Atlanta Braves (93-74) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (111-60)
October 21, 2021 8:08 pm EDT
The Line: Los Angeles Dodgers -136 / Atlanta Braves +116 ; Over/Under: 8
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The Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers meet Thursday in MLB action for Game 5 of the NLCS from Dodger Stadium. The Braves managed one-run wins in the first two games of this set, then the Dodgers returned the favor with a tight win on Tuesday. In the Wednesday game, Atlanta took a big victory to take a decisive advantage in the series. Check back all season long for free MLB picks at Sports Chat Place.
Atlanta managed to eke out wins in game one Saturday 3-2 and game two Sunday 5-4. The Braves fell in a tough one 6-5 on Tuesday. In the Wednesday game four, the Braves posted four runs in the ninth inning on the way to a 9-2 victory. Drew Smyly lasted 3.1 innings with two earned on two hits and a walk.
For the Game 5 starter role, the Braves will send out Max Fried. This regular season Fried went 14-7 with a 3.04 ERA and 158 Ks in 165.2 innings over 28 starts.
Over on the Dodgers’ side, they found themselves in a hole after losses in the first two games. LA posted four runs in the eighth inning during Tuesday’s victory to regain some hope, however. On Wednesday, the Dodgers fell behind 4-0 after three innings and never recovered. Julio Urias managed 5.0 frames with five earned on eight hits and two walks.
For Thursday’s matchup, the Dodgers will likely be using a bullpen pitching attack similar to game one. If LA can get through it with a victory, it’ll be Max Scherzer for game six and Walker Buehler for a series-deciding game seven. But that’s a long way off yet.
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The Braves are 5-1 in their last six playoff games and 8-3 in their last 11 road games. Atlanta is 7-2 in their last nine Thursday games and 5-1 in their last six versus the NL West.
Meanwhile, the Dodgers are 41-13 in their last 54 at home and 45-15 in their last 51 overall. LA is 41-16 in their last 57 Thursday games as well.
PICK: I’m leaning toward the Braves in this one. Atlanta has persevered well through this series so far, pushing the Dodgers to the limit with timely hitting and pen work. If Atlanta can keep the momentum going we could see them steal a big road win. Fried has put up two earned runs on 11 hits over 12.0 innings across his last two outings. I like another solid start in an overall close, low-scoring game here.