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MLB Playoffs // 30-SEP

Tomorrow may be the last day in September, but it's the second day of the MLB Playoffs! The Braves host the Reds, the Cubs host the Marlins, the Padres host the Cardinals, and the Dodgers host the Brewers. We've got our #HomeRunLine analysis and series picks for the National League Wild Card below. This first round is a best of 3 series. Remember that all games are played on consecutive days at the higher seed’s ballpark with no travel.

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Reds vs. Braves

This will be an exciting matchup for the simple reason that the Braves offense is phenomenal. NL MVP front runner Freddie Freeman, the NL HR leader Marcell Ozuna, the fast and flashy lead-off HR threat Ronald Acuna Jr. led the offense. Freeman and Ozuna are top 5 in almost every offensive category. As a team, Atlanta is #2 in batting avg., #2 in HR, #1 in RBIs, #5 in walks, but #3 in K’s. The Cincinnati offense is last in batting avg., 7th in HR, 25th in RBIs, 5th in walks, and 12th in K’s. The Reds will try and counter the Braves offense with their starting pitching. NL Cy Young front runner Trevor Bauer and Luis Castillo get games 1 and 2. Bauer finished 5-4 with a 1.73 ERA with 100 K’s over 73 innings. Castillo went 4-6 with a 3.21 ERA. He had 89 K’s over 70 innings. The Braves will send lefty Max Fried to the mound in game 1. Fried went 7-0 with a 2.25 ERA. He had 50 K’s over 56 innings. Important to note, the Reds already low BA drops to .200 vs lefties. Their SLG is .376 and OBP is .291. If Bauer isn’t his absolute best in game 1, the series is over before you know it. We are looking to the Braves to win the series at -145.


Marlins vs. Cubs

Interesting fact, the Miami Marlins have never lost a playoff series in franchise history. Unfortunately, Dontrelle Willis is not coming out of retirement to carry this year’s team. What they do have is the ability to win games. Statistically, the Marlins are middle of the road. Team BA is 17th, 25th in HRs, 21st in RBIs, 20th in K’s, and walks. The Cubs are a similar 27th in BA, 17th in HRs, 21st in RBIs, 26th in Ks, and 8th in walks. So this matchup will come down to pitching. Kyle Hendricks takes the hill in game 1 for the Cubs. Hendricks went 6-5 with a 2.88 ERA. He had 64 Ks in 81.1 innings. His numbers get better when you look at his starts in Chicago. 4-2 with a 1.85 ERA. 34 Ks over 43.2 innings. At the time of this writing, The Marlins have not announced a game 1 starter. They do have a really good young starter in Sixto Sanchez. He put up 3 really good starts where he went 7 innings and gave up 2 or fewer runs, plus a 6 inning scoreless start. Then he got banged up by the Nationals and Braves to finish the season, so his 3.46 ERA is not great. If he does take the mound, bet the under. As far as the series goes, we will be playing the Cubs at -180.


Cardinals vs. Padres

This is a matchup of a young and explosive Padres against a mature and sturdy Cardinals. The Padres are led by the human highlight reel Fernando Tatis Jr. The Cardinals are led by veterans Paul Goldschmidt and Yadier Molina. Fun stat, The Padres lead MLB with 55 stolen bases this year. Since Molina came into the league in 2004, he has had over 500 fewer SB attempts than any other team. Molina has an over 40% throw out rate. Will the Padres test him? We think they will. Offensively, the Padres are 8th in batting avg., 4th in HRs, 3rd in RBIs, 6th in Ks, and 14th in walks. The Cardinals are 23rd in batting avg., 30th in HRs, 28th in RBIs, 5th in Ks, and 13th in walks. Advantage Slam Diego. The Padres have not listed their pitching rotation yet as of this writing. This is because their big acquisition, Mike Clevinger, is having some elbow impingement. The Cardinals are starting Kwang Hyun Kim. The lefty went 3-0 with a 1.62 ERA. He had 24 Ks in 39 innings. Game 2 will be 39-year-old Adam Wainwright. Wainwright finished the season 5-3 with a 3.15 ERA. He had 54 Ks in 65.2 innings. The Cardinals pitching is solid, but the Padres offense is better. We are looking to the Padres to take this series at a price of -190.


Brewers vs. Dodgers

This series is little more than a formality. The Brewers squeaked in by virtue of a couple of teams not finishing well. The Dodgers have had the best record in baseball pretty much all season and finished with 43 wins. The Dodgers offense was #1 in HRs, hitting 15 more than the Braves. They were #1 in total runs, #2 in RBIs, and 4th in Ks. The Brewers were 17th in HRs, 26th in total runs, 24th in RBIs, and struck out the 2nd most. Advantage Dodgers. The pitching matchups are a little closer. The Dodgers have the lowest ERA in baseball, while the Brewers are 11th. The Dodgers gave up the 2nd fewest HRs, followed by the Brewers who allowed only 1 more. The Dodgers allowed the fewest walks. The Brewers were 10th in free trips. The Brewers were 3rd in Ks while the Dodgers were 17th. The Brewers game 1 starter was supposed to be Corbin Burnes, but he strained his oblique. The Brewers have not named a replacement for him at the time of this writing. The Dodgers are sending Walker Buehler to the mound. Other than having an annoying name, Buehler finished the season with 1 win in 8 starts. He boasts a 3.44 ERA with 42 Ks in 36.2 innings. Honestly, not starting someone better shows the level of respect the Dodgers have for this series. Nonetheless, we are lean to the Dodgers to take the series as heavy favorites -350 even though there is not much value in a line this big.  

Hit us up @TTSportsLines and let us know what you think!


/ As always, please forgive any typos and grammatical errors

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