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Braves the Better Bet in Game 5 of NLCS

Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers Betting Preview

The Atlanta Braves toppled the L.A. Dodgers’ top pitcher Thursday night and are now on the verge of booking a ticket to the World Series as a result. The Braves own a 3-1 lead in the National League Championship Series and will take their first crack at advancing in Game 5 on Friday night. Atlanta pushed the Dodgers to the brink of elimination with a 10-2 rout in Game 4. 

Los Angeles Dodgers vs Atlanta Braves
  • Date/Time: October 16, 9:08 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: Globe Life Park
  • TV Coverage: Fox
  • Opening Odds: Dodgers -240 | O/U 9 (Line History)
  • Dodgers vs Braves Matchup Report

Opening Odds Analysis 

The betting odds give the edge to the Dodgers as a -240 favorite, with the Braves coming back as +220 underdogs. The total has stayed consistent at 9 runs. Just one win away from reaching the World Series, the Braves are 5-1 in their last six games as an underdog.

Starting Pitchers Analysis

The Dodgers will put the extension of their season in the hands of Dustin May (3-1, 2.57 ERA), who enjoyed a strong regular season and has looked even more impressive in the postseason. May has tossed 4.2 scoreless innings in the playoffs, allowing just one hit while striking out six and walking two. He held Atlanta off the scoreboard over his 1.2 frames in Game 1.

It appears the Braves are rolling with a “bullpen game” approach Friday night. Atlanta manager Brian Snitker wouldn’t commit to a starter, but did say that only two pitchers – Huascar Ynoa and Grant Dayton – would be unavailable for the potential series clincher. Ynoa went four innings in Wednesday’s 15-3 loss, giving Atlanta’s beleaguered bullpen a break.

Los Angeles News & Notes

How did the best team in baseball wind up on the wrong end of a 3-1 series deficit? Terrible pitching has been the biggest factor, with the Dodgers having allowed 26 runs through the first four games. Even their ace, Clayton Kershaw, failed to come through when they needed him, surrendering four runs on seven hits over five largely ineffective innings in the Game 4 setback.

The offense also reverted back to its pre-Game 3 form, producing just three hits against five Atlanta pitchers. Star outfielder Mookie Betts went 0-for-4 with a strikeout from the leadoff spot and is batting just .143 in the series. He’s also looking for his first home run of the postseason (having gone 33 at-bats without one) after tying for the team lead with 16 homers during the regular season.

Atlanta News & Notes

The Braves offense took a short break in that one-sided Game 3 loss but was back in full force Thursday night and is now batting .275 with eight home runs in four games vs the Dodgers. Ozzie Albies (.471, 2 HRs, 4 RBIs) and Freddie Freeman (.429, 2 HR, 6 RBIs) have been the linchpins of the Atlanta attack and should be popular daily fantasy options Friday (and rightfully so).

It wouldn’t surprise many to see Ronald Acuna Jr. get in on the fun Friday night as well. Acuna has had a strangely quiet NLCS so far, going just 3-for-13 with one extra-base hit in four games; he has yet to go deep or drive in a run in the series. It is noteworthy that Acuna is just 3-for-26 lifetime against current members of the Los Angeles pitching staff.

Betting Pick: Atlanta ML

It just doesn’t make much sense to deviate from the Braves at this point; they’ve been the better team through four games and are a much more valuable betting option than the reeling Dodgers.

Shark Bites
  • The Dodgers are 11-5 in their last 16 vs teams with winning records.
  • The Braves are 5-1 in their last 6 games as an underdog.
  • The total has gone OVER in 5 of the Dodgers’ last 6 games.