Washington Nationals v St. Louis Cardinals
The Washington Nationals will complete a comeback from a 2-1 deficit to win their National League Divisional Series against the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday. Quite simply, don’t expect Gio Gonzalez to suffer back-to-back poor performances. In game one of this series, Gonzalez walked seven batters in five innings. Even with at horrible statistic, he was able to hold St. Louis to just two runs. He never walked that many in the regular season (he walked as many as five just three times in thirty-two starts). Assuming he pitches to his ability, Gonzalez will be tough for the Cardinals to beat.
In contrast, St. Louis starter Adam Wainwright has only rarely delivered consecutive strong performances. Though he was strong in his one post-season outing, Wainwright didn’t give up two or fewer runs in back-to-back starts throughout September. On at 1.75, Washington – who have momentum from a dramatic game-four victory and home-field advantage – will prevail over the Cardinals (2.08).
New York Yankees v Baltimore Orioles
The Baltimore Orioles forced a decisive game five against the New York Yankees, but New York will take the series in the winner-take-all contest. CC Sabathia is just too dominant not to win. In his first game in this series he went 8 2/3 innings, giving up two runs. Overall, though, the left-hander overwhelmed Orioles hitters, striking out seven.
The problem with Orioles starter Jason Hammel is that he hasn’t gone more than 5 2/3 innings since coming off the disabled list in September. With the Yankees and Orioles going 13 innings in game four and Baltimore using seven relief pitchers in the game, they just don’t have a lot of firepower out of the bullpen. The Yankees used seven relief pitchers as well, but Sabathia’s ability to go deep into games – he went at least seven innings nineteen times in twenty-eight starts – is a big advantage. Take New York at 1.45 rather than the Baltimore at 2.75.