ERA) have been dreadful.
Meanwhile, the Dodger pen has been almost untouchable in October, with a 1.11 ERA as a group.
Weather Forecast at Opening Pitch
|WIND SPEED||18.83 MPH out to CF|
That’s a considerable tailwind taking balls out to centerfield, which helps the OVER and fly-ball hitters. Miley’s GB:FB ratio in the playoffs is 17:14. Ryu’s is 20:12. But Miley was better at keeping the ball on the ground in the regular season (139:117) whereas Ryu actually had a negative ratio (103:116).
Dodgers vs Brewers Score Prediction
As good as Miley has been this year, and this postseason in particular, his career numbers indicate that he’s going to regress sooner or later. He does not have the arm talent to keep up the run that he’s on. We may have seen that regression yesterday if he’d stayed in the game. He looked a little shaky against the one batter he faced, walking Cody Bellinger on five pitches.
While Ryu is also outperforming his career numbers, he’s always been a quality starter when healthy and his stuff is far more electric than Miley’s, which inspires more confidence moving forward.
It’s also easier to buy into LA’s bats given the way this postseason has gone and the track records of the respective lineups. Machado, Turner, and Puig are all hitting .300 or better against Miley in their careers.
With all apologies to Brewer fans, this magical postseason run is going to come to an end with just their second loss at home in the last month.
Let's have fun and keep it civil.