Hello, fellow bettors. We've made it through two rounds of the 2020 MLB playoffs in pretty good shape. The team-level bets show us with a 12-8 record, which, in baseball, that's a feast. We've even hit on our bonus three times by correctly picking a player to homer. Time to ride the wave of success into the league championship series.
ALCS Game 2
Tampa Bay (-1.5)
NLCS Game 1
L.A. Dodgers (-1.5)
All lines via William Hill Sportsbook
Neither team has lost so far this playoff season, so something has to give here. As evidenced by the line, most people believe the give comes on the Braves' end. It's the smart pick, that's for sure. The Dodgers are the obvious best team in baseball this season and don't have a glaring weakness. I have them winning this series. We'll go with the Braves to strike first, however. Dodgers starter Walker Buehler has been shaky of late on his second time through the batting order, especially with command. The Braves offense led the NL this year in walks and slugging. I like a Braves' crooked number around the third or fourth inning and they ride that along with Max Fried in a good outing along with their stellar bullpen.
This might seem crazy after watching the teams combine for three runs last night while leaving a small village on the base paths in Game 1, but I'm looking for a little evening out here. We saw tons of traffic last night and the two teams are plenty capable of more, offensively. Plus, Petco Park is lively during the day and this game is starting at 1:07 local time. We'll see some home runs and will make it over eight, even if only slightly.
Bonus: Springer Dinger +333
Generally speaking, we try to avoid bonus bets that hit on less than +350, but we've missed two in a row here and I need to get back on track. It's never a bad bet to guess George Springer will hit a home run in the playoffs. After going deep twice in the ALDS, Springer now has 17 homers in 235 career at-bats in the playoffs. Rays starter Charlie Morton is four-seam fastball and curve heavy and Springer slugs over .530 against both offerings. I expect him to be aggressive and, let's get nuts, I'll say he homers on the first at-bat (first pitch, even?!) of the game. Even if he waits until later, the bet hits all the same.