Dodgers vs. Braves NLCS Betting Odds, Series Schedule: Los Angeles Favored To Reach Another World Series

Dodgers vs. Braves NLCS Betting Odds, Series Schedule: Los Angeles Favored To Reach Another World Series article feature image
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Getty Images. Pictured: Atlanta’s Austin Riley and Los Angeles’ WIll Smith

Dodgers vs. Braves NLCS Betting Odds

Dodgers Series Price -225
Braves Series Price +186
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

Series Schedule

  • Game 1: Saturday, Oct. 16, 8:07 p.m. ET, TBS
  • Game 2: Sunday, Oct. 17, Time TBD, TBS
  • Game 3: Tuesday, Oct. 19, Time TBD, TBS
  • Game 4: Wednesday, Oct. 20, Time TBD, TBS
  • Game 5: Thursday, Oct. 21, Time TBD, TBS (if necessary)
  • Game 6: Saturday, Oct. 22, Time TBD, TBS (if necessary)
  • Game 7: Sunday, Oct. 23, Time TBD, TBS (if necessary)

Overview

The defending World Series champs survived a grueling, five-game series against their arch-rivals. Their reward? A rematch of last season’s NLCS.

The Braves and Dodgers met in a seven-game series a year ago. You’ll remember that last year’s edition was played before minimal fans, all in the same stadium, and with no off days. Los Angeles rebounded from a 3-1 deficit to take that series in seven games. What’s in story in the rematch?

The Dodgers, as we know, are seeking their second-straight World Series title. For the Braves, a win would mean a return to the World Series for the first time since 1999 despite 13 playoff appearances in the interim. Atlanta is also looking for its first World Series title since 1995.

The Dodgers won the season series 4-2, outscoring Atlanta 27-23 in the process.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Top Position Players

    • Max Muncy
    • Will Smith
    • Justin Turner
    • Mookie Betts
    • Corey Seager

The offense has had its fits and starts, but this is still among the most dangerous offenses in baseball when everything is clicking.

Despite some frustratingly inconsistent stretches, the Dodgers still ranked as a top-10 offense by wRC and wOBA.

In the LDS, the Dodgers’ offense was mostly solid when they weren’t facing Logan Webb. Will Smith hit a pair of home runs. Mookie Betts went deep and had four hits in the series-clinching Game 5. Even Cody Bellinger showed signs of life, with the go-ahead RBI single in the ninth inning of the clincher.

LA’s offense has been deep all season, but it will sorely miss Max Muncy. The first baseman got hurt in the final game of the regular season. There’s a chance he could be ready for the NLCS, but every indication says he will not.

Projected Rotation

  • Max Scherzer
  • Walker Buehler
  • Julio Urias
  • Tony Gonsolin

So … who starts Game 1?

Walker Buehler pitched in Game 4 on Tuesday on short rest. Julio Urias was the bulk guy in Game 5 on Thursday, and Max Scherzer came in for the ninth inning.

It’s possible given Scherzer’s low pitch count that he could come back and count Thursday as a side session. Seems unlikely. That would leave Tony Gonsolin, who was passed over for Buehler in that pivotal Game 4 and who hasn’t pitched since Sept. 30.

After that, the rotation can more or less fall in order, with Buehler going on regular rest in Game 2, and then Urias and Scherzer in some order.

Key Bullpen Pieces

    • Kenley Jansen
    • Blake Treinen
    • Corey Knebel
    • Alex Vesia
    • Phil Bickford

Jansen has given Dodgers fans their share of stress-inducing moments over the years, but is entering the 2021 postseason in elite form. Jansen started the day on August 5 with a 3.27 ERA. Since then, he’s made 27 appearances and has a 0.65 ERA, with 35 strikeouts against eight walks in 27 2/3 innings.

Behind him, the Dodgers’ bullpen is a mixed bag. Treinen and Knebel are probably Dave Roberts’ next most-trusted relievers, but Bickford, Vesia, Brusdar Graterol and Joe Kelly could all be seen, too.

Roberts showed a lot of faith in both Graterol and Kelly during the NLDS, and Knebel has been used in a variety of ways including as the opener in Game 5.

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Atlanta Braves

Top Position Players

  • Freddie Freeman, 1B
  • Austin Riley, 3B
  • Ozzie Albies, 2B
  • Dansby Swanson, SS

The Braves survived a season-ending injury to star outfielder and MVP candidate Ronald Acuna Jr., and it was mostly thanks to the continued brilliance of reigning NL MVP Freeman and the ascent to stardom by young third baseman Riley.

Atlanta finished slightly below-average offensively with a 98 wRC+, which tied for the 12th-best mark in baseball. Its wOBA of .323 ranked ninth, and the Braves also had a top-10 walk rate in the league.

Offense was tough to come by in the series against Milwaukee, and all the small-sample-size caveats that come with a four-game series apply, but one of the few Braves hitters who got in a groove during the NLDS was Riley, who went 5-for-15 with a home run. Freeman’s big blast in Game 4 will be remembered, and the perennial MVP candidate also went 4-for-13 while drawing four walks.

Joc Pederson only got seven at-bats, but of course sent two over the wall.

Projected Rotation

  • Max Fried, LHP
  • Charlie Morton, RHP
  • Ian Anderson, RHP
  • Huascar Ynoa, RHP

Charlie Morton went on short rest to help the Braves clinch the NLDS against the Brewers in Game 4. The earliest he could possibly start is Game 2 on Sunday, so the opener will be Max Fried, who is a pretty good Game 1 option to begin with.

After Fried, the Braves will go Morton/Ian Anderson in some order. The Game 4 starter is less certain. Huascar Ynoa is who most projected would start Game 4 before they opted for Morton on short rest. He pitched in relief in that game, and would likely get this Game 4 nod unless they opt for short rest again.

Key Bullpen Pieces

  • Will Smith, LHP
  • Luke Jackson, RHP
  • Tyler Matzek, LHP
  • A.J. Minter, LHP
  • Chris Martin, RHP

Atlanta’s bullpen has been a sore spot for most of the season, ranking as the 12th-worst unit in the majors by xFIP. No team that qualified for the postseason had a worse mark than its 4.35.

The team was lights-out against Milwaukee, though. The only reliever who allowed even one run was the aforementioned Ynoa in relief in Game 4. Luke Jackson and Tyler Matzek both potched in all four games, while Will Smith pitched in three. Jesse Chavez has acted as a fixer of sorts, coming in first if a starter gets pulled early.

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