The Atlanta Braves lead the NLCS 3-2 and will look to clinch a World Series berth against the Los Angeles Dodgers on Saturday, October 23 at Truist Park.
The Braves (+140) will go with 23-year-old right-hander Ian Anderson who struggled in Game 2 of the series, while Dave Roberts and the Dodgers (-154) will start Walker Buehler on three days of rest and will likely turn to the bullpen again for heavy innings. The total sits at a flat 8.
Here are our picks and predictions for the Dodgers vs Braves NLCS Game 5.
Dodgers vs Braves odds
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Dodgers vs Braves picks
Picks made on 10/23/2021 at 11:30 a.m. ET.
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Dodgers vs Braves game info
• Location: Truist Park, Atlanta, GA
• Date: Saturday, October 23, 2021
• Time: 5:08 p.m. ET
• TV: TBS
Dodgers vs Braves betting preview
Walker Buehlker (Postseaon: 0-0, 5.02 ERA) Walker Buehler gets the ball on short rest Saturday in a must-win game for the Dodgers. The young right-hander threw 76 pitches on Tuesday, giving up four runs on six hits and three walks over 3 2-3 innings. This will be Buehler’s fourth start this postseason and he hasn’t looked like his dominant self. This will be another short outing for the L.A. starter as Dave Roberts will likely turn to the bullpen early regardless of how Beuhler is dealing.
Ian Anderson (Postseason: 1-0, 2.25 ERA): Anderson has been very inconsistent throughout his short career in the MLB. Walks are always high for Anderson, and he struggles with command most games. However, in the postseason, Anderson has been dominant. In last year’s postseason, Anderson went 18.2 innings and allowed just two runs, finishing with an ERA of .96. This year, he’s got two more starts under his belt in this postseason and has a 2.25 ERA with two runs in eight innings. Playoff Anderson is hard to beat.
Dodgers vs Braves series odds (ATL leads 3-2)
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Dodgers: Joe Kelly RP (Out), Max Muncy 1B (Out), Danny Duffy SP (Out), Cole Hamels SP (Out), Clayton Kershaw SP (Out), Dustin May SP/RP (Out), Jimmy Nelson RP (Out), Max Scherzer SP (Questionable), Justin Turner 3B (Out)
Braves: Ronald Acuna Jr. (Out), Mike Soroka (Out) Josh Tomlin (Out), Huascar Ynoa SP (Questionable)
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Betting trend to know
Braves are 6-0 SU in their last six home games. Find more MLB betting trends for Dodgers vs. Braves.
Dodgers vs Braves predictions
Postseason pitching strategies can be unconventional and tonight’s Game 6 is no exception. Max Scherzer was supposed to start, but he was scratched with arm fatigue and his availability for the remainder of the series is up in the air.
The Dodgers opened -170 on the ML, but after the Scherzer news, the price dropped to LAD -130 on the idea that L.A. manager Dave Roberts was throwing a bullpen day...sike! Roberts pivoted from that idea and is now throwing out Walker Buehler on short rest after he struggled in Game 4 on Tuesday. Now the Dodgers sit at -165 favorites but will still need a ton of help from the bullpen.
Joe Kelly is out for the Dodgers and has been replaced on the roster by David Price, who is likely to eat an inning or two today. Price last pitched on October 2, where he gave up two runs on two hits and a walk over one inning of work. If the Braves get to see short-rest Buehler followed by cob-web Price, the Braves are live dogs Saturday.
The Braves will counter with Ian Anderson, who looked anything but sharp against the Dodgers in Game 2, going three innings and allowing two runs on three hits and three walks. However, as Houston starters Framber Valdez and Luis Garcia have proven, pitchers of this caliber can bounce back in a big way and we wouldn’t assume Anderson will struggle again. He has a proven postseason track record and can hand things over to a rested bullpen.
It’s not Roberts’ fault he’s had to get creative with his pitching, but this is Game 6, and being this unconventional is bound to blow up in his face sooner or later. Give us the Braves to wrap this thing up and cash as an underdog for the fourth time this series. +140 at home is a great price.
Over 8 (-115)
Just like the ML, the total has been bouncing around all morning. It opened at 8 with Scherzer as the probable pitcher, then hit 8.5 with what was supposed to be a bullpen day for the Dodgers. Now it has hit a flat 8 again with the news of Buehler starting on short rest.
This total hot potato has really tested our handicapping skills in a short period of time, but if we’re leaning on the Braves, we’re in the mindset that Buehler is not going to be at his best on three days of rest and Price isn’t going to throw multiple effective innings having not pitched in 20 days.
The Dodgers’ bullpen took a hit with the Kelly injury, as he was one of Roberts' best high-leverage arms. The Braves will likely see another heavy dose of this Dodgers bullpen, and although they haven’t hit it hard yet, the familiarity advantage has to have swung to the batters, who will have plenty of information to make adjustments.
The Dodgers also proved they can plate some runs without Justin Turner in the middle of the order as they plated 11 runs in Game 5 thanks to Chris Taylor’s three home runs and 13 total bases. The Dodgers finished that game with an incredible 32 total bases. If they can hit Max Fried, they can hit anyone.
If you can’t tell by now, that’s us leaning to the Over. Both lineups have shown they can hit the Over themselves, while Dave Roberts is playing with fire with his pitching strategies.
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