MLB – NATIONAL LEAGUE WILD CARD GAME PREVIEW – TUES 10/1
BREWERS HEAD TO D.C. TO FACE NATS IN ONE GAME WINNER TAKE ALL!
The 2019 MLB Playoffs Season kicks off Tuesday night in Washington, D.C. as the hard charging Brew Crew club that didn’t fold the tent when they lost their best player in Christian Yelich, who also was one of the 3-4 best players in the entire National League. What’s most amazing is the fact the Brewers were only 67-63 with Yelich in the lineup, they were an amazing 22-10 without him down the stretch to secure this Wild Card bid.
This game has so many different angles to look at and every single one of them could sway your bet from one side to the other. Let’s try and run you thru a dozen or so. LOL
First some betting stuff: NATS (SCHERZER) (-$180) vs. BREWERS (+$165) ~ TOTAL (7 1/2) (Over = -$1.20)
Milwaukee Brewers (44-23) when the Underdog. Wash Nationals (57-56) as the Favorite
Milwaukee Brewers (40-41) on the Road. Washington Nationals (50-31) at Home.
Brewers now without Yelich and possibly Cain and Braun too? If you are a Brewers fan, not sure how you are sleeping Monday night not certain if both or one possibly misses this big Wild Card game. No way they win if both are out, as Cain’s glove is a must have.
The Nats are one of those teams you really have to work hard to get them out. They are the second best in not whiffing, 3rd best in team batting average and second in steals. Many top scouts say their top one-two punch of Rendon/Soto is the best one-two in all of baseball. Now you have the Nats who come in with 3 Starting Pitchers in the top 15 in all of MLB.
Let’s face it, these one game win and advance and lose and you go home is simply not kind to the losing team after a long season of such success. The situation calls for a totally different way to manage a game, especially if the Manager is willing to mess up his next Round chances to do anything and everything to ensure a win in this one game playoff.
Heading into the game with the philosophy “Pitching Wins” here, then it’s a landslide to side with the Nats who could use Scherzer, Strasburg and Corbin (who is much better at Home). The Brewers, on the other side, are the exact opposite, as they will start a guy with 4 innings under his belt the past few months, both 2 innings each. I honestly don’t think this has ever happened in Playoff History. It would be a near miracle for the Brewers starter B. Woodward to go 5 innings max here, so the Bullpen is almost surely going to have to throw at least 4 innings, and that’s a good estimate. The Nats could easily give a early yank to Scherzer, who has struggled of late (5.16 Sept ERA), and turn it to Strasburg for a few and then Corbin for a few and then even give the ball in 9th with a lead to it’s September Closer Daniel Hudson, who threw 9 scoreless innings in September. It’s clearer going to take a Herculean Effort by the Brewers Pitchers to steal this win on the Road.
The Brewers late surge in September was mostly the reason of it’s 5 top backend Bullpen Relievers. They were lights out, with a (1.76 ERA), 13K’s per 9 innings. They may need to be perfect if this one is close to propel the club to a Victory.
KEY TO GAME: What Nats Starter Scherzer shows up here. The Mad Max we know is just dominating or the one in his last two starts at Home (11 innings) that allowed 12 hits and 7 earned runs. His last two overall starts (one home and one road) he went (12.2) innings and allowed 9 earned runs, allowing 4 home runs as well. He still was sharp for most part other then some bad pitches up in the zone, with 21 K’s and only 1 walk allowed. He also did not go deep in his last 7 starts, going 6, 6.2, 5, 6, 6, 4.1, 4 innings only. With the betting line steep at Nats (-$1.80), if you are betting the Nats, you are paying that high premium on Scherzer to pitch really well. Of course if you are betting the Brew Crew, what are you hoping to see from it’s starter Woodruff? I just can’t see how they decided on him to start with a whopping 4 innings of work in months.
For the Brewers, if they can get to the later innings with a lead, they do have a very valuable weapon in Josh Hader, who is rested and can easily give them two strong innings of work in this Wild Card game. It’s a shame the Brewers have no Yelich, and maybe no Cain and no Braun too. But I guess that’s why they said many years ago: “There is No Crying in Baseball”.
Good Luck to whoever winner, your prize is you get to face the LA Dodgers juggernaut.
Enjoy this game Tuesday night at 8:08pm/EST on TBS.