A heavyweight battle gets underway Monday, October 12, 2020, when the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers begin game one of the National League Championship Series. Los Angeles will be the home team in game one, but this series will be taking place in Arlington. This game will air live on FOX at 8:08 p.m. EST.
Atlanta has ridden their pitching to the NLDS as they easily dispatched the Miami Marlins in the NLDS. The Braves swept the three-game series and did not allow a run in the final two games against Miami. So far in the 2020 playoffs, Atlanta pitching has shutout its opponents in four of the five games played.
Los Angeles has also had a strong pitching performance this postseason and swept the San Diego Padres in their three-game NLDS series. The Dodgers easily won game one and three but fought for a tough 6-5 game two win. Los Angeles has allowed just 11 runs in five playoff games.
The Dodgers are heavy -215 favorites to advance to the World Series. Atlanta can be grabbed at +172 to get past Los Angeles.
Below is my pick for the Atlanta Braves vs Los Angeles Dodgers. All odds are from DraftKings Sportsbook.
Atlanta Braves (+135) vs Los Angeles Dodgers (-157)
Pitching Matchup (Playoffs): Max Fried (0-0, 3.27 ERA, 1.09 WHIP) vs Walker Buehler (0-0, 3.38 ERA, 1.38 WHIP)
Max Fried pitched in both Braves first two series and has suffered no-decisions in both outings. Friend was fantastic in game one of the NLWCS as he held the Cincinnati Reds to just six hits and no earned runs in 7.0 innings pitched. Atlanta went on to win the game 1-0 in 13 innings. Fried then took the mound in game one of the NLDS and allowed six hits and four earned runs in 4.0 innings of work against the Miami Marlins. The Braves went on to win the game 9-5.
Walker Buehler has started game one of both Dodgers series so far and has been good in limited action. Buehler has only pitched four innings in each game and then handed it off to the bullpen. In game one of the NLWCS, against the Milwaukee Brewers, Buehler allowed three hits and two earned runs in those four innings. Buehler then pitched game one of the NLDS and allowed two hits and one earned run against the San Diego Padres.
With the regional scheduling during the regular season, these teams did not play in 2020.
MLB Predictions: I like the Atlanta Braves to get the win and take a 1-0 series lead.
2020 Picks Record: 65-46