NLDS Reaches Pivotal Stage

By Alex H.

MLB_Postseason_2014

With the American League Championship Series in place following a weekend of sweeps, the National League could be set to follow suit Tuesday as both Divisional Series reach Game 4.

Read on for Betting Sports’ preview of the two crucial games taking place this evening.

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After being roughed up in Game 1, Clayton Kershaw will pitch on three days' notice.
After being roughed up in Game 1, Clayton Kershaw will pitch on three days’ notice.

Los Angeles Dodgers at St. Louis Cardinals

Busch Stadium, St. Louis, MO (5:07 p.m. ET)

After a 3-1 victory in Game 3 on Monday, the St. Louis Cardinals will look to score one more victory and unceremoniously dump the World Series favored Los Angeles Dodgers out of the postseason.

Trailing 2-1 in the best-of-five series, the Dodgers aren’t about to panic just yet though.

Don Mattingly’s side will send Cy Young frontrunner Clayton Kershaw to the mound on Tuesday. Then, if the team is successful, Zack Greinke will start the decider on Thursday. With that pitching combo set to go, the Dodgers aren’t even close to being out of this one yet.

The Cardinals roughed Kershaw up in Game 1 but don’t expect the same when he takes the mound on Tuesday, despite the fact that he’s pitching on three days’ rest. The 26-year-old hasn’t lost consecutive games this season.

St. Louis will send Shelby Miller to the mound on Tuesday. Miller isn’t necessarily the guy you want up there trying to seal the deal. After starting the year 6-2, he’s gone 4-7 with a 4.11 ERA in 22 games (21 starts). The Cards are 9-13 over that period. That being said, Miller hasn’t lost since August 11, during which Mike Matheny’s side is 4-0 with the 23-year-old right-hander on the mound.

A victory for St. Louis will mark the second straight year the Cardinals have gotten the better of the Dodgers in the postseason. It’ll also mark the third straight upset during this year’s Division Series, after the Orioles and Royals advanced to the ALCS.

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. St. Louis Cardinals odds for 10/07/2014

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Ryan Vogelsong will look to lead the Giants into the NLCS.
Ryan Vogelsong will look to lead the Giants into the NLCS.

Washington Nationals at San Francisco Giants

AT&T Park, San Francisco, CA (9:07 p.m. ET)

The Washington Nationals fended off elimination Monday night, benefiting from a rare Madison Bumgarner error to score a 4-1 victory. Now they’ll look to do it all over again.

The San Francisco Giants meanwhile will look to wrap things up in the Bay Area, avoiding a 3,000 mile trip in the process.

With Gio Gonzalez taken the mound, the Nationals are favored to take Game 4 on the road. Gonzalez turned things around in the final two months of the season, taking a 6-9 record and finishing at .500. His .266 ERA in the final eight games of the regular season was far more respectable than his season average (.3.57).

San Francisco will send Ryan Vogelsong to the mound. The right-hander had a miserable September, going 0-4 with a 5.53 ERA in five games. He’ll be looking to snap out of the funk in his first postseason start.

While San Francisco is looking to book a spot in the next round, a spot which opens up the opportunity for a third World Series championship in five years, Washington is looking to make it to the NLCS for only the second time in franchise history, and the first time since the 1981 Montreal Expos automatically qualified for the championship series.

Washington Nationals vs. San Francisco Giants odds for 10/07/2014

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Over in the American League, the Baltimore Orioles and Kansas City Royals are resting up ahead of the American League Championship Series, scheduled to begin in Baltimore on Friday.

Neither side was expected to win its ALDS series, which makes this one all the more intriguing. While lines have yet to be released for the game, expect the Orioles to open as the favorite.