Atlanta Braves (90-72) at Los Angeles Dodgers (92-71)
|Date & Time||Thursday October 4, 2018, 3:33 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Los Angeles Dodgers -170 / Atlanta Braves +160 --- Over/Under: 7
The Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers meet Thursday in game one of the NLDS at Dodger Stadium.
The Atlanta Braves are in the postseason for the first time since 2013 and enter the postseason losing four of their last five games. The Braves have been held to two or less runs in five of their last seven games, so the offense clearly needs to pick up if this postseason is going to be a success. The Atlanta Braves finished 10th in the majors in runs scored and fourth in base hits, so this is a young team that can score in bunches and is never out of a game. Freddie Freeman leads the Braves with 191 hits and 98 RBI while Nick Markakis and Ozzie Albies have combined for 352 hits and 165 RBI. Mike Foltynewicz gets the ball, and he is 13-10 with a 2.85 ERA and 202 strikeouts this season. Foltynewicz is 1-1 with a 5.56 ERA and 13 strikeouts in his career against the Dodgers. Foltynewicz has zero postseason pitching experience.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are in the postseason for a sixth straight year and just beat the Colorado Rockies on Monday to win the NL West. The Dodgers have won 14 of their last 18 games and are led by an offense that finished second in the majors in homers and scored the most runs in the national league. The Los Angeles Dodgers have the experience, pitching and offense to get the job done, but we’ve been this road many times only for them to choke when it matters most. Cody Bellinger leads the Dodgers with 145 hits and 76 RBI while Chris Taylor and Matt Kemp have combined for 270 hits and 148 RBI. Hyun-Jin Ryu gets the ball, and he is 7-3 with a 1.97 ERA and 89 strikeouts this season. Ryu is 1-0 with a 2.81 ERA and nine strikeouts in his career against the Braves. Kershaw is 0-1 with a 2.95 ERA and 18 strikeouts in his postseason career.
The Braves are 4-1 in their last 5 games following an off day, 1-6 in their last 7 playoff games and 4-1 in Foltynewiczs last 5 road starts. The Dodgers are 37-15 in their last 52 games following an off day, 6-2 in their last 8 playoff home games and 10-4 in Ryus last 14 starts. The Braves are 1-4 in the last 5 meetings in Los Angeles, 10-25 in the last 35 meetings and the over is 4-0 in the last 4 meetings in Los Angeles.
Foltynewicz has actually been really good on the road this season, which includes a 2.48 ERA and an allowed batting average of .199, so the Braves shouldn't be counted out in this game. Ryu had an ERA of 1.50 in 30 innings in the month of September and has an ERA of 1.15 with an allowed batting average of .212 at home. Both of these pitchers have clearly been lights out this season, so it's close to being a toss-up more than what the odds indicate. However, experience does matter in the postseason, and I'm not sure I trust these baby Braves on the road. The Los Angeles Dodgers have been there done that, and that experience cancels out the nerves and can lead to more effective play. With a cheaper price than if Kershaw was to pitch, I'll take the Dodgers to take game one.