Ronald Acuna Jr and the Atlanta Braves will take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 1 of the 2020 NLCS. Image from @MLByahoosports (Twitter).
- The LA Dodgers take on the Atlanta Braves in the 2020 NLCS
- First pitch for Game 1 goes Monday, October 12, at 8:08 pm ET from Globe Life Field in Texas
- Los Angeles is looking to go to its third World Series in four seasons; the Braves have advanced past the NLDS for the first time since 2001
In a truly unique MLB season, the last two teams standing in the National League are two of the best.
The Los Angeles Dodgers topped baseball with 43 wins, dominating along the way. In Atlanta, the Braves were exciting, brash, and one of the more consistent performers in the NL.
Now they face off in the NL Championship Series with Game 1 going Monday (October 12) at 8:08 pm from Globe Life Field in Texas.
Braves vs Dodgers Game 1 Odds
|Atlanta Braves||+136||+1.5 (-155)||Over 8.0 (-120)|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||-147||-1.5 (+135)||Under 8.0 (+100)|
Odds as of Oct 10th.
The Dodgers have been at, or close to, the top of the World Series odds all year, and were the favorite heading into the postseason.
When it comes to the Braves vs Dodgers odds, the total is interesting. The Braves have gone under eight runs in four of their five playoff games, with their opposition getting shutout in all four.
LA’s totals were similarly low until Games 2 and 3 against the Padres.
2020 MLB MVP Odds Tracker
Fried vs Buehler in Game 1
With both sides coming off of sweeps in their respective Division Series, it seems the aces have aligned.
Walker Buehler and Max Fried started in their respective Game 1s on October 6th, so both will be pitching on a full week of rest.
Their playoff results so far have been as different as their seasons.
Fried vs Buehler: 2020 Comparison
|5.1||Innings Per Start||4.6|
Before heading to the Injured List in late August with a blister, Buehler held a 4.32 ERA through five starts. He came back and made one dominant start while blowing up in another. After another IL stint, he came back and dominated for four innings against Oakland.
Walker Buehler has struck out at least 7 batters in every start of his postseason career — an 8-game streak.
That’s the 2nd-longest streak of postseason games with at least 7 strikeouts.
Only streak longer:
1997-2001 Randy Johnson: 9 straight
— Sarah Langs (@SlangsOnSports) October 10, 2020
He has yet to go more than four innings in either postseason start, allowing two runs against the Brewers and one against the Padres. LA could opt to take the reins off against the Braves, or keep riding a mix of Buehler and the bullpen.
Fried, meanwhile, was excellent through ten starts. During that stretch, he made it through at least five innings every time and only gave up more than two runs once. He also didn’t give up a homer.
It will be #Braves LHP Max Fried vs. #Dodgers RHP Walker Buehler in Game 1 of the NLCS on Monday.
— Grant McAuley (@grantmcauley) October 10, 2020
In his last regular-season start, Fried gave up two homers in his only inning. The playoffs have been a mixed bag, tossing a seven-inning shutout against the Reds, but then giving up four runs in four innings to the Marlins.
Young Stars Square Off
While both teams have exciting young players throughout their lineups, Game 1 could be determined by the indisputable studs.
We’re talking about Cody Bellinger and Ronald Acuna Jr.
Bellinger vs Acuna: 2020 Postseason
These two have gone in opposite directions during the postseason.
Bellinger had a pedestrian Wild Card Series, but bounced back against the Padres. Meanwhile Acuna Jr was unstoppable against the Reds. And it looked like it would continue against the Marlins with everything that happened in Game 1. But in the next two games he struck out five times in seven at-bats, walking and scoring twice.
.@ronaldacunajr24 after Game 1 😤 pic.twitter.com/uqgu6lsh6q
— Bleacher Report MLB (@BR_MLB) October 6, 2020
For their careers against the starters, Bellinger has more success. In three games against Fried he’s 3-for-11 with a home run, three RBI. Acuna was left hitless in his only meeting with Buehler, going 0-for-4 with two strikeouts.
Dodgers Look to Come Out Strong
While both teams have done an excellent job defensively, this will be their toughest test all season long. That’s why a Game 1 over feels like a solid play.
In terms of result, the Dodgers are the more tested team. Their path through the Brewers and Padres is more challenging than Atlanta’s that took them through the Reds and Marlins. They should take Game 1.
The Pick: Dodgers -1.5 (+135), Over 8.0 (-120)
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.