Editor's Note: Article published prior to Clayton Kershaw Game 2 scratch.
Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers actually have a whole lot in common.
They are both ridiculously dominant in the regular season, but just can't seem to put it all together when the lights are the brightest.
The Dodgers have won eight straight National League West titles yet they've been bounced twice in the NLCS and twice in the World Series over that span. And Kershaw's numbers rise noticeably from the regular season (2.43 ERA, 1.00 WHIP, 0.7 HR/9) to the postseason (4.23 ERA, 1.08 WHIP, 1.4 HR/9). It's amazing that his home run rate doubles in the playoffs.
According to Rotoworld's Edge Finder, L.A. is 18-and-17 when their longtime ace takes the mound in the postseason and Playoff Kershaw backers are down 5.6 units all-time. So a $100 bettor has lost $560, mostly because of the higher prices you have to lay when he pitches.
PointsBet Sportsbook is dealing the Dodgers as a -171 favorite in Game 2 of the NLCS tonight against the hard-hitting Braves. Atlanta currently comes back at +145. Over 70 percent of the betting tickets are on L.A. so far and that will probably hold steady given the urgency of the spot.
Many bettors will look to back L.A. down 0-1 in the series because they view Tuesday night’s tilt as a must-win. Meanwhile, I'm actually very curious to see if the Dodgers have the mental toughness to bounce back after giving up four runs in the ninth inning of last night's loss.
I also have absolutely zero issue fading Playoff Kershaw. I've been all over this Atlanta team for the last few weeks. Their offense has the ability to be a total wrecking ball, especially against breaking balls. I dare Kershaw to loop some of those slow rollers over the plate to the Braves' big bashers.
Play on the Braves +145.
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