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MLB play offs predictions and previews

The Dodgers look to get back on track after a disappointing loss and even their National League Division Series when they host the Cardinals. The Dodgers appeared on their way to victory in last night’s series opener as Clayton Kershaw had a 6-2 lead after six innings, but the Cardinals scored six runs on six hits against him during an eight-run seventh and held off a late comeback attempt to prevail 10-9. Kershaw is the first pitcher in major league history to surrender at least seven runs in back-to-back playoff starts.

The Dodgers outhit the Cardinals 16-10 but went just 4-for-14 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11 while St. Louis left just one runner on base. Matt Carpenter hit a solo home run and put the Cardinals ahead with a three-run double during the huge seventh inning while Matt Holliday added a three-run blast.

A.J. Ellis finished 4-for-5 with a two-run home run and Adrian Gonzalez added a two-run shot of his own for the Dodgers, who try to avoid falling to 0-2 in the best-of-five series.

Lance Lynn (15-10, 2.74 ERA) vs. Zach Greinke (17-8, 2.71 ERA)

Lance Lynn ended the regular season with a four-game winless streak but he produced nine straight quality starts to end the season. Lynn hasn’t allowed more than three runs since June 28, when he was tagged for seven (six earned) over two innings in a loss to Zach Greinke at Los Angeles. He is 3-1 with a 4.50 ERA in five career starts against the Dodgers.

Zack Greinke finished the regular seasonwith an eight-game unbeaten streak that included five victories. He allowed more than two earned runs only twice during his run and gave up fewer than two on four occasions. Greinke fell to 9-4 in 14 career games (12 starts) against the Cardinals on July 19, when he surrendered four runs on six hits and five walks over 5 2/3 innings at Busch Stadium.

St Louis Cardinal (L.Lynn) -vs- L.A.Dodgers (Greinke)
release: L.A.Dodgers  RL
odds: +140 [-1.5]
wager: 4u $

Nobody had a better end to the regular season than Washington Nationals righty Jordan Zimmermann.

Zimmermann takes the hill for the first time since his no-hitter on Saturday and will try to help the Nationals even the National League Division Series against the San Francisco Giants in Game 2 at Nationals Park.

The 28-year-old right-hander capped a terrific second half of the season by not allowing a hit against the Miami Marlins on the final day of the regular season. A 19-game winner a year ago, Zimmermann was 8-0 in the second half of the year with a 2.18 ERA in 13 start.

Zimmermann has faced the Giants eight times and is 5-2 with a 2.79 ERA. He was pounded in his only other NLDS start back in 2012, as the St. Louis Cardinals reached him for five runs in three innings.

“It is exciting going out there, for sure,” Zimmermann said. “The fans are going crazy and get you all amped up, and it was a fun moment. Hopefully, we have a bunch more of those coming up.”

Zimmermann will have his work cut out for him on Saturday against a Giants team that has now won nine straight postseason games.

San Francisco drew first blood in this best-of-five set on Friday, as Jake Peavy picked up his first career postseason win and the Giants held on for a 3-2 triumph.

Peavy (1-0) had a solid outing, scattering two hits in 5 2/3 scoreless innings.

Buster Posey, Brandon Belt and Joe Panik each knocked in a run for the Giants, who were coming off Wednesday’s 8-0 wild-card victory at Pittsburgh.

San Francisco has now won 13 of its last 16 postseason games and 23 of its last 31.

“They have been through it. They have a calmness about them. When you have your back as many times against the wall as you can in the postseason, that experience is invaluable,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said about his team’s run of postseason success.

Pablo Sandoval also extended his postseason hitting streak to 12 games with a fourth-inning single.

Stephen Strasburg (0-1) gave up two runs in his postseason debut — one earned — on eight singles in five-plus innings for the NL East-champion Nationals.

S.F.Giants (Hudson) -vs- Washington Nationals (Zimmermann)
release: Washington Nationals  RL
odds: +110 [-1.5]
odds: 4u $

 

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