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Best Bet for the NLCS Game 2: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Atlanta Braves

by October 17, 2021
Top 3 MLB Betting Picks Freddie Freeman

Saturday’s playoff action saw a little bit of history, as the Boston Red Sox became the first team in MLB postseason history to hit two grand slams in the same game. In the nightcap, Atlanta stole Game 1 after clawing back from a 2-1 deficit and walking it off on Austin Riley’s laser down the line in the bottom of the ninth inning. Underdogs won each of the ALCS and NLCS games yesterday, and the early feel from the three combined championship series games is that each will be a long series.

How does yesterday’s NLCS Game 1 result affect our thinking for a pick today?

Here is my best bet for Sunday’s NLCS Game 2 playoff action. (Odds courtesy DraftKings Sportsbook)

View the best player prop bets for today’s slate with our MLB Prop Bet Cheat Sheet >>

YTD: 191-161-8 (+13.79 units) 

Dodgers-Braves First Five Innings OVER 3.5 runs (-120)

The Atlanta Braves did what they needed to in Game 1, using rest to their advantage and taking advantage of a weary Dodgers team. Los Angeles not only had a grueling five-game series against their biggest rivals but had to travel across the country with one day of rest to get ready for Game 1. The NLDS’s toll on Los Angeles was apparent last night, as the Dodgers used a combination of eight relievers to piece together a bullpen game. Tonight’s starter Max Scherzer was used in the ninth inning of Game 5 in the NLDS, but the team will look for him to give as many innings as he can tonight.

Scherzer pitched eight combined innings in the NLDS, striking out 12. He is very familiar with the Braves from his days with the Nationals, going 10-9 in 27 regular season appearances against them (25 starts). Though Scherzer has made 27 career appearances against the Braves, he has never faced them in the playoffs. His opposition, Atlanta’s Ian Anderson, had mixed results in two starts against the Dodgers in last year’s NLCS. Anderson threw four scoreless innings in Game 2 last year but allowed two runs in three innings in Game 7.

The Dodgers lost Game 1 of the NLDS against the Giants, but they rebounded with a nine-run explosion in Game 2. Los Angeles appears on the verge of an offensive breakout, as they had plenty of chances last night but went just 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position. Ian Anderson was pulled in the fifth inning of his only other career appearance against Los Angeles, and the fact he has never completed five innings against them is a concern. Meanwhile, Atlanta will not be intimidated by Scherzer, and they will rely on their 214 career combined at-bats against him to touch him up more than he has been all postseason. Look for Freddie Freeman to rebound quickly from his four-strikeout performance in Game 1, as he has seven extra-base hits (four doubles, three home runs) in his career off Scherzer.

The over is 4-0-1 in Anderson’s last five starts against teams from the National League West and is 5-2 in the previous seven meetings between these teams in Atlanta. We would put anyone off backing the full-game over in this one, but we are instead playing the first five innings total in case Atlanta’s well-rested bullpen settles things down in the late innings.

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Mike Spector is a featured writer at BettingPros. For more from Mike, check out his archive and follow him @MikeSpector01.

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