Saturday MLB Betting Picks: 3 Plays for Dodgers-Giants, Braves-Brewers in NLDS Game 2
Harry How/Getty Images. Pictured: Mike Yastrzemski, left, congratulates Kris Bryant after Bryant’s home run in Game 1 on Friday.
- Brewers moneyline? Max Fried strikeouts? Giants team total?
- We've got a trio of picks from today's pair of NLDS Game 2 -- Dodgers-Giants and Braves-Brewers.
- Continue reading for our favorite picks for Saturday's games.
The Brewers took Game 1 against the Braves on Friday, with Corbin Burnes besting Charlie Morton in a pitchers’ duel. The Giants got a gem out of Logan Webb to down Walker Buehler and the defending champs in Game 1 of that series.
Our analysts has found three ways to bet Saturday’s matchups, including a moneyline, a player prop and a team total. Here are our best bets for Saturday’s Game 2 matchups: Braves vs. Brewers and Dodgers vs. Giants.
MLB Odds & Picks
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Braves vs. Brewers
Sean Zerillo: While there isn’t any value in the series price, I show the Brewers as a -135 favorite for Game 2, with Brandon Woodruff (3.29 xERA, 3.05 xFIP, 3.31 SIERA) set to face Max Fried (3.49 xERA, 3.45 xFIP, 3.76 SIERA).
Fried found his groove down the stretch, pitching to a 1.74 ERA (3.08 xFIP) in 14 second-half starts. The lefty posted a 57% groundball rate over that span and ranked in the top 10% on the season for average exit velocity allowed.
Woodruff’s profile is just a touch more impressive than Fried’s. He has incredible stuff — ranking ninth in average fastball velocity (96.5 mph) amongst qualified starters — with four pitches (fastball, sinker, curveball, changeup) that rank as top 20 offerings amongst that group.
The curveball has been transformative for Woodruff. The righty has increased its usage to 16.1%, up by nearly 10% year-over-year and 15% since 2019. As of this season, the curve is now Woodruff’s most commonly used offspeed pitch.
One bit of concern: since the trade deadline, when they overhauled their outfield, the Braves have the top-ranked offense against curveballs and changeups. They do rank 21st against fastballs, however.
Given my more optimistic projection, I would bet Milwaukee up to -125 in either half of this game.
I would be very cautious with regards to the total, mainly if you are betting an over. Mike Estabrook (career 55.7% to the under) established a generous strike zone in Game 1, and Game 2 umpire Mike Muchlinski (career 53% to the under) will likely benefit this second pairing of All-Star caliber pitchers.
Braves vs. Brewers
Tanner McGrath: Over the past 30 days, Milwaukee has struck out at the ninth-highest rate in MLB vs. LHPs (23.6%). The offense can be boom or bust, but Charlie Morton busted them Friday to the tune of nine strikeouts.
Like Morton, Fried has put together a much-improved second half. After posting a 4.71 ERA and a 4.04 FIP through his first 72 innings, he dropped those numbers to a 1.74 ERA and 2.74 FIP over the past 92.
He did miss some time back in April due to an injury, and his starts prior to his time off skewed his season-long numbers. But the point is: Fried has been nails during Atlanta’s playoff push.
Fried has posted a 0.90 WHIP over his past 15 starts, and the Braves have won 12 of those appearances.
But more importantly, Fried has failed to pitch six innings just once during that stretch. His ability to pitch deep in games creates a lot of strikeout opportunities.
As such, Fried has cashed over 4.5 strikeouts in 20 of his 28 starts this season, including eight of his last 10. He has yet to face the Brewers this season, but the Action Labs Player Props tool projects Fried’s strikeout total at 5.9 tonight, creating plenty of value in backing Fried in Game 2.
Dodgers vs. Giants
|9:07 p.m. ET|
Collin Whitchurch: It only took 107 wins plus a Game 1 home victory over their arch-rival, but I think I’m finally done doubting the Giants.
Not fully, I guess, as I don’t have the guts to bet them outright on Saturday night despite them coming in as small underdogs again, but this offense can just beat the opposition in so many ways, and it made Cy Young candidate Walker Buehler look pretty vulnerable in Friday’s Game 1 win.
On Saturday, the Giants face Julio Urías, and while their offense has been better against right-handers than lefties for the duration of the 2021 season, that doesn’t mean they’re bad against southpaws. Their full-season wRC+ against lefties was 103, good for ninth-best in baseball, and in the last two months of the season it was 109, which is right in line with their full-season number against both sides of the plate.
Urías was a postseason hero for the Dodgers a year ago and led MLB with 20 wins during the regular season. It’s a big spot for the 25-year-old, and he had plenty of success against the Giants during the regular season. In five meetings, he allowed one run three times, two runs once, and had one blowup outing on May 29 when he was tagged for six.
Familiarity often favors the offense, and I trust the Giants’ bats to get the job done here. Because of Kevin Gausman’s late-season fade, I don’t trust them fully as this one could see a bit more runs. I’m tempted to take the full-game total over 7 or 7.5, but will instead focus on the Giants half. Over 3.5 for their team total has value at -108, and I would bet it to -115.