The Los Angeles Dodgers were not about to go quietly in Game 4 of the World Series, and they have a chance to regain an edge in the Fall Classic Sunday as they send their ace to the mound in Game 5.
Clayton Kershaw, who has a 3-0 record in the postseason and a 2.96 earned-run average, will try to gain his second win of the World Series from 8 p.m. ET at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
Kershaw will find himself in a Game 1 rematch with Houston Astros starter Dallas Keuchel, who is 2-2 with a 3.00 since the regular season came to an end.
The Dodgers looked like they might lose their third straight game in the World Series when George Springer homered in the bottom of the sixth inning off of Alex Wood to give the Astros a 1-0 lead in the game. However, Los Angeles scratched out a run to tie the game in the top of the seventh inning and then ripped Houston closer Ken Giles in the top of the ninth and went on to score five runs.
L.A. pulled even in the series with a 6-2 victory.
Kershaw's presence on the mound has earned the Dodgers favorite status for Game 5. Even though the Astros are 7-1 at home in the postseason, the Dodgers are minus-146 favorites (wager $146 to win $100) Sunday, according to OddsShark. The Astros are plus-136 underdogs (wager $100 to win $136) to take a 3-2 edge in the series when it heads back to Los Angeles for Tuesday's sixth game.
Kershaw is considered to be among the best pitchers in baseball, but he has had issues in the postseason prior to this year. His overpowering fastball and knee-buckling breaking pitches were too much for the Astros to handle in Game 1, and solving him in Game 5 will be a major challenge for the home team.
While Houston hit the ball hard in the late innings of their Game 2 victory and in Game 3, they only managed two hits in Game 4. Now they have to get back on track against Kershaw.
The Dodgers are feeling the anxiety of the moment, as they have played all season with winning the World Series in the back of their minds. Now it is front and center.
"We've been talking about it all year, winning [this] series," said Corey Seager, per Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com. "We had to win the best of seven. Then it turned into a best of five, and now it's the best of three."
The Dodgers were relieved to see a bit of an offensive turnaround from Cody Bellinger in Game 4. After striking out four times in Game 3, he smacked a pair of doubles Saturday night, including one in the ninth that drove in the go-ahead run. Joc Pederson put the game away for Los Angeles with a three-run homer.
While prop betting is far more popular in football than it is in the national pastime, the opportunity exists during the World Series.
Oddschecker provides details of several prop bets, including the total number of runs scored in the first five innings, whether a run will be scored in the first inning or whether the game will go to extra innings.
We are interested the extra-inning prop because of its large payoff. If you believe the game will be decided in nine innings, Oddschecker reports that you have to take odds of at best 1-11 to make such a wager.
However, it you believe the Dodgers and Astros will battle into extra innings, as they did in Game 2, you can get that bet at 13-2.
This will be a tight, low-scoring game that has an excellent chance of going 10 innings or more, and we like the payoff on that wager. Go with the extra-inning prop bet.