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MLB Expert Picks: NLCS Game 5 Braves vs Dodgers Predictions, Odds

Oct 20, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Atlanta Braves left fielder Eddie Rosario (8) and center fielder Guillermo Heredia (38) and center fielder Adam Duvall (14) celebrate after the Atlanta Braves defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers during game four of the 2021 NLCS at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Atlanta Braves, the most underrated team coming into the 2021 postseason, is one win away from their first World Series in 22 years. The Dodgers, on the other hand, as defending champs were expected to not only make it back to the World Series but expected to make it back easily. Now, they are one loss away from going home and making plans for next season.

Atlanta Braves vs Los Angeles Dodgers Schedule

Braves vs Dodgers Vegas Odds

Thu 10/21, 8:08 PM VegasONLINEVegas
Dodgers -135-135-128-133-134-137
Braves +115+115+118+110+114+127
Last odds movement: Oct 22, 1:34 am ET

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Party Like It’s 1999

The Atlanta Braves, after dropping game three in Los Angeles, came out hot on Wednesday night. The scoring started for the Braves in the top of the second inning on a solo home run by Eddie Rosario. Adam Duvall added his own home run to give the Braves a 2-0 lead after two innings of play. In the top of the third, Freddie Freeman added his own home run to the mix. Joc Pederson singled to center, scoring Rosario, giving the Braves a 4-0 lead after three innings. Adam Duvall, in the top of the fifth inning, hit a sacrifice fly to score Ozzie Albies, giving the Braves a 5-0 lead. The Braves didn’t score again until the top of the ninth inning when the offense exploded for four runs. Freddie Freeman hit a double to right scoring Dansby Swanson. Then with the big blast, Eddie Rosario hit his second home run of the game, a three-run shot to deep right field giving the Braves their ninth and final run of the game.

Oct 16, 2021; Cumberland, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Max Fried (54) throws a pitch against against the Los Angeles Dodgers during the first inning in game one of the 2021 NLCS at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

The Braves are their left-hander, Max Fried to the mound to try to end the series before it would have to head back to Atlanta. Fried has pitched in two games this postseason and has put up a 1-0 record with a 1.50 ERA in 12 innings pitched with 14 strikeouts. On October 16, Fried had a no-decision against the Dodgers. In that game, Fried pitched six innings allowing two runs on eight hits while striking out five and walking none. Fried might just be who the Braves need to end this series on Thursday night.

The Dodgers Need To Score, and Score Early

The Los Angeles Dodgers, who won the 2020 World Series, are one loss away from ending their season without getting a chance to defend their title. If they want to move on, they need to figure out the Braves bullpen, and especially their starter, Max Fried. The Braves threw a bullpen game on Wednesday, and the Dodgers offense was baffled. With runners on second and third with two outs, AJ Pollock hit a sharp single to right field, scoring Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger, for their only two runs of the game. As a team, the Dodgers only pushed across four hits the entire game.

Oct 20, 2021; Los Angeles, California, USA; Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Mookie Betts (50) strikes out in the eighth inning against the Atlanta Braves during game four of the 2021 NLCS at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

The Dodgers have not yet announced their starter for game six but in all honesty, we all know that Max Scherzer is going to take the hill and give them all that he has. Once Scherzer is out of gas, the Dodgers will go with their bullpen, who only had to use three relievers in game five. Scherzer hasn’t pitched since October 17, in Atlanta where he only lasted 4.1 innings while allowing two runs on four hits to the tune of a 2.16 ERA. In those 4.1 innings that Scherzer pitched, he struck out seven and walked one. Like aforementioned, if Scherzer gets in trouble, everyone but the game four starter, Julio Urias, is fair game to come out of the bullpen.

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Who Will Win Game 5 of the NLCS?

The Braves are in the driver’s seat, with a 3-1 lead. Even if they don’t find a way to win tonight, they still have two more chances, back in front of their home fans. The Braves don’t want to give the Dodgers any momentum though, and I would look for them to close out the series tonight in Los Angeles.

Braves 5 – Dodgers 3

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