Game 4 doesn’t normally turn out to be the most important game in a playoff series, but the MLB Division Series isn’t normal. These are best-of-five affairs, which means someone is guaranteed to be down 2-1 and facing elimination heading into Game 4 – the series would be over otherwise.
As it happens, both Atlanta and Los Angeles have their backs up against the wall this Saturday. Let’s see what’s on the MLB odds board for these matchups.
As usual, we’re restricting ourselves to “straight” bets (spread, moneyline or total) here, although we’re willing to recommend multiple bets for each game if the baseball odds are in our favor.
Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies
Saturday, October 15, 2022 – 02:07 PM EDT at Citizens Bank Park
Our first NLDS contest features the reigning World Series champions – who will be heading straight for the golf course if they lose their Game 4.
It’s almost a crime that Atlanta finds themselves on the brink. But they split the first two games of this series at home, then they got hammered 9-1 on Friday as –117 road faves. These things happen.
This is still the better team on paper. The Braves have the hitting advantage, and they have a very slight pitching advantage according to FanGraphs:
- Atlanta: 22.8 WAR (No. 3)
- Philadelphia: 22.7 WAR (No. 4)
That tiny gap increases somewhat when you look at the projected starters for Game 4. Charlie Morton (3.61 xFIP) gets the nod for Atlanta, and he hasn’t had much luck this year, dropping 0.89 betting units on a team record of 18-13, but Morton also has tons of postseason experience – and two World Series rings to show for it.
Atlanta’s bullpen is also a fair bit better than Philadelphia’s. Getting blown out early in Game 3 wasn’t ideal by any means, but at least they didn’t end up using their top relief men. Closer Kenley Jansen (3.46 xFIP) has only pitched one inning this postseason, earning the save Wednesday in a 3-0 win for the champs.
Go figure, Noah Syndergaard (4.29 xFIP) also pitched a scoreless inning of relief in that game. The Phillies took their sweet time before naming Syndergaard their starter for Game 4. He finished the regular season down 5.67 units on a team record of 11-13, but went 6-2 after coming over from the Los Angeles Angels at the trade deadline.
Syndergaard helped the New York Mets reach the 2015 World Series, so he’s familiar with pitching on the East Coast in October. Saturday’s forecast calls for clear skies and temperatures around 70 at game time, but with winds around 10-15 mph heading straight out to center field.
The numbers don’t really add up for either side in this contest. FiveThirtyEight likes Atlanta to win 56% of the time, or –127 using the festive BMR Odds Converter. Maybe the champs are worth a slight lean as –118 favorites at Bookmaker (visit our Bookmaker Review), but we’re going Over 9 (+100) for a small bet instead, given the wind conditions and the deal we’re getting on juice.
MLB Pick: Over 9 (+100) at Bookmaker
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Diego Padres
Saturday, October 15, 2022 – 09:37 PM EDT at Petco Park
The NLDS nightcap sees the 2020 champs on the ropes, down 2-1 in this series after losing Game 3 by the same score. Up is down, dogs and cats living together – you know, playoff baseball.
The Dodgers are the better team in every facet of the game. They were also our official MLB pick at +300 to win the World Series, so they’d better get the job done Saturday.
Tyler Anderson (4.11 xFIP) gets that assignment. He led Los Angeles to a 20-8 record and 3.04 units in profit during the regular season, although Anderson’s 2.57 ERA is a bit of a mirage. The Under also went 17-10-1 in his 28 starts.
It’s not that the Padres are garbage or anything – but their plus-45 run differential during the regular season is the worst of all the playoff teams, and 289 runs behind the Dodgers.
Good thing they have Joe Musgrove (3.47 xFIP). He’s been a total stud this year, racking up 2.99 units in earnings on a team record of 19-11 (Over 18-12). And Musgrove has allowed just one earned run in his last five starts combined. Yowza.
It’s a late Friday night out here on the West Coast as I write this, and the sportsbooks still haven’t come up with the MLB lines for this matchup, but FiveThirtyEight have the Dodgers at 57% to win, so that’s about –133 on the moneyline.
We’ll stick with L.A. as our generic pick here at the ranch; grab them if they’ve opened at a good price, and may the sphere be with you.
*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.