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Game 5 Gambling Preview: 2008 NLCS

MLB: HAMELS SENDING PHILS TO THE SERIES?

Cole Hamels has been lights out in two postseason starts and oddsmakers like his chance of sending the Philadelphia Phillies to the World Series.

Hamels and the Phillies are listed at -121 odds for Game 5 of the NLCS against the L.A. Dodgers on Wednesday night. Philadelphia leads the series 3-1 and can advance to the World Series with a win.

The total for Wednesday’s game has been set at 7.5 runs. You’ll find a complete list of Major League Baseball odds on our Live Odds page. Go there now to see the latest odds and place your bets.

Hamels has been a great bet for Phillies’ backers in his first two playoff outings. Through two appearances he is 2-0 with a 1.20 ERA in 15 innings, giving up just eight hits over his 206 pitches.

The 24-year-old shut out Milwaukee on October 1st in the NLDS; he then opened the NLCS with a 3-2 win over the Dodgers. Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel had the option to start Hamels on short rest on Monday but opted to go with Joe Blanton and give his young pitcher two more days of rest.

It turned out to be the right move as the Phillies came from behind to earn a 7-5 win and now have their ace set to go against a team he has dominated this season in the potential series finale.

In three starts against the Dodgers this year, Hamels is 2-0 and has lasted at least seven innings in each outing. L.A. hitters have had trouble figuring out lefthander as they’ve managed just 16 hits and six runs in those three games.

And while the Phillies rested Hamels, L.A. manager Joe Torre sent veteran Derek Lowe to the mound on short rest in Game 4 in what turned into a wasted start. Lowe gave up just two earned runs in five innings but the bullpen blew the game in the eighth inning, putting the Dodgers in a difficult situation.

L.A. hopes they will get Lowe another start in Game 7 but first they need to send the series back to Philadelphia by winning Game 5.

The Dodgers are pinning their hopes on Chad Billingsley on Wednesday night. Also a 24-year-old, Billingsley needs to show major improvement over his last start. In 2 1/3 innings, Billingsley gave up eight runs, seven earned, on eight hits and three walks in Game 2 of this series.

Those runs proved to be all the Phillies needed as they went on to win 8-5.
Billingsley’s other postseason appearance was much better as he went 6 2/3 innings, giving up just one run on five hits and a walk against the Chicago Cubs on October 2nd. L.A. fans hope he puts in that type of performance on Wednesday as they hope to keep their World Series hopes alive.

The Phillies and Dodgers have combined for 59 hits over the last three games. Will either starter be able to slow down the opposing offense in this game? Log in to place your bets now.

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