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Dodgers Open NLCS as Road Favorites vs. Atlanta

Max Fried's Braves are home underdogs in the Los Angeles vs Atlanta Odds for Game 1.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are 8-3 in their last 11 road games including two road wins this postseason against the San Francisco Giants. The Dodgers will look to continue their strong road play this Saturday when they kick off their NLCS matchup against the Atlanta Braves in Atlanta.


Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Atlanta Braves
  • Date/Time: October 16, 8:08 p.m. ET
  • Stadium: Truist Park
  • TV Coverage: TBS
  • Opening Odds: Dodgers -125 | O/U 8 runs (Line History)
  • Dodgers vs. Braves (Matchup Report)

Opening Odds Analysis

The Dodgers opened as -125 favorites in this matchup with the Braves going off as +115 home underdogs. The betting line on Saturday saw some dramatic movement after reliever Corey Knebel was announced as the starter for LA as the squad is going with a bullpen day rather than the expected Max Scherzer who will surely start Game 2. Atlanta has flipped the line to a pick'em and will likely be the chalk near the first pitch.

Starting Pitchers Analysis

Dave Roberts announced after using Max Scherzer out of the bullpen in Game 5 that he would check in with Scherzer to see how he felt ahead of Game 1 of this series. It appears Mad Max wasn't ready to pitch and Los Angeles turned to reliever Corey Knebel to deliver the first pitch. Knebel had a 4-0 record with 2.45 ERA over 27 appearances this season, including four starts. 

Max Fried’s recent dominance continued last Saturday when he pitched six innings and allowed only three hits with nine strikeouts in a 3-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 2. Fried has recorded a dazzling 1.35 ERA and a 0.75 WHIP in 80 innings pitched since the beginning of August. The Braves are 11-1 in Fried’s last 12 starts.

Los Angeles News & Notes

The NLDS series between the Dodgers and the San Francisco Giants was as good as everyone expected it to be, going five games and coming right down to the wire with the score tied 1-1 going into the ninth inning of Game 5. Mookie Betts went 4-for-4 in the decisive game, Cody Bellinger hit the game-winning RBI and Max Scherzer came in for the save in Los Angeles’s 2-1 win.

Los Angeles is 22-5 over its last 27 games. On their path to a World Series victory last year, the Dodgers fell into a 1-3 series hole against Atlanta in the NLCS before winning each of the last three games in the series to advance to the World Series.

Atlanta News & Notes

Atlanta had the best team ERA in baseball during the divisional round with a 1.42 against the Milwaukee Brewers. This pitching staff and bullpen will now be put to the test against a much more potent Dodgers offense. Los Angeles finished the regular season with the National League’s best offense averaging 5.12 runs per game.

Former Dodger Joc Pederson had only seven at-bats in the NLDS, but he made them count. Pederson went 3-for-7 with two home runs and five RBI against the Brewers. All three of his hits came as a pinch-hitter.

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How Los Angeles Will Win

The only game the Braves have lost in Fried’s last 12 trips to the mound was a 4-3 Dodgers victory on September 1. Los Angeles scored two runs off of Fried and two off of the bullpen in that win. A similar game script could get the job done again here.

How Atlanta Will Win

Max Fried has been as good as anyone in the majors over the last two and half months. With Fried on the mound, home-field advantage and more rest since finishing up the Brewers on Tuesday, the Braves have a lot going for them in Game 1.

Computer Pick: Braves +110

For more MLB predictions for the playoffs, check out our MLB Computer Picks page.


Shark Bites
  • Los Angeles is 7-2 in its last 9 games vs. Atlanta.
  • Atlanta is 7-1 in its last 8 home games.
  • The UNDER is 4-1 in Atlanta’s last 5 games.