Clayton Kershaw gets the start for the Dodgers in Game 2 of the NLCS against the Atlanta Braves. Image from @DodgerBlue1958 (Twitter).
- The Atlanta Braves lead the LA Dodgers 1-0 in the 2020 NLCS
- Clayton Kershaw starts Game 2 for the Dodgers while Ian Anderson goes for the Braves on Tuesday
- First pitch is at 6:05 pm ET from Globe Life Field in Texas
For eight innings, Game 1 of the NLCS was as tight as it could be between the Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers.
The teams traded solo home runs, with each side dancing in and out of trouble. Then the Braves broke through, blowing up LA’s bullpen in the ninth.
Now the Dodgers are looking to tie the series up 1-1 in Game 2 on Tuesday (Oct. 13th, 6:05 pm ET). They’ll send Clayton Kershaw to the mound to face Ian Anderson in Game 2 at Globe Life Field at 6:05 pm ET on Tuesday.
Braves vs Dodgers Odds – Game 2
|Atlanta Braves||+142||+1.5 (-144)||Over 7.5 (-120)|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||-164||-1.5 (+124)||Under 7.5 (-102)|
Odds as of Oct 13th at FanDuel.
Despite losing Game 1, the Dodgers are still favored in Game 2. In fact, the Braves vs Dodgers odds look fairly similar to Game 1. The biggest change is the total. With how tightly contested Monday was, it isn’t surprising to see the total drop down to 7.5.
Kershaw Has Experience Over Anderson
Game 2 will spotlight two pitchers at opposite ends of their careers.
Clayton Kershaw is trying to get back to the World Series and ditch the “October underachiever” label. Ian Anderson has been a big leaguer since August. But the 22-year old has been a pretty good one.
Anderson vs Kershaw: 2020 Comparison
|5.1||Innings Per Start||5.8|
Kershaw posted the third-lowest ERA and second-lowest WHIP of his career. He shaved nearly a full walk off of last season’s BB/9, and maintained his K/9 from last season. He was nearly flawless in the Wild Card round against the Brewers (8.0 innings, 13 strikeouts, three hits), and while the Padres touched him up in the NLDS, he escaped with the lead and eventually a win.
Clayton Kershaw against the Atlanta Braves in the postseason:
3 G, 21 IP, 1 ER
— Daniel Starkand (@DStarkand) October 12, 2020
All we know about Anderson is what he’s shown us this year. He strikes out a lot of batters (11.4 K/9) but walks a lot too (3.9 BB/9). He’s reigned in the free passes during the postseason, walking just three batters over 11.2 innings, and he’s yet to surrender a run.
But the Dodgers’ patient approach could get to him.
Pitches Seen per Inning in Game 1
|Atlanta Braves Pitches Seen||18||20||19||27||10||12||7||18||31|
|Los Angeles Dodgers Pitches Seen||28||17||12||12||12||15||14||13||9|
The Dodgers did a good job of making Max Fried throw a lot of pitches in the first and second innings of Game 1, but got away from that approach in the latter stages. If they get back to being patient, they’ll have success against Anderson.
Braves 8+ Strikeout Playoff Games:
2000-2019: 2 (Mike Hampton in ‘03, Derek Lowe in ‘10)
2020: 3 (Ian Anderson twice and Max Fried tonight)
— Danny Hacker (@theGREATdanny94) October 13, 2020
Atlanta actually saw more pitches per plate appearance in 2020 than LA. They averaged 3.96, good for 14th, while the Dodgers slid in at 25th with 3.89. But the Braves had the fifth-highest swinging-strike percentage. They topped out at 21.2%, while the Dodgers were 26th at 18.0%.
So LA will make Anderson work for it.
2020 World Series Odds Tracker
Decision on Duvall Looms
While on the surface it simply looks like a blow to the Braves’ offense, the loss of Adam Duvall could have long-lasting implications.
Adam Duvall is coming out of the game after hitting a foul ball & grabbing his left side. pic.twitter.com/sx2Fi0d16l
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 13, 2020
For Game 2, Atlanta will simply be missing a big right-handed bat in the middle of their order, who has had some success against the Dodgers. But, with just four players on the bench, the Braves have to decide if they can wait it out with Duvall. If they replace him, their bench goes back to four hitters, but he’s ineligible for the World Series.
Otherwise they could be left with just three bats off the bench for the foreseeable future.
NLCS Still Evenly Matched
Despite a lopsided result, for eight innings we saw that this was a match-up between the two best teams in the NL.
With no days off and plenty of experience, the Dodgers recognize the urgency of coming back strong in Game 2. And despite using six pitchers, LA has a deep bullpen that should rebound.
Expect a tight Game 2 with the Dodgers evening things up.
The Pick: Dodgers (-164), Under 7.5 (-102)
Bryan has spent the last decade working in the sports industry. He can be found conducting sideline interviews for SKY Sports and gathering post-match reactions for BBC. The sportcaster’s broadcasts stream on CBC Sports, Game TV, and Premier TV in the UK.