The Arizona Diamondbacks pulled the shocker of the postseason so far in NLDS Game 1, shelling Clayton Kershaw en route to an 11-2 romp over the second-seeded Los Angeles Dodgers. Now the D-backs will turn to their ace as they look to snag a commanding 2-0 lead in this series, with Zac Gallen (17-9, 3.47 ERA) on the mound against Dodgers rookie Bobby Miller (11-4, 3.76).
Los Angeles enters as -155 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, with Arizona at +130. The run total is set at 8.5.
Diamondbacks vs. Dodgers NLDS Game 2 picks: Monday, October 9
Out: RP Scott McGough (shoulder)
Out: RP Yency Almonte (knee)
Zac Gallen vs. Bobby Miller
Merrill Kelly (and a ton of run support) guided the D-backs to a Game 1, and now they have one of the game’s most reliable starters on the mound looking to grab this series by the scruff of the neck. Gallen was probably leading the NL Cy Young race at the All-Star break (first-half ERA: 3.04) thanks to a sensational start, and while he’s cooled off a bit since then, he’s still as sturdy as they come. The righty tied for fifth in baseball with 20 quality starts this season, including 18 of at least six innings and two or fewer earned runs. He tied have some bumpy outings down the stretch — five runs allowed in 5.1 innings against the Orioles, seven in five innings against the Mets — but he was great when the D-backs needed him over the final two weeks, delivering six shutout frames in a win over the Yankees and 6.1 innings of two-run ball in a hard-luck loss to the Astros last weekend. Gallen’s been hit hard by the Dodgers this year, though, allowing five runs in 4.2 innings on Opening Day and then six in 5.1 innings in late August.
With Walker Buehler, Dustin May and Tony Gonsolin all hurt and Julio Urias suspended, the Dodgers will turn to a rookie to pull their season back from the brink. Granted, Miller looked a lot better than most rookies this season: He got off to a historically great start to his MLB career, and after a bumpy June, the righty rebounded with a 3.36 ERA in the second half — including four runs allowed over 12 innings in two starts against these D-backs. Miller fired six shutout innings in a no-decision on the road on August 9, then allowed four runs over six frames in a win on August 28. His command can come and go, but with a fastball that brushes triple digits and two wicked breakers in his slider and curve, when he’s on, the sky’s the limit.
Yes, I know that Arizona nearly cleared this total all by themselves in the first inning on Saturday night, but I’m still backing the under here. Kershaw isn’t just 35; he’s clearly diminished, battling shoulder soreness all year with a fastball that struggles to even hit 90. Miller, by contrast, is a different story, and I expect him to pitch far better and at least keep Los Angeles in this game into the later innings. The Dodgers could also make this total look low — especially with how well they’ve hit Gallen this year — but with a rested bullpen and another off day coming on Tuesday, I think Arizona will be all hands on deck and help keep this a relatively low-scoring game.
Pick: Under 8.5
It’s just hard to see the Dodgers losing two in a row with their season on the line, even though this team clearly isn’t the juggernaut we’ve grown accustomed to seeing over the past few years. Their depth is greatly diminished, especially in their rotation, but I think Miller will pitch well — and that will allow L.A.’s offensive and bullpen advantages to shine through in a big Game 2 win.
Pick: Dodgers -155