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National League Division Series Game 5

Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Dodgers

Over/Under: 7

First pitch: 5:37 p.m. PT


Probable pitchers: Stephen Strasburg (18-6, 3.32 ERA) vs. Walker Buehler (14-4, 3.26 ERA)

Despite the unfavorably low over/under for this elimination game, I’m on the under nevertheless. These days, the linesmakers only sparingly will bust out totals of 7 and this is simply a matchup worth that label.

In fact, it wasn’t long ago at all that Dodger Stadium would regularly host pitching showdowns that would even be lower than that. This is certainly one that qualifies as such had it been in that era, and with how much the starting hurlers have dictated the majority of this series, expect this NLDS to end that way, too.

For Strasburg, it’s probably the biggest assignment of a career that still has plenty of room to reach its ceiling based on the mega high expectations he entered the big leagues with nine years ago. Perhaps the veteran’s really strong showing this season did a lot propelling him there.

Strasburg’s work in these playoffs, however, has even been at a level higher than that. First, it was in the NL Wild Card Game when he came to the rescue of staff ace Max Scherzer by delivering three superb shutout innings in which he struck out four and permitted two baserunners.

Then, Strasburg got to make his fourth career postseason start days later, and just like the first three (two in 2017, one in 2014), he was terrific, spinning six innings of one-run ball and scattering only three hits. For his career now, Strasburg has allowed just two earned runs — two! — in 28 innings in the playoffs. Uh, that’s good for a 0.64 ERA, and he’s also registered an outstanding 38-4 K/BB ratio, too.

Buehler has certainly exhibited this type of dominance when the calendar flips to October. While this is only the second postseason for the 25-year-old, Buehler has looked like a polished ace for the most part in his playoff outings.

He was certainly an integral part of last year’s Dodgers run to the World Series before they fell to a historically great Boston Red Sox team. That also included him winning an NLCS Game 7 to lead Los Angeles to the Fall Classic in the first place — something he accomplished by yielding only a single run and racking up seven K’s compared to no walks in four-plus frames.

Clearly, Buehler is adjunct to pitching in these big games and he’ll be ready for another do-or-die scenario. It also helps he’ll be in his place of preference, as he’s been more than a full run better at home (2.60 ERA) thank on the road (3.66 ERA) during his time in the majors thus far.

In addition, just like his counterpart, the Dodger right-hander spun a gem in his lone start earlier in the series, registering six shutout innings that saw the Nationals manage only a single hit. Play: UNDER 7 (EV)

Yesterday’s Result: Astros-Rays Under 7.5 (WIN)

2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*

Regular Season: 89-78-12, +1.05 units

Playoffs: 7-1, +3 units

*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit (playoffs 0.5 unit)

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