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The Braves are looking to bounce back from a loss in Game 1 of the NLDS. Matt Zylbert gives us his Braves vs. Brewers prediction and pick

Atlanta Braves vs. Milwaukee Brewers NLDS Game 2 Prediction

Atlanta Braves at Milwaukee Brewers

Over/Under: 7.5

First pitch: 5:07 p.m. ET


Probable pitchers: Max Fried (14-7, 3.04 ERA) vs. Brandon Woodruff (9-10, 2.56 ERA)

Atlanta Braves vs. Milwaukee Brewers

Although he really bafflingly got no attention for it, no pitcher was entering this year’s postseason hotter than Fried.

Now I may be biased, being that Fried is a huge Zylbert Guy/Discovery, but how is this man’s recent run not being revered?

Dating all the way back to July 28 — a stretch of more than two months! — Fried notched a quality start in each of his final 12 assignments to conclude his campaign.

That’s just remarkable — and such an impressive benchmark that most starters won’t accomplish in a big-league career.

So where’s the love and appreciation for Fried as a true upper echelon Major League pitcher? Throw in how he was surprisingly scuffling a bit early in the season, even carrying a very uncharacteristic 4.71 ERA into the All-Star break, and the fact that he finished with a pretty 3.04 ERA is even more incredible.

For those weary about a starter following extra rest (Fried’s last start was Sept. 29), don’t be when it comes to this talented southpaw. Through his five years in the bigs, Fried’s ERA coming off six or more days of rest (2.74) is nearly a full run lower than on four (3.60) or five (3.68) days rest

We should also recognize how good Fried has been come playoff time. He finally garnered his first four career starting nods in the postseason (after stupidly being restricted to bullpen work the prior two Octobers) last year, registering a 3.04 ERA next to a 23-6 K/BB ratio in 23.2 innings.

Making this more favorable for Fried, the Brewers are an opponent that hasn’t fared too well opposite left-handed pitching. This season they produced baseball’s third-lowest team batting average (.230) with a southpaw the hill. Additionally, they strike out a bunch against southpaws, too.

As good as Fried was in 2021, it may be his counterpart this evening that actually had the better year despite a 9-10 record.

Woodruff is “Exhibit A” why wins and losses for pitchers can be irrelevant. The Milwaukee right-hander was actually in Cy Young contention for most of the season.

He didn’t finish too far off from whoever ends up nabbing this year’s honors, notching career-best marks en route to etching top-five ranks among all starting pitchers in ERA (2.56), WHIP (0.96) and batting average against (.200). He was actually one of only three starters in all of baseball to hold opposing batters to the Mendoza Line — a .200 average or lower.

The K’s were still there, too, with Woodruff accumulating a career high (211). His strikeout rate (10.6 K/9) finished top-10.

Both of these arms have maintained long stretches of success, including in the postseason. Bet on them to lead the way.

Pick: UNDER 7.5 (-120)

2021 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*

Regular Season: “88-73-10,” +6.39 units

Postseason: 1-1, -0.09 unit

Last Results: Cardinals-Dodgers Under 7.5 (WIN), from Wednesday, Red Sox-Rays Under 7.5 (loss)

*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit (playoffs 0.5 unit)


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