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Desperate Dodgers Heavy Favorites Despite Trailing 2-0

Dodgers favorites against the Braves in the NLCS

Winning five consecutive baseball games is not easy. Winning five consecutive playoff games by beating the Milwaukee Brewers (95-67) and Los Angeles Dodgers (106-56) is even more impressive. If the Atlanta Braves are going to make it six playoff wins in a row, they will have to knock off the Dodgers for a third straight game, this time in a stadium where L.A. has won 17 of its last 18 starts.

Atlanta Braves vs Los Angeles Dodgers
  • Date/Time: October 19, 5:08 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: Dodger Stadium
  • TV Coverage: TBS
  • Opening Odds: Dodgers -200 | O/U 7.5 (Line History)
  • Braves vs Dodgers Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis

You would never know the Atlanta Braves own a 2-0 lead in the NLCS by looking at the odds for this game. L.A. opened as a -200 home favorite for Game 3 and although the odds have dropped slightly, you are still looking at laying -180 or more if you like the Dodgers. The total opened at 7.5 and has remained there. Some sportsbooks have a little juice on the UNDER and there is a chance the closing line will get to 7 at some places.

Starting Pitchers Analysis

In two postseason starts, both against the Brewers, Charlie Morton is 0-1 with a 3.86 ERA and 0.96 WHIP. Morton logged six innings in his first appearance and gave up just two runs. In his second start, the veteran right-hander lasted only 3.1 innings, giving up four early hits and two runs in a game the Braves would come back to win.

In the regular season, Walker Buehler was dominant, posting a 16-4 record with a 2.47 ERA and striking out over 200 hitters. In two postseason starts, the 27-year-old right-hander is 0-1 with a 3.38 ERA. Like Morton, Buehler threw a quality start in his first playoff game, but the Cy Young candidate failed to get out of the fifth inning in his second outing, although he allowed just one earned run in 4.1 IP.

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Atlanta News & Notes

When you face two teams that pitch as well as the Milwaukee Brewers and Los Angeles Dodgers, it isn’t a huge surprise you don’t have great statistical numbers offensively. The Braves are hitting just .237 as a team in the playoffs and have an OBP of .299.

Ex-Dodger Joc Pederson has been an offensive force for his new club despite limited playing time. The left-handed hitting slugger has three home runs and seven RBIs in just 14 at-bats and is hitting .357 in the playoffs.

Freddie Freeman hit a series-winning home run against the Brewers, helping the Braves get past Milwaukee in the opening round. However, in his two games against the Dodgers, the reigning NL MVP is 0-for-8 with seven strikeouts.

Los Angeles News & Notes

The Dodgers bats have struggled even more than the Braves this postseason. L.A. is hitting .233 as a team, with seven home runs in 266 at-bats. What L.A. has done better than any other team is steal bases. The Dodgers have 11 steals this postseason, five more than the next-closest team (Houston).

It will be interesting to watch Dave Roberts manage his pitching staff the rest of the series, especially if Buehler struggles at all early in Game 3. In the first two games against the Braves, Roberts has used 11 different pitchers. Kenley Jansen, Joe Kelly and Blake Treinen have all pitched in both games and how much they can offer in Game 3 is unknown at this point.

How Atlanta Will Win

Expectations are that Charlie Morton will once again put his team in a position to win. His career postseason numbers show he is not afraid of big games and big moments. If Joc Pederson continues his hot streak at the plate and Freddie Freeman inevitably gets a big hit, the Braves could be looking at a 3-0 series lead after today.

How Los Angeles Will Win

Walker Buehler is an elite pitcher who owns a 2.50 ERA in 13 career playoff starts. The Dodgers expect Buehler will be able to eat some innings today and keep his team in a position to win it in the end. Mookie Betts is hitting .387 this postseason – if Trea Turner (.200 BA) and Justin Turner (.107 BA) can find their groove, L.A. can get right back in this series with a big Game 3 win.

Computer Pick: Dodgers ML (-175)

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Shark Bites
  • Atlanta is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games.
  • The UNDER is 5-2 in Atlanta’s last 7 games.
  • LA is 17-1 SU in its last 18 home games.