Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers Game 5 NLCS Pick – MLB October 21, 2021

It’s do-or-die time for the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday night. The Dodgers need a win to stay alive, or the Atlanta Braves are advancing to the World Series. If the Dodgers win tonight, then they will have to win two more games consecutively. The Braves jumped out to a 3-1 series lead over the Dodgers with a 9-2 win last night.

Julio Urias, who looked bad in relief duty in Game 3, was pushed around for 8 hits and 5 earned runs through 5 innings last night. Urias was so hot to close out the regular season. For the final two months of the season, Urias was one of the hottest pitchers in the major leagues. However, Urias is losing control of his command at the worst possible time.

Urias’ poor performance puts the Dodgers in a tough spot, but the offense wasn’t able to do much either. Drew Smyly was touched up for 2 hits and 2 earned runs in 3.1 innings. That was the only Brave hurler out of the six that pitched who had problems. The Dodgers were unable to do much else.

They only had 4 hits during the game, which isn’t good enough in the NLCS when you’re a team down by a game. With the sloppy attempt, the Dodgers are in a position where they must win three straight games. It’s not like the Dodgers haven’t won three straight games before, but the Braves have peaked and are playing confident baseball at the moment.

The Dodgers are expected to go with a bullpen game to get this series to Game 6. All the Dodgers need is a break to go their way, but they might have already gotten it in Game 3. Down in the 8th inning, Cody Bellinger saved the day with a 3-run bomb to tie it up at 5-2, and then another run sealed the deal. That was too close.

Joe Kelly or Corey Knebel is going to open this bullpen game for the Dodgers. This strategy has worked out well in the past for the Dodgers, and fortunately, Urias will not be available tonight. He’s hurt the Dodgers a couple of times. The Braves are expected to counter with the dependable Max Fried. Head below for our free Braves vs. Dodgers NLCS Game 5 pick on October 21, 2021.

Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers Live Odds and Betting History:

The following odds are courtesy of BetOnline:

Teams Spread Moneyline Total
Atlanta Braves +1.5 (-168) +127 Under 8 (-105)
LA Dodgers -1.5 (+148) -137 Over 8 (-115)
Team Data Atlanta Braves LA Dodgers
Overall Record 94-75 111-61
Away/Home Record 48-37 55-33
Batting Average .241 .240
Batting Average Away/Home .236 .241
Runs Per 9 5.03 5.15
Team ERA 3.83 3.04
Team ERA Away/Home 3.68 3.01

Braves vs. Dodgers Prediction:

Max Fried gets the honors to attempt to close out the Dodgers on Thursday night. Fried deserves the honors, as he’s been in great form through two postseason appearances. This is a continuation from what he was doing towards the end of the regular season.

Fried hasn’t allowed more than 3 earned runs in a start since July 23. He’s conceded 2 or fewer earned runs in five straight outings going into Dodger Stadium.

In his first postseason outing this season, Fried gave up 3 hits and no runs in a 3-0 win over the Milwaukee Brewers. He lasted 6 innings, and then did the same against the Dodgers.

Fried gave up 2 earned runs in 6 innings in a 3-2 win over the Dodgers. Through two games, Fried has an ERA of 1.50 and a 0.92 WHIP in 12 innings. He posted an ERA of 3.04 and a 1.08 WHIP in the regular season, so his arm has been one of the most steady in the rotation.

Atlanta Braves vs. LA Dodgers Betting Trends:


  • Record (Last 10): 8-2
  • 6-1 overall in their previous seven games
  • 9-3 overall in their previous 12 games on the road
  • 1-6 overall in their previous seven games at Dodger Stadium
  • UNDER is 5-0 in Max Fried’s previous five games on the road
  • UNDER is 4-0 in Max Fried’s previous four starts versus the NL West
  • UNDER is 8-0 in their previous right games as an underdog on the road


  • Record (Last 10): 5-5
  • 18-2 overall in their previous 20 games at Dodger Stadium
  • 6-1 overall in their previous seven games versus the Braves at Dodger Stadium
  • UNDER is 12-3-2 in their previous 17 games on a Thursday
  • UNDER is 7-3 in their previous ten games versus the NL East

It’s up to the Dodgers’ bullpen in Game 5. They aren’t going with a clear starter, so their reliable bullpen has to get hot tonight. The Dodgers’ bullpen has recorded an ERA of 2.74 and a 0.81 WHIP in the postseason.

Corey Knebel, who may open the game, has a 2.45 ERA and 0.97 WHIP this season. Joe Kelly could start as well. He has posted an ERA of 2.86 and a 0.98 WHIP in 2021.

Desperate times call for desperate measures, and the Dodgers are going to empty their pitching staff from the bullpen if that’s what it takes. The Dodgers are going to throw everything out of the bullpen in this one.

The Dodgers have the stable to pull this one off, we’ve seen them do it before. However, if the offense falls flat against Max Fried again, then it may not matter. I’m going to side with a low-scoring game on the UNDER.


Braves vs. Dodgers Pick
Kyle E / Author

Kyle is a veteran of TheSportsGeek and has spent nearly a decade providing accurate sports picks and writeups here. He has been a sports handicapper for 10+ years and started sharing his picks and thoughts in 2011 at TheSportsGeek. His expertise spans across multiple sports, including the NFL, NCAAF, MLB, NHL, and horse racing. Prior to writing for TheSportsGeek, Kyle was a fantasy football expert, who ultimately parlayed it into a successful sports betting career. You can find his picks daily only at TheSportsGeek.

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