Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
First pitch: 4:38 p.m. ET
Venue: Globe Life Field (Texas)
Probable pitchers: Max Fried (7-0, 2.25 ERA) vs. Walker Buehler (1-0, 3.44 ERA)
Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers Predictions
The linesmakers have made a clear declaration here. Even after a brilliant pitcher’s duel in Game 1 between Max Fried and Walker Buehler that produced the only under in this National League Championship Series, they believe that was more of a fluke than anything else.
Hence why the second matchup has already settled in with a total around 8.5; this after the series opener spent most of the day at 8 leading up to the festivities.
And even in light of a well-contested matchup between two very talented young pitchers that are still ascending, oddsmakers are standing pat on this call.
Well, it’s the wrong one — and something to capitalize on from a bettor perspective.
As part of my reasoning for the under when Fried and Buehler first clashed in Game 1 was the latter’s tremendous postseason track record. The 26-year-old — whom I even specifically referred to as Playoff Buehler — lived up to that once again by firing five innings of one-run ball.
For his still-young career now, Buehler already has nine postseason starts under his belt and he’s definitely delivered in wielding a shiny 2.74 ERA and 1.01 WHIP.
That success has been on display these playoffs as well, as Buehler’s only yielded four runs combined in his three outings, which also include 23 strikeouts across 13 innings. I expect him to go deeper today.
Fried was just as good, if not better, than his counterpart in their first encounter. The fourth-year southpaw lasted longer, going six strong and allowing one run. He also had nine Ks versus two free passes.
The dangerous Dodger bats have fared much better since, but that came mostly opposite right-handers. Fried is the only lefty in the rotation and that’s a big deal for any starter when about to tangle with LA. As I’ve highlighted before, their team batting average against left-handers has been considerably lower than when facing righties. Not to mention this worked when Atlanta opened with A.J. Minter last night.
Fried is legit. Buehler is legit. Meeting with a total this high, both can provide more than enough to pace a light-offensive day.
Bet: UNDER 8.5 (-110)
2020 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*
Regular season: “19-42-4,” -28.91 units
Postseason: 10-5, +2.85 units
Last Result: Astros-Rays Under 8 (loss)
*Each bet graded as if it were to win one unit (postseason 0.5 unit except first one)