Brewers are still team to beat in NLCS

Brewers are still team to beat in NLCS

October 17, 2018 3:00 AM
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As we went to print on Tuesday, the American League Championship Series had the Houston Astros and Boston Red Sox tied at 1-1, while the National League Championship Series had the Milwaukee Brewers up 2-1 over the Dodgers. 

Both series’ Wednesday matchups are as follows: In the NLCS, Milwaukee’s Wade Miley (5-2) faces Los Angeles’ Clayton Kershaw (9-5). In the ALCS, Boston’s Rick Porcello (17-7) was scheduled to go up against Houston’s Charlie Morton (5-3).

I led off my “Clear The Bases” post-season column last week, with a big win on the Brewers in Game 1. Here are this week’s Best Bets (all stats and trends are as of print and may change, as can starting pitchers):

Brewers at Dodgers, Game 5 NLCS: I am still not sold on either the Dodgers, or Kershaw, for that matter, when it comes to postseason play. Until they prove me wrong, I am going home with “the one that brung me,” as the saying goes. Milwaukee has won 13 of the last 14 games, including Games 1 and 3 of this series.

Statistically, Los Angeles is a monster team. They rank fifth in scoring, averaging 4.93 RPG and second in ERA at 3.38. Kershaw is a 3-time Cy Young Award winner that owns a career, 149-69, 2.37, regular-season record.  However, when it come to the playoffs, the 30-year old is just 8-8 and sees his ERA soar to 4.26. Wade Miley is on his fourth Major League team. Overall, the 31-year old has had a mediocre career, donning a lifetime 66-74 mark (prior to this season). But since joining the Brewers, he is 5-2, with an ERA of 2.57 in 16 starts. Milwaukee is 5-2 the last seven games played at Los Angeles, 14-3 the last 17 games played on the road, and 8-1 in Miley’s last nine overall starts. BREWERS 

Red Sox at Astros, Game 4 ALCS: The only thing tougher than having to face the Boston Red Sox is a true New Yorker siding with them. (LOL). 

With all respect to Houston, this Game 4 matchup favors the Boys from Beantown. Both scheduled starting pitchers have similar regular-season numbers. However, due to run support, Rick Porcello has a lot more wins. Both also haven’t really shined in the post-season. Porcello is 1-3 with a 4.60 ERA in the playoffs, while Charlie Morton owns a postseason record of 2-2, with a 4.03 ERA. 

Both offenses and pitching staffs are among the best in baseball. The edge offensively goes to a Boston lineup that ranks first in just about every category, while the pitching edge goes to Houston, which, ironically, ranks first too, in just about every category. The trends and streaks offer no edge at all, as both teams sport incredible numbers. So, this game comes down to two things -- the fact that Porcello is a bit stronger as a starter than Morton. And the fact that the Red Sox appear to be the hungrier team. RED SOX

Last week: 1-0

Season: 33-14-1