Game 1 of the NLCS was very competitive and evenly matched. The Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers were tied 1-1 until the top of the ninth when the Braves put up four runs and ran away with the first game of the series. Their big inning allowed them to get an advantage in the win column over the Dodgers with a 5-1 victory.
Game 2 of the series from Arlington, Tex., is scheduled for Tuesday evening at 6:05 P.M. Eastern. The Dodgers are favored by 1.5 runs, and the moneyline for Los Angeles has been set at -166 while Atlanta is +143 for the contest. The over/under is 7.5 runs.
Walker Buehler only gave up one run in five innings of work Monday night, but he didn’t have an efficient outing, racking up 100 pitches in short order. The high pitch count made Dave Roberts go to his bullpen earlier than he desired, which showed one spot where the Dodgers are somewhat vulnerable.
For years, Kenley Jansen would be the guy in Los Angeles when the Dodgers needed three outs in the ninth. Jansen hasn’t been his usual self this season and struggled in his latest save opportunity in the NLDS, where he almost blew a three-run lead.
Jansen is no longer the first choice for the ninth inning, and we saw a prime example of this last night. Blake Treinen came in and got shelled, which gave him credit for the loss. Roberts needs to find his go-to pitcher for the ninth inning, or we could see an upset in the NLCS.
Catcher Travis d’Arnaud has been the postseason star for Atlanta this year. The big question going into this series was if he would get support from the other eight bats in the lineup.
D’Arnaud struggled last night at the plate, and his team picked him up. The 23-year-old Austin Riley homered in the ninth to put the Braves up for good on the Dodgers.
The rest of the lineup followed, and another young star, Ozzie Albies, hit a 420-foot shot to left-center, which turned out to be the final offensive dagger for the Braves.
The Pick Is In
In the first through eighth innings, the Braves had many more chances than the Dodgers. The Braves stranded ten runners on base, while the Dodgers left five. As a bettor, you can look at these statistics two ways: Either the Braves couldn’t get the big hit, or the Dodgers were outstanding on defense.
The ninth inning showed everyone how dangerous Atlanta could be if they got the big hit and started to rally.
The Dodgers need to play better than we saw in Game 1 for them to win Tuesday. When Mookie Betts, Cody Bellinger, and Max Muncy don’t get a hit, you know it must’ve been a rough offensive night for the Dodgers.
Clayton Kershaw, who has historically struggled in the playoffs, will take the hill in Game 2. For the Dodgers to win, they will need to give run support to their pitching staff, and I think they will do just that.
The Dodgers’ big bats will step up, and Kershaw will do enough to even the series for LA. I’m taking the Dodgers at -166 and over 7.5 runs.