Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers – 2020 NLCS Betting Preview

Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers – 2020 NLCS Betting Preview

The 2020 MLB Playoffs betting action continues with the Championship Series, and we’ll see a super exciting matchup in the National League, as the Atlanta Braves take on the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

The NLCS starts Monday, October 12, and all games will be played at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. Without a home-field advantage, the Dodgers are still firm favorites to win the National League pennant, but the Braves look ready to upset the odds.   

We’ll see some tremendous games between a couple of very talented teams, so here are all need-to-know betting tips and notes for the Braves versus Dodgers showdown along with our betting prediction. 

The Line

The Dodgers opened as -225 favorites to win the NLCS on BetAmerica, while the Braves are +185 underdogs on DraftKings

Injuries/Suspensions

Atlanta misses a couple of starting pitchers, as both Mike Soroka and Cole Hamels suffered season-ending injuries. Los Angeles is without David Price all season long, and all other guys are ready to go. 

What’s at Stake?

The Braves haven’t won the NL pennant since 1999 when they were swept by the Yankees in the World Series. Back in the ‘90s, the Braves have dominated MLB, reaching the World Series five times, but they won only one championship in 1995. 

On the other side, the Dodgers lost two straight World Series in 2017 and 2018. They’ve been waiting for the championship since 1988. 

The Spot

The Dodgers finished the regular season with the best record in the majors (43-17). They started the playoffs in the same strong fashion, sweeping the Brewers in the wild-card series and the Padres in the division series. 

The Braves won the NL East with a 35-25 record. They also swept the previous two playoff series, outlasting the Reds and Marlins. 

The Matchup

This will be the clash of the two highest-scoring offenses from the previous regular season. The Dodgers led the majors with 5.82 runs per game, and the Braves averaged 5.80 runs per contest. Also, the Dodgers hit the most home runs (118), while the Braves were right behind them (103). 

Mookie Betts leads the Dodgers’ lineup that is full of dangerous batters including Corey Seager, Cody Bellinger, A.J. Pollock, and Max Muncy. On the other side, Freddy Freeman and Ronald Acuna lead the way for the Braves but don’t forget about Marcell Ozuna, Dansby Swanson, Travis d’Arnaud, and Adam Duvall. 

The Braves scored 18 runs in three meetings with the Marlins in the previous round, allowing just five in a return and blanking Miami in Games 2 and 3. Their pitching staff has impressed in the previous two series against the Reds and Marlins, but the Dodgers will be a completely different challenge. 

Los Angeles’ bullpen had the second-best ERA at 2.74 this past regular season. The Dodgers allowed only nine runs to the mighty Padres’ offense in the division series while scoring 23 in a return. 

When we take a closer look at the top aces on both sides, the Dodgers obviously have an advantage over the Braves. On paper, Clayton Kershaw, Walker Buehler, and Julio Urias are certainly a better trio than Max Fried, Ian Anderson, and Kyle Wright. 

The Bets

If you like watching two top-notch offensive teams take on each other, get your popcorn ready. I’ve enjoyed watching these two teams in the regular season and cannot wait to see them battling for the NL pennant. 

Also, I’m a fan of Freddy Freeman and the Atlanta Braves, but they are not going to beat the Dodgers. Max Fried and Ian Anderson are great talents, but they lack experience and will face off against a powerful Dodgers’ lineup. 

The Braves’ bullpen seems ready for the task, but I’m not so sure. Beating the Marlins, who averaged 4.38 runs per game during the regular season, and the Reds, who were terrible with 4.05 runs per contest, is nice, but the Dodgers’ bats are at a completely different level. 

Still, I expect to see a few tight and very interesting contests in this series and would be surprised if someone wins in four or five games. 

The Braves and Dodgers haven’t met each other since 2019, and the Dodgers are 14-4 in their last 18 encounters with Atlanta. Back in 2018, the Dodgers beat the Braves in the NLDS in four games. 

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