From the first pitch of game one, the Arizona Diamondbacks were in complete control of the game, essentially taking the Dodgers and their fans out of the game before LA even had a chance to hit. Now, with their ace on the mound, Arizona will look to build a two-game lead before heading back home, and we’ll preview the game before going over my two plays.
Heading into the postseason, the Arizona Diamondbacks failed to score more than one run in each of their last four games. However, since their first playoff game started in Milwaukee, the Diamondbacks' offense has been relentless. Through three playoff games, Arizona has scored five or more runs in each of them, including 11 on Saturday night. Of the Diamondbacks' 13 hits in the game, eight went for extra bases, including Corbin Carroll’s second postseason home run.
Carroll and the Diamondbacks’ offense will match up with another young and exciting rookie, with Bobby Miller toeing the slab for the Dodgers tonight. In 124.3 innings this season, the hard-throwing righty pitched to a 3.76 ERA with 119 strikeouts. While this will be Miller’s first career postseason game, he is familiar with the Diamondbacks since he threw 12 innings against them with four earned runs and eight strikeouts.
Not only will Miller be looking to record at least one full inning tonight, unlike game one starter Clayton Kershaw, but he will be hoping for a better performance from his offense than they gave on Saturday. In their 11-2 loss, LA managed just four hits, with Will Smith’s two-RBI triple in the 8th being the lone offensive highlight for the NL West champions.
Turning it around on offense will not be an easy task for the Dodgers, as they’ll have to face Zac Gallen tonight. The Diamondbacks ace has already recorded one win this postseason after working six innings with just two earned runs allowed in the wild-card round. In the regular season, Gallen pitched 210 innings and posted a 3.47 ERA with 220 punchouts.
The Los Angeles Dodgers F5 run-line of (-.5) is currently priced at (-106), and I’ll be backing them for my play. This is a Dodgers team with plenty of postseason experience littered through the lineup, so being down one game shouldn’t be causing any panic in the locker room. It also helps that LA has dominated Gallen this season, and the right-hander has struggled on the road at times.
While they may have struggled in game one, the Dodgers are still hitting .275 and rank 5th in hard hit percentage, 4th in wRC+, and 3rd in OPS against right-handed pitching over the last 30 days. When LA last faced Gallen, they got to him for six runs on nine hits in 5.1 innings. That outing is an excellent example of Gallen's struggles on the road this season, as he has a 4.15 FIP and 4.26 xFIP in 108 road innings.
Bobby Miller recorded one good outing and one below-average outing against the Diamondbacks this season. However, overall, he is still in the 81st percentile in xERA, 81st percentile in barrel percentage, and 76th percentile in groundball percentage. With numbers like that, I think the rookie is primed for a strong first playoff start.
In terms of prop plays, I’ll be targeting the hits market and taking Jason Heyward under .5 hits at (+110). The veteran outfielder went 0-4 with three strikeouts in game one, and over the last 14 days, he is hitting .162 with a .373 OPS. Not only has he struggled as of late, but he’s never seen Zac Gallen well in his career, entering tonight with a .125 batting average against him.
According to statcast, Heyward has a .135 expected batting average against the Diamondbacks' right-hander, and if you mix that with his .244 average at home this season, his chances of reaching base look grim. Once Gallen is done for the day, Heyward is also at risk of being pinch hit for if Arizona brings in a lefty since he hit .192 off lefties this season.
Los Angeles Dodgers F5 (-.5)(-106)
Jayson Heyward Under .5 Hits (+110)