Braves vs. Dodgers Odds, Picks: Stick with Undervalued Atlanta in Game 6 (Saturday, Oct. 17)
Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images. Pictured: Max Fried
- The Atlanta Braves are a short underdog against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday afternoon as they look to close out the National League Championship Series.
- The Braves have been the better team in this series by many measures, and Michael Arinze is sticking with Atlanta in Game 6.
- Get his full breakdown for Braves vs. Dodgers below.
Braves vs. Dodgers Odds for Game 6
|Braves Odds||+125 [Bet Now]|
|Dodgers Odds||-145 [Bet Now]|
|Over/Under||8.5 (-110/-110) [Bet Now]|
|First Pitch||4:38 p.m. ET|
If you looked at the odds over the past few games of this series, you would think that it’s the Los Angeles Dodgers and not the Atlanta Braves who are one game away from the World Series, and yet it’s the Braves who continue to be sizable underdogs in each game.
Atlanta jumped out to a 2-0 lead in Game 5 and almost made it 3-0 in the third inning, but Marcell Ozuna was ruled to have left the bag too early in an attempt to tag up from third base. That lost opportunity seemed to shift the momentum to the opposite dugout the very next inning, with the Dodgers cutting the score line in half on a Corey Seager solo home run, then plating three runs each in the sixth and seventh innings to put the game out of reach.
Despite their loss on Friday night, the Braves have been the better team in the series.
Saturday night’s matchup will be a pitching rematch of Game 1 as Max Fried faces off against Walker Buehler. Los Angeles opened as a -150 favorite with Atlanta around a +130 underdog for Game 6. And with the Braves holding a 3-2 edge in the series, any opportunity to grab them at a plus-money warrants some serious consideration.
Walker Buehler’s Injury Can Expose Dodgers Bullpen
Buehler has made three starts this postseason and has yet to factor into a decision. He’s pitched 13 innings and is averaging only 4.1 innings per start.
In the regular season, Buehler averaged 4.2 innings per start as he continues to be bothered by a nagging blister on his pitching hand. He even had to have a band-aid on his finger in his last start and that may have been somewhat responsible for the five walks he issued in that start. And in the start before that, Buehler gave out four free passes.
This postseason, Buehler has a 2.77 ERA but also carries a 4.19 FIP that is largely due to his 7.62 BB/9 ratio. Buehler’s FIP, which is higher than his ERA, would suggest he’s due for some regression. However, I wonder how likely that will be considering that Buehler continues to get pulled early due to the blister.
An early appearance by the Dodgers bullpen still gives me some pause as I have reservations about them in a big spot. Los Angeles relievers haven’t necessarily performed well this postseason in late/close situations as evidenced by their 7.71 ERA and 2.14 WHIP. I’m actually surprised that more games in this series haven’t been closer as four out of the five played already were decided by at least four runs.
We’re probably due for another close game and Dodgers relievers have been far too inconsistent for my liking.
In Max Fried We Trust
The Braves have won all three of Fried’s playoff starts. In fact, they’ve won all but one of his 14 starts this season.
In 17 innings this postseason, Fried is averaging 5.2 innings per outing. And while he’s yet to factor into a decision this postseason, Fried has posted a 2.65 ERA along with a higher 3.13 FIP that makes him a candidate for a minor regression.
Fried was phenomenal in Game 1 against the Dodgers as he pitched six innings of one-run ball while striking out nine batters. The Braves’ left-hander looks to have put it all together in his third consecutive postseason. He seemed to grow in confidence during his start and you could almost see that transfer over to the rest of the team.
There’s no reason the Braves shouldn’t be confident in this game, even given their underdog status. After all, they’ve managed to pick up wins in his last two outings against the Dodgers.
Fried has done a good job of limiting his walks this postseason. In the regular season his BB/9 ratio was 3.05, but in the playoffs that number’s been slashed down to 1.06. That’s key against a Dodgers team that’s very patient at the plate when you consider they had the lowest chase rate (26.7%) in the regular season.
Fried has been able to consistently get ahead of hitters this postseason and that bodes well for the Braves’ ability to shorten the game and hand to ball to their more trustworthy pitchers in the bullpen. In late/close situations at the plate this postseason, the Dodgers have a .182 AVG/.231 OBP/.455 slash line compared to the Braves’ .302 AVG/.375 OBP/.558 SLG slash line.
The Dodgers opened as a -150 favorite, which carries a 60% implied probability. Perhaps I could buy that if Buehler was at full strength, but he’s struggling to pitch deep into games due to his blister, and that probability is too high when you consider how many outs the Dodgers bullpen might be asked to get tonight.
My model takes into account the expected workload for relievers in each game, and that makes the Dodgers a much shorter favorite for me at -120. The current market price is offering me some value on the Braves and PointsBet is currently trading them at +125.
I can only look to the dog in this spot as these teams are much closer in price than the odds would suggest.
PICK: Braves ML +125 (down to +115)