Braves vs. Brewers Betting Odds, Pick, Preview: How To Bet Game 2 of NLDS
Denis Poroy/Getty Images. Pictured: Max Fried
- The Brewers are favored to take a 2-0 series lead over the Braves with Brandon Woodruff on the mound tonight for Game 2 of the NLDS.
- Atlanta will counter with Max Fried, who had a red-hot finish to the season.
- Continue reading for a full Braves-Brewers breakdown and pick.
Braves vs. Brewers Odds
|Over/Under||7.5 (+100 / -120)|
|Time||5:07 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
It was an entirely different experience for the Atlanta Braves the second time they faced Corbin Burnes. After chasing him out of the game with five runs on nine hits back in June, the right-hander held the Braves scoreless and limited them to two hits in Game 1 of the series opener on Friday.
Milwaukee went on to win the game, 2-1, on a Rowdy Tellez two-run home run. Both teams combined for nine hits, but it was feast or famine as they scored all three runs via the long ball.
You might think the low-scoring game resulted from a bit of rust, given that both teams last played on Sunday. While that premise might be correct, the reality is that these types of low-scoring playoff games have become quite common inside a National League ballpark.
I’ll touch on that and much more to get you set for Game 2 of this NLDS clash.
Fried Has Been Lights-Out For Braves
The Braves opted for the veteran, Charlie Morton, to pitch Game 1. However, you could’ve easily made the argument for Max Fried to start the series opener. After all, Fried finished the regular season with a 4.7 WAR which was the highest among all pitchers on the Braves staff.
Fried will get the ball in Game 2 as Atlanta looks to tie the series at one game apiece. The left-hander went 14-7 on the season with a 3.04 ERA and a 1.09 WHIP. Although his 3.31 FIP points to a slight regression, that’s to be expected when you’ve allowed just one earned run in your previous 23 innings of work.
Fried’s had a quality start in his 12 appearances on the mound. The Braves are also 10-1 in his past 11 starts. One noticeable improvement of him is his command. His 2.23 BB/9 ratio is the lowest of his career. He’s done a tremendous job keeping the ball inside the park, evidenced by his 0.81 HR/9 and 1.87 GB/FB ratios.
The California native is often in control from the moment he gets on the mound. His 64.3% first-pitch strike rate is elite, allowing him to dictate how the rest of the at-bat unfolds. He often works off his four-seam fastball, which averages 94 mph.
Although he throws the pitch 38.9% of the time, he maintains good balance by throwing his curveball (25.7%), slider (21.7%) and sinker (11.5%) at least 10% of the time. He’ll also feature a changeup at times, with he throws 2.2% of the time.
FanGraphs Pitch Info Values rated all five of his pitches as above average in runs allowed. His slider and curveball could be a big part of the game plan in attacking the Brewers’ hitters considering that Milwaukee was a combined -44.3 runs below average against those pitches this season.
Brewers Try To Take 2-0 Lead Behind Woodruff
There probably wasn’t much thought about who the Brewers would start in Game 1. However, Burnes and Brandon Woodruff finished the season tied with a WAR value of 5.6. Judging by that metric, Woodruff’s been every bit as valuable as the Brewers’ ace. He’ll get his chance on the big stage in Game 2.
The right-hander went 9-10 on the season with a 2.56 ERA and a 0.96 WHIP. Like Fried, his 2.96 FIP is also higher than his ERA. However, both numbers are below 3.0, so there shouldn’t be too much concern about a prolonged regression.
Woodruff’s a power pitcher, as evidenced by his 10.59 K/9 ratio. He’s still able to show some good command, though, given that he only walks 2.16 batters per nine innings. He’s also done well to keep the ball inside the park when considering his 0.90 HR/9 ratio. His Called + Swinging Strike rate of 30% is elite, and he does a tremendous job of getting ahead of hitters with a first-pitch strike rate of 66%.
There are plenty of similarities between Woodruff and Fried. Like his counterpart, Woodruff also throws five different pitches. However, there’s less variance in his usage of those pitches. Here’s the breakdown of his five-pitch mix: Four-seamer (33.7%), sinker (26.8%), curveball (16.6%), changeup (14.2%), slider (8.7%). Outside of the sinker, four of his five pitches have a put-away rate of at least 21%.
With Woodruff on the mound, batters can’t get too comfortable trying to sit on a pitch because he can pretty much throw anything in any count to get a hitter out. That’s partly why hitters are swinging at pitches outside the zone 30.9% of the time, up from 25.9% in the past season.
Lastly, all five of Woodruff’s pitches are rated above average in runs allowed. His sinker could be an essential pitch in this matchup as he’s 15 runs above average with the pitch while the Braves are -16.1 runs below average against it.
There’s plenty to like from both pitchers heading into this matchup, as we could have another pitcher’s duel on our hands. My model projects a total of 6.61 runs in this game, so I do have some value with some sportsbooks offering the over/under at 7.5.
The Braves’ bullpen improved significantly in the second half of the season and even finished with a 3.97 ERA, lower than Milwaukee’s (4.02).
Here’s another thing to keep in mind. Since 2017, playoff games in a National League park are 48-29-5 to the under for 16.96 units. That’s certainly a number I can get behind, so I’d look to play this game under 7.5.
Pick: Under 7.5 (-117)