The Los Angeles Dodgers and Justin Turner are -177 favorites to defeat the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS. Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire.
- The Los Angeles Dodgers are -177 favorites to defeat the Atlanta Braves in the NLCS
- Both the Braves and Dodgers are a perfect 5-0 in the 2020 MLB postseason
- LA has won two of the past three NLCS titles
Something has to give in the NLCS. The Los Angeles Dodgers are a perfect 5-0 in the MLB playoffs. So are the Atlanta Braves.
As they clash for the right to represent the senior circuit in the World Series, at least one of them will see their train of success go off the rails.
Oddsmakers are of the opinion that team will be the Braves. Los Angeles has been established as the -177 favorite to win this best-of-seven series. The underdog Braves opened at +145.
Game 1 is Monday, October 12th, at 8:00 pm ET. The entire series will be played at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas. There will be no off days, even if the series goes the full seven games, so depth will be vital.
Braves vs Dodgers NLCS Odds
|Los Angeles Dodgers||-177|
Odds taken Oct. 9 at DraftKings.
DraftKings lists the Dodgers as the +180 chalk in the 2020 World Series odds. The Braves are the +400 third betting choice.
The Dodgers and Braves were the top two offenses in MLB during regular-season play. LA led the big leagues with 349 runs scored. Atlanta was second at 348.
The Braves topped the majors in on-base percentage (.349) and OPS (.832). LA was right behind Atlanta in OPS (.821).
The @Braves are heading to the NLCS for the first time since 2001.
They have 4 shutouts this postseason joining the 1905 New York Giants as the only teams with 4 shutouts in their first 5 games of a single postseason. The Giants won the World Series that year. pic.twitter.com/ZiePHGIzVJ
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 8, 2020
The teams tied for the MLB lead in slugging percentage (.483).
They were also one-two in home runs. The Dodgers clouted 118 round trippers. The Braves smashed 103.
Why The Braves Will Win
The Dodgers (2.98) and Braves (2.80) ranked first and second in the majors this season in runs per game from home runs. LA set an MLB record by hitting a home run in 5.1% of all plate appearances.
However, Atlanta manufactured more runs per game by means other than the long ball (3.00) than the Dodgers (2.83). That ability to generate runs with more versatility might make a difference at Globe Life Field, which is not proving to be a ballpark conducive to the long ball.
Can’t lose if you don’t allow any runs. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/5oFYLHjSzm
— MLB (@MLB) October 8, 2020
Cody Bellinger was the only Dodger to homer there in three games as LA swept the San Diego Padres in the NLDS.
As well, Max Fried and Ian Anderson, the starters at the top of Atlanta’s rotation, don’t give up home runs. According to ESPN, Anderson has thrown 764 pitchers in the big leagues. Just one of them has exited the playing surface in fair territory.
Anderson’s 0.7% homer rate was the best in the majors. Fried (0.9%) ranked sixth in this category.
2020 MLB MVP Odds Tracker
Why The Dodgers Will Win
Eight Dodgers who played in all three games of the NLDS sweep of the Padres posted an OPS of .600 or better. With the possibility of seven games in seven days, Dodger depth could prove the difference.
The Dodgers field the ball better than the Braves, as well. Atlanta ranked 22nd in the majors, allowing 3.03 runs per game from non-homers.
For the 4th time in 5 years, LA is #NLCS bound. #CLINCHED pic.twitter.com/PNofNUF6Rg
— MLB (@MLB) October 9, 2020
LA allowed just 2.00, fourth-best in baseball.
In terms of defensive runs saved, the Dodgers were second overall (+29). The Braves were 21st (-8).
It’s LA by A Bit
Don’t be surprised if the line moves slightly toward the underdog. This figures to be a tight, competitive series. Then again, so did the Dodgers-Padres series at the outset.
The Braves got here by beating Cincinnati and Miami. Those teams combined to go 64-63 during the regular season.
Neither team has lost this #postseason.
We can’t wait for this. #NLCS pic.twitter.com/2pOVCMbUHm
— MLB (@MLB) October 9, 2020
LA has outscored its opposition 30-11 in five playoff games. The Dodgers have been here and done that. This is their fourth NLCS in five years.
Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers (-177)
An industry veteran, Bob literally taught the course on the history of sports at Elder College. He has worked as a Sports Columnist for Postmedia, appeared as a guest on several radio stations, was the Vice President of the Society For International Hockey Research in Ontario, and written 25 books.