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NLCS Betting - Hamels will dominate the Dodgers again

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 10/15/2009 12:26:31 PM
MLB betting linesNLCS betting, better known as the National League Championship Series, is here. The Senior Circuit features a rematch of last year’s semifinal battle between the Philadelphia Phillies and Los Angeles Dodgers. Last season in MLB betting, the Phillies’ bats were too much for the Dodgers. Will we see more of the same in Game 1 of the series tonight?



NLCS Betting – Hamels struggling lately, but always shows up to play the Dodgers

  • Hamels allowed one run in 16 innings versus L.A. this season
  • Clayton Kershaw making his second career playoff start
  • Kershaw has never beaten the Phillies in four tries



Tonight, 8:07 p.m. ET
Phillies vs Dodgers odds: Phillies +125, Dodgers -145
Cole Hamels (0-1, 7.20) vs Clayton Kershaw (0-0, 2.70)

The Phillies and Dodgers kick off NLCS betting by sending their power lefties to the hill. Cole Hamels was a force in last year’s playoffs but struggled against the Rockies last week, allowing four runs over five innings and serving up a homer. It’s also concerning that he’s had four straight poor outings dating back to the regular season.

However, some other Hamels numbers warrant a serious look among online sports betting sharps. Hamels got, er, rocked by the Rockies in Game 2 of the NLDS but that was a day game. Hamels went 0-6 with a 5.44 ERA in day games this season. At night, he was 10-5 with a 3.95 ERA. He also saved his best work for the Dodgers this season, allowing one run and walking one in 16 innings against them. Better yet, he tossed a complete-game shutout in his lone start at Dodger Stadium this season.

As long as Hamels isn’t dealing with any secret injury or fatigue (which is possible considering how much baseball the Phillies have played the last two years), he’s set up for success. What about Clayton Kershaw? The sophomore has just one career postseason start under his belt, so we have to examine his regular-season numbers to predict his performance. He was a force at Dodger Stadium in 2009, sporting a 1.83 ERA and whiffing 97 batters over 88.1 innings. However, the Phillies have his number; he’s winless in four career starts against them.

Kershaw’s greatest conundrum will be solving Raul Ibanez and Chase Utley. Both are rare in that they bat left yet hit lefthanders better than righthanders. They’ve each hit Kershaw well historically, each posting an OPS over 1.000 against him in their careers. You should expect more of the same tonight.

DALE’S PICK: While you can’t trust numbers in the playoffs as much as you can in the regular season – intangibles like pressure and crowd noise factor in more in the postseason – the numbers are skewed heavily in Hamels’ favor and against Kershaw, enough that we can’t ignore them. Go with the road team in Game 1.

Pick: Phillies +125


For more NLCS betting coverage, keep reading the Betting Edge at betonline.com. Also, check out our sportsbook for up-to-date odds.

Dale Lalonde is betonline.com's MLB expert.

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