Chavez Ravine takes on a desperate, perhaps even somber, environment for Game 5 of the World Series on Sunday night.
With its Los Angeles Dodgers fighting for their lives against the Boston Red Sox, trailing 3-1 in the series, the Blue Crew fanbase holds onto slim hope for the Dodgers’ first world championship in 30 years. Heck, even the dang Angels have won a title in that time. Ouch.
Once again, a Boston pinch-hitter entered the nightmares of LA fans, like Freddy Krueger in a Sox hat. Mitch Moreland inconceivably connected for a three-run homer in the top of the seventh inning, his first dinger since Aug. 22, to cut a four-run Dodgers lead to one. Steve Pearce added his own name to LA’s Mount Hauntmore by blasting a game-tying homer in the eighth inning, then smacked a two-out, three-run double that capped a five-run ninth inning for Boston to build a 9-4 advantage.
Pearce’s timely hitting proved game-winning, as the Dodgers’ Kike Hernandez belted a two-run homer in the home half of the ninth, finalizing LA’s 9-6 loss.
Only six teams in Fall Classic history have rallied from a 3-1 series deficit. Fortunately, recent history leaves some optimism for the Dodgers, as the Chicago Cubs stormed back to beat the Cleveland Indians in 2016.
That said, of the 35 teams to lead 3-1 in the World Series, 18 clinched the title in Game 5. There’s the oil to hope’s water.
Onward to glory
While LA manager Dave Roberts has attempted to use the same analytical approach that helped the Dodgers reach the World Series for the second straight year, Boston has relied on its clutch hitting, its young talent, the gut-feeling decision-making of manager Alex Cora.
As a result, the Red Sox, despite a heart-wrenching 18-inning loss in Game 3, have positioned themselves for a fourth league championship since 2004. Rightly so, Boston, in the New Jersey sports betting market, has become a bigger favorite than Kirk Gibson at Dodger Stadium.
And with its core of talent, this could only be just the beginning of a Boston dynasty (again).
Looking ahead, here’s the schedule:
- Game 5 at Los Angeles: Sunday, 8:15 p.m. ET
- Game 6 at Boston: Tuesday, 8:09 p.m. ET (if necessary)
- Game 7 at Boston: Wednesday, 8:09 p.m. ET (if necessary)
Game 5 lines
While the Dodgers hoped for anniversary magic to lead to a long-starved-for World Series title, it’s another landmark year that comes to the forefront.
The last time Los Angeles lost back-to-back Series, Tommy John was dealing for the Dodgers, and Steve Garvey and Davey Lopes anchored the right side of the infield. One loss to Boston, in any of the remaining three games, would deal LA its first back-to-back Series losses since 1977 and 1978. On top of that, the Dodgers would become the first team to lose consecutive World Series at home since the New York Giants in 1936 and 1937.
|*Multiple lines offered|
|DraftKings||BOS +123/LA -139||BOS +1.5 (-190)/LA -1.5 (+155)||7.5 (-103/-118)|
|BetStars||BOS +130/LA -150||BOS +1.5 (-182)/LA -1.5 (+150)||7.5 (-110/-110)|
|FanDuel||BOS +134/LA -150||BOS +1.5 (-170)/LA -1.5 (+150)||7.5 (-104/-112)|
|SugarHouse||BOS +123/LA -139||BOS +1.5 (-190)/LA -1.5 (+155)*||7.5 (-103/-118)*|
|888sport||BOS +120/LA -143||BOS +1 (-129)/LA -1 (+106)*||7.5 (-104/-118)*|
|Caesars||BOS +132/LA -142||BOS +1.5 (-170)/LA -1.5 (+150)||7.5 (-105/-115)|
|William Hill||BOS +132/LA -142||BOS +1.5 (-170)/LA -1.5 (+150)||7.5 (-110/-110)|
|MGM||BOS +131/LA -141||BOS +1.5 (-170)/LA -1.5 (+150)||7.5 (-110/-110)|
MVP props, props, propspropsprops
Rather than examining the most intriguing wagers at various NJ sportsbooks, it’s most likely time to begin assessing proper Series MVP candidates.
Fortunately, there are lines for that.
Start with Boston’s latest in a long line of postseason heroes.
Pearce, one of just six players in MLB history to play for every team in the same division, joined Carl Yastrzemski (1967) and David Ortiz (2004) as the only Sox players to homer and drive in four runs in a World Series game.
Those kinds of heroics hold a lot of weight, especially considering he has batted a decent .250 with no strikeouts and four walks. That, and his five RBIs lead all players this series. BetStars lists Pearce’s MVP odds at 14/1, while FanDuel Sportsbook pays +1300. Pretty good for a guy who’s changed teams nine times since 2007.
Yet Pearce sits behind four teammates in the odds column:
- JD Martinez, batting .214 with four RBIs: 5/2 by BetStars, +240 by FanDuel
- Mookie Betts, batting .211: 3/1 by BetStars, +340 by FanDuel
- Andrew Benintendi, batting .357: 7/2 by BetStars, +375 by FanDuel
- Xander Bogaerts, batting .105: 9/1 by BetStars, +1000 by FanDuel
For those still holding out hope for the Dodgers, keep holding on. The odds of completing a comeback rise dramatically with each win. Of the 17 teams winning Game 5, eight forced a Game 7. And in that deciding game, six teams clinched the title.
So, for those holding out hope, consider LA’s top three MVP candidates. Yasiel Puig, batting .235 with four RBIs and a home run, is listed at 18/1 at BetStars and +2000 at FanDuel. Teammates Justin Turner (a Series-best .381 average) and Manny Machado (.222 with three RBIS) both feature +2500 payouts at FanDuel.