We’re now guaranteed two MLB Championship Series extending into this weekend for additional online sports betting action, but the focus tonight will be solely on the series between the St. Louis Cardinals and the Milwaukee Brewers, with the series all tied up at 2 games apiece, and at least one game remaining back in Milwaukee regardless of the outcome tonight. Coming off the first playoff road win since 1982 in a 4-2 Brewers win last night, Milwaukee will try to keep breaking playoff history by winning back-to-back games on the road for the first time since 1981. It’ll be an interesting challenge tonight between these two teams as two top pitchers set off against each other, but neither one coming into tonight’s game with a decent outing under their arm.
Zack Greinke was the fortunate one in Game 1 against Jaime Garcia, as although he gave up 6 runs in 6 innings, the Brewers’ bats were able to provide 9 runs, 6 of those going to Garcia who was knocked out of the game after just 4 innings of work and got the loss in a 9-6 Brewers win. While Greinke has been a force to be reckoned with at home (12-0, 3.65 ERA) he’s been a bit of a slouch away, posting a 5-6 record with a pedestrian 4.70 ERA. No doubt the Brewers, led by slugger Prince Fielder and Ryan Braun who each homered in Game 1 and contributed a combined 6 runs to the bottom line, will look to do similar damage against St. Louis pitching to help Greinke out, and in order to send this series back to Miller Park with the opportunity to close out in Game 6. Garcia on the other hand will try to return to his otherwise solid yearly form against the Brewers tonight, where he went 1-0 with a 1.98 ERA in 2 games, but with two very potent and hot-hitting line-ups able to break out the big stick at any time, there’s no doubt Garcia will take some help from the St. Louis power section consisting of Albert Pujols, Matt Holliday and Lance Berkman.
Hot bats to look out for in tonight’s game include the one held by Albert Pujols, who is 8-for-15 in this NLCS, but hasn’t done any damage against Greinke in his career…yet. He’s hitting .278 over 18 career at-bats, but hasn’t homered or driven in any runs during that stretch. Somebody who has had success against Greinke is Matt Holiday, who is 5-for-12 with 2 homers and 3 RBIs, so definitely look out for these two Cardinals to play a key factor in tonight’s match-up.
On the Brewers’ side of things, Ryan Braun has been the man of the hour this series and in the playoffs for Milwaukee, going 7-for-16 for the series, and hitting .471 for the playoffs this year. He took Garcia deep once already in Game 1 of this series, but Garcia will hope that he regresses back to his .227 lifetime average against him and have a quiet night at the plate. Although Milwaukee has been looking for magic from unexpected places in this series, spot starting Mark Kotsay and Casey McGehee in favorable pitcher/hitter match-ups, expect to see the Brewers turn to speed and small-ball tonight with Nyjer Morgan and Jerry Hairston Jr. (both 2-for-4 last night) getting on early to be lined up for Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder to do big damage.
Betting Lines for NLCS Game 5, Milwaukee at St. Louis
Sportsbetting.ag is the featured online sports betting website today, and as such we’ll peruse the lines available there for tonight’s top MLB Baseball match-up. Jaime Garcia at home draws the favorite with -131 odds to win on the money line, while Zack Greinke and the visiting Brewers stand at +111 underdogs in their final road game of the playoffs. The over/under stands at 7.5 runs (-105 under, -115 over) and the runs are given to Milwaukee (1.5 at +195 odds, and taken away from St. Louis (-1.5 at +167 odds). Though it’s expected that at least one of these pitchers tonight fares better than in Game 1 of this series, the key betting parameter looks to be the over/under, with a good likelihood of some offensive firepower coming out of the gates early in this game once again.
Our Pick to Win:
This is perhaps one of the tougher calls for online sports betting to make this week, as these two teams have shown their ability to pull out tough games under any circumstance, and pull out new heroes each night of the series. I like Jaime Garcia at home tonight, where he’ll get an opportunity to bounce back after some unfortunate playoff losses this season, and will look for the St. Louis bats to jump on Zack Greinke early to give Garcia a cushion of runs he can work with to go deeper in tonight’s game. While this game should be a close one through the late innings, St. Louis edges out a win tonight 5-4 to take a 3-2 lead back to Milwaukee for Game 6.