Today's Free Picks for
Posted at 11:05 AM EST.
7:05 PM EST. As the final 12 to 13 games of the season wind down, the Los Angeles Dodgers will have the best record in the NL unless they lose a bunch and the Nationals win something like 10 of their last 13 games. The point is that the Dodgers can relax a bit after putting the Nationals away last weekend. With a comfortable lead and virtually nothing in doubt, now is the time to for the Dodgers to stay sharp, avoid extra inning games and set their rotation up the way they want it for the first playoff series. The Dodgers are absolutely vulnerable to losses, especially against such a good starter like Aaron Nola.
Nola faces a Dodgers offense that has has slowed way down in August and September where they are averaging just 3.0 runs per game with a .212 BA and .657 OPS. Eight of Nola's last nine home starts have resulted in dominant starts. In 12 home starts this season he owns a 3.01 ERA/3.21 xERA split and 1.03 WHIP. Nola has put up some of the best results of any starter in MLB when he pitches at home and those elite-level stats have been supported by excellent skills too with 10.4 K’s/9, 2.4 BB’s/9 and a 51% groundball rate. Taking back a price like this at home with Nola is as good as it gets, especially against what appears to be a disinterested visitor.
Meanwhile, Yu Darvish has struggled since joining the Dodgers, as in seven starts he is just 3-3 with a 4.34 ERA and 1.34 WHIP. Of those seven starts, he has thrown a dominant start in two while throwing a disaster in three. Darvish’s 40%/23%/37% groundball/line-drive/fly-ball split increases his risk at this park. While Yu Darvish is very capable of throwing a gem here, it is Aaron Nola who is slaying lineups these days while Darvish has been hit and miss. A more motivated Phillies’ squad at home with the better starter at such a sweet price gets this call.
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PHILADELPHIA +156 (Risking 2 units - To Win: 3.12)