The Wild-Card games lived up to expectations, but now the real postseason begins as the Divisional rounds get underway on Thursday. First up will be the St. Louis Cardinals, who won the NL Central, visiting Atlanta to take on the NL East champion Braves. The second game of the day will see the Washington Nationals, who had a comeback win in the Wild-Card game, visiting LA to take on the NL West champion Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Cardinals are led by Paul Goldschmidt and Kolten Wong and will throw Miles Mikolas on the mound for Game 1. The Braves are a little banged up, but will be relying on Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna Jr. to give Dallas Keuchel some run support Thursday.
The Nationals will head to LA with Patrick Corbin on the mound and for the offense looking to carry over their late inning magic. The Dodgers will rely on MVP favorite Cody Bellinger to support whomever Dave Roberts decides to start.
Below are my picks for the Thursday’s NLDS games. All lines are from the FanDuel Sportsbook.
St. Louis Cardinals (+120) at Atlanta Braves (-138) – O/U 9 total runs scored (-104/-116)
These teams played six times in 2019, with all matchups taking place in May, with the Braves winning four of the six games. The teams were heading in two different directions in May as the Braves were beginning their ascent towards the top of the NL East and the Cardinals were sitting in third place of the NL Central.
I’m going to go with the Cardinals in this one as Miles Mikolas has been better of late than Dallas Keuchel. Between the pitching advantage and all of the Braves injuries take the Cardinals at +120.
Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Dodgers – no line currently available
The Dodgers won the season series 4-2, but the two have not played since late July. The Nationals were 43-38 on the road this season and were 34-15 as run line underdogs. The Dodgers were a remarkable 59-22 at home and were 76-78 as a run line favorite.
I think the Nationals will be somewhat competitive in this series, but I like the Dodgers to take Game 1. Take the Dodgers.
MLB Playoffs Record: 1-0