Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers – Game 1, 2020 NLCS
The National League Championship Series gets underway on Monday as the Atlanta Braves (35-25) take on the Los Angeles Dodgers (43-17). Both teams enter the series red-hot. The Braves swept the Cincinnati Reds before winning three straight against the Miami Marlins. The Dodgers swept the Milwaukee Brewers in the opening round, then swept Southern California rival San Diego to reach the NLCS.
Because of their location, the two did not play each other during the regular season. Atlanta won the last two meetings in August last year, but L.A. had won the previous five meetings.
Braves vs. Dodgers Odds
|Braves to Win||+130|
|Dodgers to Win||-155|
The total at 8.0 looks like a great bet to jump in on. These are the two best teams in the playoffs in ERA, so going under 8.0 at -105 looks like a very smart bet.
The moneyline on the Braves is +130 to win Game 1. That should be a tempting option.
Braves vs. Dodgers Preview
This has the makings of one of the best NLCS series of all-time. Two great pitching staffs. Both teams playing exceptionally well. There is a lot to like about this matchup.
The hype will be around the Dodgers pitching staff, but the Braves have been ridiculous. Through the first five games of the playoffs they have a 0.92 ERA. By any measure that is just absurd. The Braves allowed no runs to the Reds, then gave up five runs to the Marlins in Game 1, and were not scored upon again. Four shutouts in five games is one of the most impressive runs ever.
Max Fried goes for Atlanta looking to keep the team rolling. Fried was 7-0 with a 2.25 ERA during the regular season and started the playoffs dominating the Reds. He tossed six shutout innings, but then gave up four runs in four innings to the Marlins.
The Dodgers counter with Walker Buehler. The right-hander was 1-0 with a 3.44 ERA in the regular season and has been solid in the playoffs, posting a 3.38 ERA. However, he has not gone longer than four innings in any start, as the Dodgers bullpen has been great, and Buehler may be pulled early in this contest as well.
Los Angeles entered this series with the most potent lineup in baseball, hitting 118 homers in 60 games. However, they have been held to just two through the first five games, while Atlanta has seven. The difference is that the Braves are still getting on base (.370). When they score runs, they do it in bunches and they will have to take advantage of the Braves mistakes if they are going to score.
Atlanta has walked only nine batters through the first 49 innings. The Dodgers have walked just 14. There will not be many free passes in this series.
Braves vs. Dodgers Betting Pick
What a great series this should be. Neither team gives up many runs and this should be a clinic on how to pitch. Strikes will be thrown for sure.
However, if there is a game where runs could be scored it will be in Game 1. Fried did not look good against the Marlins and the Dodgers have a much better lineup. On the other side, Buehler has been the Game 1 starter in each of L.A.’s first two series and has not made it into the fifth yet. This is a game for the Dodgers bullpen to decide and they have only been scored upon in one game.
This keeps the runs down. Eight does not seem like many, but it will be in this contest. The Dodgers take Game 1, 4-2.