Dodgers vs Braves Picks, NLCS Odds & Complete Betting Guide
The MLB Playoffs are often a stage for the upstart. The National League Championship Series, however, features no such Cinderella.
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves, the top two teams in the NL this season, ran roughshod over the competition. Both teams are undefeated this postseason. Game 1 of the NLCS is Monday at neutral-site Globe Life Field in Arlington, Tex.
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The top-seeded Dodgers swept the Brewers, then made short work of a strong Padres team in the NLDS. The Braves got by the Reds with superior pitching in the wild-card round and the bats came alive to take care of the Marlins in 3.
It will be the fourth NLCS in five years for the Dodgers, while the Braves are among the last four teams remaining for the first time since 2001.
NLCS Braves vs Dodgers Odds & Pick
THE ODDS: Dodgers -215, Braves +172
The Dodgers are the big favorites in the latest MLB odds to not just beat Atlanta for the NL pennant but to win the Fall Classic. They’ve played like the title favorites all year, finishing with the best regular-record in MLB (43-17) while ranking first in the league in runs scored, home runs hit and staff ERA.
The Braves are no slouches. There are no holes in a batting lineup that ranked No. 2 in runs, No. 2 in homers and No. 2 in average.
Atlanta’s pitching staff has been otherworldly this postseason. Though five games, the Braves have pitched four shutouts. If you want to throw a wet blanket on that stat, consider the opposition (the Reds ranked dead-last in runs this year, the Marlins 21st). The Dodgers offer a considerable uptick in challenge.
THE PICK: Dodgers in 6
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3 NLCS Betting Tips
1. Dodgers Thru 5: Each squad has hitters, each has pitchers, each has a top-five bullpen. The difference? L.A.’s starting pitchers ranked No. 2 in ERA this season, behind only the Indians. The Braves ranked 28th, in front of only the Angels and Tigers. They’ve been great so far, but this L.A. lineup is a different animal. Consider backing the Dodgers in five-inning wagers.
2. Braves vs. Lefties: Atlanta crushed pitching, but crushed southpaws considerably less. Against RHPs, the Braves ranked No. 1 in OPS (.852) and No. 2 in average (.273). Against LHPs, their .754/.248 marks each rank 14th. Clayton Kershaw and even Julio Urias or Alex Wood may get a start in this series.
3. Look for Over props: As solid as pitching has been, these teams can rake – and got stronger as the season progressed. Combined, the Dodgers and Braves averaged a whopping 12.7 runs per game in September. Pitching may give before the hitting, especially as the series goes to five games or more.
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Adam Thompson’s NL Playoff Betting Recap
NL Wild-Card Picks: Dodgers (-300) over Brewers, Reds (+105) over Braves, Marlins (+160) over Cubs, Padres (-175) over Cardinals. Record: 3-1 (+260)
NLDS Picks: Braves (-286) over Marlins, Dodgers (-286) over Padres. Record: 2-0 (+200)