October 13, 2020 | 3:11pm
The Los Angeles Dodgers find themselves in a familiar spot of trying to prevent a marvelous season from ending without a World Series title. Down 1-0 to the Atlanta Braves in the National League Championship Series, the Dodgers will have to rely on young Tony Gonsolin to fill in for Clayton Kershaw, who was a late scratch due to back spasms.
Gonsolin may not be the downgrade many might think as Kershaw’s postseason struggles are well documented. Kershaw has a career postseason 4.23 ERA and has allowed 1.36 home runs per nine innings, compared to a 2.43 ERA and 0.7 home runs per nine innings in the regular season. Though this is Gonsolin’s first career postseason start, he went 2-1 in eight starts during the 2020 regular season with a 1.94 ERA and just one home run allowed in 41 2/3 innings.
The Braves’ Ian Anderson has made eight career starts between the regular and postseason. He’s been rock solid despite a lack of experience, posting a 1.47 ERA, and has a bullpen behind him that has given up one run in 23 1/3 innings.
If there is a weakness for Anderson, it is the 3.6 walks per nine innings he has issued throughout the regular and postseason. He is tasked with trying to contain a Dodgers offense that was tops in runs and home runs while ranking fourth in fewest strikeouts per game.
Anderson to this point has given up just one home run in his 43 innings, but the Dodgers entered this series having scored at least three runs in 17 straight games prior to Monday’s 5-1 loss.
With the Dodgers having the luxury of going to such a good starter in Gonsolin and a solid bullpen coupled with expected regression for the rookie Anderson, the Dodgers should find a way to tie the series.
The play: Dodgers to win Game 2, -143.
Greg Peterson writes for VSiN.com, The Sports Betting Network. Track real-time line movements at VSiN.com/odds.