Braves vs Brewers NLDS Game 1 Picks and Predictions: ATL's Momentum Keeps Carrying

ATL closed the regular season on a heater to capture another division crown, while the Brew Crew limped into the postseason. Check out our Braves vs Brewers picks to see if that trend will continue when Morton and Burnes take the mound for Game 1.

Last Updated: Oct 8, 2021 12:29 PM ET
Charlie Morton Atlanta Braves MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The NLDS matchup between the Atlanta Braves and Milwaukee Brewers will get started on Friday afternoon at American Family Field. This is the first time these clubs have met up in the postseason, and MLB betting lines opened with the Brewers as -141 home favorites for Game 1.

Here are our best free Braves vs. Brewers picks and predictions for Friday, October 8, with the first pitch scheduled for 4:37 p.m. ET. 

Braves vs Brewers odds

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Braves vs Brewers picks

Picks made on 10/07/2021 at 9:45 a.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Braves vs Brewers game info

Location: American Family Field, Milwaukee, WI
Date: Friday, October 8, 2021
Time: 4:37 p.m. ET
TV: TBS

Braves vs Brewers betting preview

Starting pitchers

Charlie Morton (14-6, 3.34 ERA): In his first season with Atlanta, Morton emerged as the Braves' most reliable pitcher down the stretch. In 12 starts since the beginning of August, Morton has pitched to a 2.71 ERA with a WHIP of 0.88 across 69 2-3 innings. The 37-year-old has a 3.38 ERA with 67 strikeouts across 61 1-3 postseason innings during his career. 

Corbin Burnes (11-5, 2.43 ERA): The Brewers ace is one of the best in the business and finished the regular season with the lowest ERA, second-lowest WHIP (0.94) and highest strikeouts per nine innings (12.6) in the majors. He made one start against the Braves during the regular season, surrendering nine hits and five runs in Atlanta on July 30.  

Weather

Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.

Key injuries

Braves: Ronald Acuna Jr. OF (Out), Marcell Ozuna OF (Out), Edgar Santana RP (Out).
Brewers: Jake Cousins RP (Probable), Devin Williams RP (Out), John Curtiss RP (Out).

Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Braves are 22-8 in their last 30 road games. Find more MLB betting trends for Braves vs. Brewers.

Braves vs Brewers predictions

Despite injuries to some key players, including Ronald Acuna Jr., Marcell Ozuna, and Mike Soroka, the Braves won 38 of their final 54 games to claim their fourth consecutive division title in the NL East.  

The Milwaukee Brewers ended the regular season by winning the NL Central with a 95-57 record, and a big reason for that was the play of Friday's starter, Corbin Burnes. The 26-year-old emerged as an NL Cy Young candidate and fanned 234 batters while walking just 34 in 167 innings. 

That said, there are a few factors that suggest Burnes might not have his usual success in Game 1. The right-hander didn't look quite as dominant towards the end of the season, allowing at least three earned runs in four of his last seven starts and pitching to a 3.38 ERA over that span. 

He also has a history of struggling against the Braves, allowing 14 runs and five dingers through just 6 2-3 innings in four games versus Atlanta. 

His counterpart on the Braves is veteran right-hander Charlie Morton, who played very well towards the end of the year. Morton also looked very sharp in his only start against Milwaukee this season, holding the Brewers to three hits and two runs in six innings when these teams met up on August 1. 

When it comes to hitting, Atlanta has the clear edge. The Braves ranked eighth in the majors with an OPS of .754 and bumped that number up to .770 over the last 30 days. The Brewers ranked 20th with an OPS of .713, with that figure dropping to .691 over the last 30 days. 

The Brew Crew closed out the season losing nine of their final 14 games, which isn't a good sign for momentum as they enter the playoffs. On the other hand, the Braves went 12-2 in their last 14 contests. Grab Atlanta on the moneyline.  

We mentioned that Burnes hasn't been quite as outstanding over the last couple of months, but that's only when compared to his elite level of play during the first half of the season. This is still a guy who's been one of the best pitchers in the majors since 2020 and held opposing teams to a batting average of .201 this year. 

Morton is a proven playoff performer and looked like his former All-Star self during the second half of the season. He also had a terrific OBA of .185 in 15 starts on the road this season so he should be able to limit a Brewers lineup that ranks just 27th in the majors with a batting average of .233.

With the Under going 14-6 in the Braves last 20 games on the road, back the Under again in Game 1. 

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