Max Fried (7-0, 2.25 ERA) vs. Walker Buehler (1-0, 3.44 ERA)
We are in the bubble in Arlington at Globe at Globe Life Field on Monday night for Game 1 of the NLCS. The ALCS got a head start on the NLCS, as the Tampa Bay Rays edged out the Houston Astros for a 2-1 win on Sunday. The Astros struck in the first inning against Blake Snell, but he settled in and cruised for 5 innings of work.
Framber Valdez pitched a strong game as well, though the 2 runs he gave up ended up being the deciding factor in Game 1 of the ALCS. Both the ALCS and NLCS will be played on Monday for a day of exciting baseball on Columbus Day.
I’m more interested in the NLCS today than the ALCS. It’s going to be an exciting series between two very good teams. The Dodgers are the favorites to win the World Series, but I don’t have to go over again how they’ve been chokers in the postseason.
Many would say they got jobbed out of the 2017 World Series against the Astros. This season might be a year of redemption for the Dodgers. They can put all of their frustrations to bed with a World Series win in 2020. If the Dodgers can’t win with the talent on their current roster, then are they ever going to get over their postseason demons?
The Dodgers are coming off a three-game sweep of a good San Diego Padres team. The Dodgers and Padres could develop into a nice rivalry over the next several years with Fernando Tatis Jr. in San Diego. Chalk one up for the Dodgers in 2020.
Conversely, the Atlanta Braves enter the NLCS following a sweep of the Miami Marlins. The Marlins were a nice story, and I think there were more than a few people with a “lottery” ticket on the Marlins to win the World Series, but their fun is over for now. The Braves beat the Marlins by a combined score of 18-5 for an easy series.
Note that the Braves haven’t lost a postseason game. They swept the Cincinnati Reds in two games in the Wild Card before dispatching the Marlins in the NLDS. The Braves and Dodgers are both on fire right now, but somebody has to lose. Head below for our free Braves vs. Dodgers Game 1 pick in the NLCS on October 12, 2020.
Atlanta Braves vs. LA Dodgers NLCS Game 1 Betting Odds:
Braves vs. Dodgers Game 1 Prediction:
26-year-old Max Fried had himself a season with the Braves in 2020. The second-year full-time starter set new highs, as he smashed his ERA of 4.02 and 1.33 WHIP from last season. Fried went crazy for a perfect record of 7-0 with a 2.25 ERA and 1.09 WHIP. He did enough to be in the NL Cy Young discussion as a dark horse candidate, but can make a name for himself in Game 1 of the NLCS against the Dodgers on Monday night.
In the most pressure he’s had in his young career, Fried will be counted on to outperform Walker Buehler in this one. Fried is coming off a shaky performance against the Marlins on October 6. The offense was able to help Fried out, but he was not in good form. The Marlins got to Fried for 6 hits and 4 earned runs through 4 innings of work. He was terrific against the Reds in the Wild Card series.
Fried didn’t give up a run across 7 innings. His postseason numbers took a hit with that performance against the Marlins, though. Fried goes into Monday with an ERA of 3.27 and 1.09 WHIP after getting drilled for a 9.00 ERA and 1.50 WHIP versus the Marlins.
The current Dodgers’ lineup has seen Fried in 27 at-bats. They’ve had no issues figuring him out. The Dodgers are hitting .365 with a .458 OBP versus Fried in those 27 appearances at the plate. In a game that will probably come with some nerves for the relatively inexperienced Fried, I can see the Dodgers have a fairly productive evening against him. Walker Buehler on the other hand has been lights out against the Braves.
In 37 at-bats, Buehler has held the Braves to a .130 batting average and .143 OBP. That’s some impressive dominance against a fairly capable Braves’ offense. Buehler is also going into Monday with a lot of confidence. He hasn’t conceded 2 earned runs or more in six straight starts. Buehler had a bumpy start to the regular season, but has since rebounded nicely. I will back the Dodgers in Game 1 of what should be a highly entertaining series in the NLCS.