Embarrassed in their attempt to even the NLCS against the Atlanta Braves, the Los Angeles Dodgers now have their backs against the proverbial wall heading into Game 5 on Thursday’s baseball betting card. Read on to take a look at the MLB odds and the best sportsbook to bet with today.
Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers
Thrusday, October 21, 2021 – 08:08 PM EDT at Dodger Stadium
It has been a repeat performance so far by Atlanta who had a 3-1 lead in last year’s NLCS before Los Angeles rallied to win the final three games and the National League pennant. In fact, Wednesday’s 9-2 final was close to the 10-2 MLB score the Braves enjoyed in Game 4 a year ago. Atlanta’s 4-homer barrage also marked the third consecutive ‘over’ in the series and left the two sides 7-4 O/U in the last two NLCS collisions.
Coupled with the Houston Astros going up 3-2 in their ALCS against the Boston Red Sox, Atlanta’s victory on Wednesday really shook up baseball futures boards. The Astros are showing up at the top around even money as they head home to try and close out Boston, with Atlanta (+180) close behind.
Anyone who believes the Dodgers or Red Sox have comebacks in them can get some juicy underdog prices.
Another Bullpen Game for the Dodgers
Los Angeles has yet to officially name a starting pitcher for Game 5, which has delayed the MLB betting odds from being released at many outlets. Max Fried (15-7, 2.93) is set to make his third postseason start, and second in the NLCS, for Atlanta. Once numbers are more readily available to baseball bettors, we should see the Dodgers favored on a -130 moneyline with 8½ for the total.
Fried certainly did his job last Saturday in Atlanta to open up this series, tossing six innings in Game 1 and allowing two runs while striking out five. One of the eight hits Fried scattered among his 81 pitches was deposited in the left-field bleachers at Truist Park by LA catcher Will Smith.
The outing by Fried was very similar to his two appearances against the Dodgers during the regular season, the southpaw working six innings each assignment and allowing two runs in one of them, a single run in the other.
Call me old-fashioned, but not having a bonafide starting pitcher for tonight is wrong, especially for a team like Los Angeles with a payroll somewhere in the vicinity of $250 million. Dave Roberts took heat for using Julio Urias out of the bullpen in Game 2, and whether or not that was behind a sluggish performance by the young lefty on Wednesday will be a subject to debate all winter.
Roberts is now expected to send Corey Knebel out for his third appearance as an opener in the playoffs, with Brusdar Graterol and Blake Treinen likely each asked to pitch 2+ innings.
Rosario Building Free Agent Résumé
Acquired from Cleveland for Pablo Sandoval at the trade deadline, Eddie Rosario is paying huge dividends for Atlanta in the playoffs. Rosario swatted two of the Braves’ four home runs in Game 4 and has hit in all eight postseason games. Freddie Freeman also went deep in the romp, leaving him 5-for-8 the last two games.
Adding injury to insult, Los Angeles lost Justin Turner for the rest of the playoffs when the third baseman pulled up lame with a strained hamstring in the seventh inning of Wednesday’s setback. Roberts shifted Chris Taylor to the hot corner to finish up the contest, and Matt Beaty is another potential option at third base for the Dodgers.
Umpire Notes, L.A. Weather and a Free Pick
Mark Carlson, who also served with crew chief Jerry Meals on the AL Wild Card crew earlier this month, is set to call balls and strikes in Game 5. The Joliet, Illinois native just completed his 23rd year at the major league level, and his 27 plate assignments ran 15-11-1 during the regular season. Carlson had the plate for that AL Wild Card matchup between the Red Sox and Yankees, the 6-2 Boston win at Fenway Park skipping ‘over’ the 7½-run total at many of the best online betting sites.
Those partly cloudy skies over Chavez Ravine in the afternoon should begin to clear as the game progresses, the forecast including 70° at first pitch a little after 5 o’clock local time and a light southwest breeze (out to right).
I’m not ready to buy into Los Angeles coming back to win this series, but I am willing to go with LA for my free MLB pick in Game 5.
*The line and/or odds on picks in this article might have moved since the content was commissioned. For updated line movements, visit BMR’s free betting odds product.