The NLCS continues on in Atlanta as the Braves host the Dodgers for the second game of this series. It was a tight tussle in the first game, with no team ever really getting a stranglehold on the game. Eventually, the Braves hit the winning run, in the ninth innings, to seal the deal and go up 1-0 in the series.
Look below to find our free MLB Picks for tonight’s National League Championship Series Game Two between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves!
Los Angeles Dodgers @ Atlanta Braves (Game 2) – 7.38pm EDT
What a first game that was, both teams had their opportunity and it really could have gone either way. The lead for either team was never more than one run throughout the entire game, with the Braves eventually getting the job done, winning 3-2. Will the scoreline be close again in the second game, or will it be more of a blowout?
A highly entertaining game to kick off the NLCS, and I really couldn’t pick who was going to win, right until the end. The Dodgers will be looking to bounce back instantly and go 1-1 in the series before heading to Los Angeles for three home games. The teams are playing back to back, so there is no time to dwell on the loss, for the Dodgers, they just need to move on, and hopefully bounce back.
It will be the experienced Scherzer on the mound for the Dodgers in Game Two and this will be his fourth postseason appearance. His performances so far this postseason back up what was a great regular season pitching. He had an ERA of 2.46 and a WHIP of 0.86, which also included a 15-4 record across 179.1 innings. Looking at Scherzer’s work this season against the Braves, he has allowed four runs which was across 12 innings. Don’t be surprised if the Dodgers bounce back here, they are constantly finding ways to come back from behind, which was evident in the NLCS last year as well as in the series against the Giants last week.
Will Smith of Los Angeles has homered. pic.twitter.com/x7T8PGmxUK
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 17, 2021
For the Braves, they will have Anderson as the starting pitcher. In his start in the NLDS he had an impressive game with five shutout innings and didn’t allow any batters to walk. Over the course of the regular season he had an ERA of 3.58 and a WHIP of 1.23, which was across 128.1 innings. This season Anderson has only faced the Dodgers once, where he allowed four runs in just 4.1 innings, but his stats against the Dodgers in the NLCS last year were much better, allowing only two runs in seven innings across two games.
The Braves have been here before, and had a comfortable 3-1 series lead to the Dodgers at the same time last year, and famously let that lead slip. The Dodgers ended up winning the NLCS last season 4-3 and made it through (and won) the World Series in 2020. They will be desperate to not let something like this happen again. When looking at the starting pitchers, I just have more trust in Scherzer, and considering how close the first game was, it is going to come down to how well the pitchers can pitch. The Dodgers were close in the first game, and they love a come from behind win, you can never count out this Dodgers team. Back the Dodgers to win the second game and level the series.
The Braves won with a walk-off hit by Austin Riley in the bottom of the 9th. Riley proved himself to be the X-factor in this game, hitting a home run in the 4th inning and batting in the game-winning run in the 9th. The Dodgers hitters were shocked by Max Fried who held the Dodgers to 2 runs in 6 innings and had 5 strikeouts.
The positive for the Dodgers was they were able to hold the Braves to 3 runs despite going 8 deep into their bullpen with no one pitching more than 1.2 innings. Going into game 2 this will be a completely different ball game as the Dodgers start Max Scherzer to steal a win in Atlanta. Scherzer was the best pitcher in the league this season and despite some rocky play during the playoffs is still a formidable foe.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) October 17, 2021
Scherzer had a 2.46 ERA, 0.86 WHIP and 236 strikeouts this season which are all top 5 marks in the league. In 12 innings against the Braves this season. Scherzer had 18 strikeouts and allowed just 4 runs. If Scherzer can bounce back from his poor performance against the Giants and play to the standard we have become used to from him, the Dodgers will wreak havoc over the Braves hitters.
The Braves will be starting Ian Anderson. Although Anderson has been decent this season with a 3.58 ERA and 1.23 WHIP, this is a bad sign for the Braves as Anderson allowed 4 runs in 4 innings in his only game against the Dodgers. This is not a good matchup for the Braves on either side of the ball so I have to go with the Dodgers to win this one.
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*Odds and spreads correct at time of publication, courtesy of FanDuel.