MLB Playoff Odds, Picks & Predictions: Dodgers vs. Braves Game 5 (Friday, October 16)

Credit:

Tom Pennington/Getty Images. Pictured: Ronald Acuna

  • The Los Angeles Dodgers are -200 favorites Friday night in Game 5 of the NLCS against the Braves. The total is set at 9.
  • The Braves' offense has been dominant in this series, averaging 6.5 runs per game, and there are clear paths to victory for Atlanta in Game 5.
  • Mike Vitanza previews Friday's NLCS matchup and shares his betting pick below.

Dodgers vs. Braves Game 5 Odds

Dodgers Odds -200 [Bet Now]
Braves Odds +170 [Bet Now]
Over/Under 9 [Bet Now]
First Pitch 9:09 p.m. ET
TV FS1

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The Atlanta Braves offense exploded on Thursday night and increased their advantage in the National League Championship Series to 3-1 with a decisive 10-2 victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The Braves were led by Marcell Ozuna, who had four hits on the day — including two home runs — to go along with four runs batted in. Ronald Acuna Jr., Freddie Freeman and Ozzie Albies all had multi-hit efforts as well. Overall, the Braves offense combined for 14 hits on the day.

The Dodgers, meanwhile, were a completely different team than we saw two nights ago when they scored 11 first inning runs. Last night, they managed just three total hits as a team, one of which was a solo home run by Edwin Rios.

They’ll turn to rookie Dustin May in Game 5 to try and stave off elimination, while the Braves will look to AJ Minter to open for them in what will ultimately be a bullpen game for both sides.

Los Angeles Dodgers

Dustin May has been excellent for the Dodgers over three postseason appearances, allowing no earned runs and just one hit over 2.2 innings pitched. While May was a starter during the regular season, the Dodgers have used him largely in a relief role of-late. He did make one postseason start against the San Diego Padres, but he served an opener in that game and pitched just one inning.

The Dodgers used four arms out of the bullpen last night, so they’ll likely try to push May for a few innings if he’s looking good. Regardless, given the fact that he has not pitched more than two innings since September 27, this game will likely fall to the arms in the bullpen sooner rather than later.

The Dodgers had one of the best bullpens in baseball during the regular season, collectively pitching to a 3.45 FIP (2nd-best in the majors), 0.82 HR/9 and earning 3.5 WAR, the second-most in all of baseball.

Atlanta Braves

AJ Minter will make his first career start for the Atlanta Braves and serve as an opener in what will ultimately become a bullpen game for them as well.

The 27-year-old lefty was strong during the regular season, pitching to a 2.82 FIP and allowing just 0.42 HR/9 over 21.2 innings. He’s struggled a bit during the postseason, however, with a 7.48 FIP over three appearances. He’ll be out there solely to retire the top of the Dodgers lineup and is unlikely to pitch more than an inning. The Braves will have to piece it together from there.

Their bullpen was solid overall during the regular season, compiling a 3.91 FIP and averaging 9.3 K/9. They also were relatively strong limiting walks (3.5 BB/9) and home runs (1.0 HR/9).

Despite using four relievers in each of the past two games, they’ll likely have all hands on deck as they look to close out the series.

Betting Pick

In a game that will come down to bullpen arms from the very start, this is much closer than the Dodgers as a -200 favorite. While they have the advantage from a bullpen perspective, the edge is not as pronounced as the odds imply. Both bullpens were top-six during the regular season in team FIP and each has had success (and failure) during this series.

Both offenses are prolific and have proven throughout this series that they can come alive at any time. In fact, during the regular season, these offenses were nearly identical in team wOBA (Dodgers .350, Braves .355) and wRC+ (Dodgers 122, Braves 121).

In this series, it’s been the Braves offense that’s been better, averaging 6.5 runs over the first four games. With home field advantage negated and a relatively even matchup on both sides, there is value on the Braves at +168.

There are clear paths to victory for the Braves in this one and, as a result, I’m taking the underdog at plus-money in this one. I’m comfortable with them all the way down to +145.

THE PICK: Braves (+168)

[Win $200, yes two-hundred dollars, if Mookie Betts reaches base tonight.]

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