Atlanta Braves vs. Milwaukee Brewers – Game 1 of the 2021 NLDS

| October 6, 2021 11:14 am PDT

Both the Braves and the Brewers are entering the playoffs for the fourth consecutive year. Interestingly enough, the 2021 NLDS marks the first time that Atlanta and Milwaukee will meet in postseason play.

The Brewers got here with dominant pitching and timely hitting; the Braves come in hot winners of 12 of their last 14.

As for who has the edge in game 1, let’s preview the matchup and come up with a Braves vs. Brewers pick.

Atlanta Braves vs. Milwaukee Brewers Odds

Braves (+1.5)-178
Brewers (-1.5)+158
Braves to Win+127
Brewers to Win-137
Over 7 Runs-115
Under 7 Runs-105

Atlanta covered the run line just 48.4% of the time in 2021. Milwaukee was substantially more reliable, covering 54.3% of the time. Having said that, filtering through the subsets of the against the spread (ATS) data uncovered a worthwhile tidbit. 

  • The Braves are 50-31 ATS on the road (61.7%)
  • The Brewers are 37-44 ATS at home (45.7%)

Also worth noting, Milwaukee ended the year on a 4-10 skid that included dropping each of their last four contests. 

Braves Preview

Ronald Acuna Jr. has been sidelined since early July. Marcell Ozuna hasn’t played since May; Mike Soroka hasn’t played at all this season. And yet here are the Braves representing the NL East in the playoffs for the fourth straight year.

Freddie Freeman put together another robust year at the dish (.300/.393/.503); his left-handed bat will be counted heavily in game 1. Ozzie Albies emerged as one of the top-hitting 2B in baseball, and Austin Riley broke out (.303, 33 HR, 107 RBI).

Despite not having Acuna and Ozuna – two of the National League’s best hitters in 2020 – Atlanta’s lineup was still able to score 4.91 runs per game (3rd in the NL) in 2021.

Brian Snitker turns to trusted veteran Charlie Morton to take the ball in game 1 – this is exactly why Atlanta signed Morton in the offseason and extended him in September.

Charlie sports a 7-3 record and a 3.38 ERA in 12 postseason starts. As far as his recent form, Morton strolls into this start beaming with confidence. The 37-year-old righty has K’d 13 batters across his last 9.2 innings without surrendering a run.

Brewers Preview

The Braves have their hands full in game 1, facing the league’s best pitcher. Favored claim the NL Cy Young at all the top MLB betting sites, Corbin Burnes’ excellence this season cannot go understated.

To further pinpoint just how ridiculously special Burnes has been, check out the rarefied air he’s now entered.

Craig Counsell will likely need a big performance from out of Burnes on Friday as the Brewers bats have struggled. Milwaukee averaged just 3.5 runs per game over their final six and finished the season ranked dead last in the NL in batting average. Christian Yelich has been abysmal over the last month of the year (.221/.315/.305) and has just one homer over his last 36 games.

While team officials are counting on the former MVP being a steady contributor, the eye test tells me that something’s genuinely off with his swing. The good news is if the Brewers can get out in front by the 8th inning, Josh Hader will be available to come in and shut things down.

Braves vs. Brewers Betting Pick

The Braves chase a lot of pitches – they’re one of 10 MLB teams that struck more than nine times per game during the 2021 regular season. That doesn’t bode well, squaring off against Corbin Burnes – the guy who led the Majors with an astounding 12.6 SO9 (strikeouts per nine innings).

As reluctant as I am to trust Milwaukee’s bats, Burnes’ superiority is too blatant to ignore.

My Braves vs. Brewers pick is that the Brew Crew right Corbin’s hot hand and jump out to a 1-0 lead in this series.

  • Brewers to Win
Michael Wynn

As a former Division I collegiate golfer, Michael Wynn loves writing about golf. He's also an expert in most of America's most popular sports, writing extensively for on football, basketball, and baseball.

Michael's a Las Vegas native and has been with the company since 2017.

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