Best MLB Bets Today: National League Division Series
Waiting For Their Turn
When the Chicago Cubs ended their 108-year World Series drought last fall, suddenly, anything seemed possible. That must bolster the spirits of the Washington Nationals.
They face the Cubs in one National League Divisional Series getting underway Friday. It’s Washington’s fourth appearance in the NLDS since 2012 but they are 0-3 so far.
The Los Angeles Dodgers enter the postseason with the best record in the NL and homefield advantage through the NLCS, but they’ve also struggled to find their route to postseason success.
The Dodgers haven’t reached the World Series since their 1988 victory over the Oakland Athletics and are 4-11 in postseason series since that triumph. That must bolster the optimism of the Arizona Diamondbacks, L.A.’s NLDS opponent, who captured the NL Wildcard Game on Wednesday…
We break down both NLDS Series, with odds supplied by BetOnline.ag.
For sure, long-suffering Cubs fans waited forever to see their team win it all, but don’t expect anybody in the nation’s capital to be forthcoming with congratulations.
They’ve endured their own hiatus from success. The last – and only – World Series won by a Washington ballclub was earned by the Senators back in 1924.
What is it about Washington teams and the inability all seem to possess to transfer regular-season success into postseason glory? The Nationals are 0-for-3 in playoff series and their NHL compatriots the Capitals are the poster boys for playoff failure.
Then again, don’t expect any sympathy from the Cubs side of the ledger.
The Nationals took four of seven from the Cubs in the regular season and will run out Steven Strasburg, Max Scherzer and Gio Gonzalez to the hill to start the set, as good 1-2-3 as there is in the show. Washington also hit a franchise-record 215 homers.
The Cubs struggled to live with their success, but are looking more like their championship selves of late. Kris Bryant hit .325 with a .421 OBP after All-Star break. He finished the season seventh in the majors with a .409 OBP. Jon Lester allowed just one run in his last two regular-season starts.
On paper, this one screams Nationals.
But the Cubs have that playoff moxie that Washington just can’t seem to locate.
Pick: The Cubs (+120)
The Dodgers can be very good, and they can be very bad. Their longest winning streak this season – 11 games. Their longest losing streak this season – 11 games.
They will face a familiar foe in NL West rival Arizona in this NLDS set starting Friday.
These are MLB’s two best home teams. The Dodgers led the way with 57 home wins, five more than were claimed by Arizona. The Diamondbacks and Colorado Rockies, L.A.’s division rivals who clashed in the NL Wildcard Game, were also the only two NL teams to post winning marks against the Dodgers this season. Arizona held an 11-8 edge in the season series with the Dodgers. L.A. won six of nine at Dodger Stadium, but went 2-8 at Chase Field.
Every member of the Dodgers’ everyday lineup posted an OBP over .308, led by the .415 of third baseman Justin Turner. Turner (.945) and first baseman Cody Bellinger (.933) both posted an OPS over .900. It’s difficult to find a flaw in the Diamondbacks lineup. They had a murderers’ row in the middle of the batting order in Paul Goldschmidt, Jake Lamb and J.D. Martinez. The rotation, led by Zach Greinke, is solid and the bullpen is stellar.
This looks like a team that was built to win in the playoffs.
Pick: The Diamondbacks (+200)
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