Strong pitching has led the Dodgers to a 3-2 lead as the series shifts back to Milwaukee. Friday’s NLCS Game 6 will start with a pair of left handers as the Brewers try to avoid elimination and force Game 7.

The Dodgers (-400) are a prohibitive favorite to win the NLCS while Milwaukee (+300) can take back 3-0 odds by winning both Game 6 and 7. The winner faces the Boston Red Sox in the World Series.

Friday, Oct. 19 – NLCS Game 6 (8:39pm ET)
Ryu (LAD) -110 / -1.5 +150 / O 7.5
Miley (MIL)  +100 / +1.5 -170 / U 7.5

The pitching in this series has been near even, as the Dodgers have a 2.81 ERA and .219 batting average against. The Brewers pitchers have a 3.02 ERA and a .220 average against. Milwaukee’s pitchers have 61 strikeouts, which ties the record set by the 2013 Tigers for most strikeouts through five games of any league championship series. The Brewers starters have also pitched just 14 innings through five games. Both teams have scored 16 runs with 3 games staying under the total while Game 5 was a push in the Dodgers 5-2 win. But LA’s ability to hit in the clutch has been the difference, as the Dodgers are 10-for-43 with runners in scoring position. The Brewers are just 5-for-35 with runners in scoring position.

Milwaukee’s MVP candidate Christain Yellich is 3-for-20 in the NLSC but 0-for-7 with 5 Ks with runners in scoring position. Mike Moustakas is also struggling badly just 2-for-21. Jesus Aguilar is 4-for-18 including 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and 4 strikeouts.

Milwaukee played in many high-intensity games down the stretch of the regular season to ultimately overtake the Cubs and win the NL Central. The Brewers won 20 of its final 26 regular season games. So facing urgency won’t deter the Brewers ahead of NLCS Game 6, but Dodgers pitcher H.J. Ryu likely will be with no room for error as he takes to the rubber stripe.

(Adjusted World Series Odds: Los Angeles +190 / Milwaukee +650)

The Brewers bats may to come to life, but I don’t see it against the Dodgers lefty. Ryu held the Brewers scoreless the first four innings of Game 2 before allowing a HR, single and a double to end his night in the 5th inning of the Dodgers 4-3 win. He shutout the Braves over 7.0 innings in the division series and has been superb down the stretch. In his last five starts covering 30 innings, Ryu has allowed just 3 runs and 2 of those were last game against the Brewers.

Milwaukee has confidence knowing its top-2 starters remain for Game 6 and if necessary Game 7. But Wade Miley is not H.J. Ryu’s match, despite holding Los Angeles scoreless in Game 2 through 5.2 innings allowing just 2 hits without issuing a free pass. Miley has posted the best numbers of his career since 2011 covering 16 starts this season. He also held the Dodgers scoreless in Los Angeles July 31 allowing just 2 hits over 7 innings. Still, past control issues could surface and Miley’s under the hood numbers and xERA don’t paint the same picture as his solid surface stats. Expect Miley to turn it over to the Brewers best relievers by the 6th inning if he can hold down the Dodgers and last that long.

The Dodgers have enough things in their favor to close out the series, but the Brewers might have a final say in the later innings. I like Los Angeles and Ryu in the first 5 innings.

NLCS Game 6 Betting Pick – LA Dodgers first 5 innings (-110)