Picks, predictions, odds for LCS games

October 19th, 2021

A version of this article originally appeared on DraftKings. For more betting insights, check out DraftKings.com.

Boston’s offense is rolling, and we have what should be a pitchers' duel in Los Angeles. But will things flip flop in these crucial MLB postseason games on Tuesday? Here’s how to attack both Championship Series games via DraftKings Sportsbook.

If you want to sweat out these picks with me, follow me on Twitter: @Nick_Friar.

Atlanta Braves at Los Angeles Dodgers

Braves-Dodgers total combined home runs over 2.5 -120

This TBS special instantly caught my eye, even though we’ve got two strong right-handers going toe-to-toe in Game 3. Oh, and these two teams have yet to hit this over in the series. There are single-teams options for total home runs, and both are at plus money with a 1.5 over/under. And for this pick to come through, one of these lineups will need to put together a multi-homer night.

The problem is, which one will do that?

Joc Pederson is always a threat for some postseason heroism, even against Walker Buehler, as are Freddie Freeman and Austin Riley. Been a while since Ozzie Albies went yard — he’s more than due after hitting 30 homers this season (21 against righties). And while the Braves had the second-best at-bats per home run rate against right-handed pitching this season (21.54), the Dodgers weren’t far behind at No. 8 (24.39).

Pitching has been the driving force in the NLCS, but let’s not pretend these are two bad offenses. At any given moment, either can go off in this season — it’s just hard to tell which is more likely to do so first. Even still, three home runs could be hit in this one and the game might still be a low-scoring affair.

Boston Red Sox vs. Houston Astros

Red Sox -1.5 +145

If you want to be safe, taking the Red Sox on the moneyline is still a good play at -125. But we’re trying to make the best plays right now, and the best play is to back Boston’s cartoonish offense.

Between Kiké Hernández, J.D. Martinez, Kyle Schwarber, Rafael Devers (I’m gonna stop before listing the entire roster), this Red Sox lineup is running on all cylinders. Each of those guys has pummeled Houston’s pitching staff in their own way, and now they get a look at Zack Greinke.

Shortly after his four-inning start on Sept. 19, Houston’s Game 4 starter hit the injured list with neck soreness. He returned for a relief appearance on Oct. 3, but has only logged one inning since the postseason began (Game 3 of the ALDS on Oct. 10). Similar to José Urquidy, this is not someone the Astros wanted to lean on in this series. Whatever statistical category you want to cite, the Red Sox mashed right-handed pitching this season. Maybe Lance McCullers Jr. could’ve held this lineup down, but he’s not a factor in this series — leaving Boston’s hitters to take batting practice.

Of course, we have to at least acknowledge Red Sox pitching for this pick. Nick Pivetta did well vs. Houston back in early June, but I’m only going to put so much stock in that. Right now, what we can bank on: Pivetta is better than Greinke right now, and Houston’s bullpen is average at best — so that group isn’t about to slow down Boston’s lineup, which should give Red Sox relievers plenty of room to work with.

Enrique Hernández over 1.5 total bases +120

I stand by what I said going into Monday’s Game 3: “With the way he’s playing, Kiké Hernández props have to be considered until he has back-to-back slow nights.” Well, Hernández came through with a pair of singles in that contest, so we’re back at it.

Hernández has a hit in seven of Boston’s eight playoff games. Five of those games have been multi-hit performances — three of which have come in the ALCS. Half of his 18 hits this postseason have been for extra bases. And the guy he’ll face in the first inning, Zack Greinke. Yeah, Hernández has taken him deep twice in 15 plate appearances. (For those wondering, Hernández is at +450 on DraftKings Sportsbook to go yard in Game 4.)

All views expressed are my own. I am an employee of DraftKings and am ineligible to play in public DFS or DKSB contests.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, crisis counseling and referral services can be accessed by calling 1-800-GAMBLER (1-800-426-2537) (IL).

Gambling problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ/WV/PA/MI), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-522-4700 (NH/CO), 1-800-BETS OFF(IA), 1-888-532-3500 (VA) or call/text TN REDLINE 1-800-889-9789 (TN).

21+ (18+ NH). CO/IL/IN/IA/NH/NJ/PA/TN/VA/WV/MI only. Eligibility restrictions apply. See draftkings.com/sportsbook for full terms and conditions.