The Braves are one win away from a World Series appearance for the first time since 1999. With Ian Anderson on the mound for the Braves, should Atlanta backers be confident? Let’s get into the MLB odds for this one.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Atlanta Braves
Saturday, October 23, 2021 – 08:08 PM EDT at Truist Park
- Dodgers: Likely Bullpen Game
- Braves: Ian Anderson (9-5, 3.58 ERA)
The Dodgers haven’t announced a pitcher for tonight’s game, which is a must-win situation, down 3-2 in the NLCS. But don’t worry! They're still favorites, on the road, without a starting pitcher. The Dodgers are without a starting pitcher because Max Scherzer has been scratched from his start due to potential fatigue in his throwing arm.
He had been complaining about his arm after Game 2 and it looks like Scherzer might not be comfortable pitching with a dead arm in a game where the Dodgers have to win. There is some speculation that the Dodgers could use Walker Buehler and Max Scherzer in Game 7 if the series gets to that point. However, we need to worry about what’s going to happen in today's game instead of worrying about tomorrow.
Ian Anderson is going to take the mound for the Braves, looking to help them clinch the NL and a World Series playoff berth for the first time since 1999. Anderson has been a stud in the postseason holding an ERA of 2.25 in two starts this season. Last year, Anderson went 18.2 innings and held an ERA of .96. For Anderson, walks are always going to be high and command is always going to be off.
But he won’t allow much heavy hard contact and has the potential to strike batters out. Anderson just needs to get ahead of counts more often. The Braves and Anderson should be able to adjust their game plan accordingly and help Anderson keep the walks down and elevate the strikeouts. In the last 30 days, Anderson has allowed a 4.84 xFIP with just 17.2 percent strikeouts and 10.3 percent walks.
However, this season, he struck out 22.4 percent of batters and induced 52.2 percent ground balls. I like him to get back to that moving forward into this game. The walks will be there but strikeouts and ground balls will allow him to escape damage like he’s done throughout his career in the postseason.
Anderson will face a Dodgers lineup that has struck out 20.9 percent in the last 30 days against righties. Will Smith, Chris Taylor, Cody Bellinger, and A.J. Pollock have struck out more than 21 percent against righties in that same time frame and I didn’t even include the pitcher’s spot, which is usually good for a strikeout here and there. Anderson’s strikeout prop is listed at 3.5 at -108 and I like him to hit that number.
He struggled against the Dodgers in his last outing as he walked three and struck out two but overall, Anderson has all the potential and stuff to get batters out. He had a game where he went 4.1 innings, allowed four runs, and still struck out six batters against the Dodgers back in June.
Anderson is going to have a short leash, so you likely won’t see him stay in the game if he’s allowing four runs, but what I’m getting at is that this number is still very low for a guy that can go at least five innings in this start so let's bank on that for our MLB pick of the day.
MLB Pick: Ian Anderson Total Strikeouts Over 3.5 (-108) at Bovada (visit our Bovada Review)
*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.