NLDS Game 2: Braves vs Dodgers Preview and Pick

NLDS Game 2

Braves Look to Rebound after Shutout in NLDS Game 2

NLDS Game 2 at Dodger Stadium will feature two crafty veterans on the mound. The Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers face off in the night cap in a day of MLB Playoff games.

TV: 9:37 p.m. ET, FS1  

PITCHING MATCHUP: Braves RH Anibal Sanchez (7-6, 2.83 ERA) vs. Dodgers LH Clayton Kershaw (9-5, 2.73)

ODDS: The Dodgers as -225-moneyline favorites. The game’s total sits at 7.

The Los Angeles Dodgers led the National League and finished second in the majors in homers this season. They enter Game 2 of the NL Division Series at home Friday against the Atlanta Braves after an impressive power display in the series opener.

The Dodgers slugged homers in each of the first two innings to build a four-run lead. They finished the night with three blasts to cement things. The defending NL champions posted a 6-0 victory over Atlanta in Game 1 on Thursday.

Braves Need Sanchez to Come up Big in NLDS Game 2

The Braves are in the playoffs for the first time in five years and are very young. They have to quickly forget a forgettable start from ace Mike Foltynewicz. He allowed a leadoff homer to Joc Pederson in the first inning.

Then the big blow came with a hit batsman and walk set up Max Muncy’s three-run shot with two outs in the second.

Sanchez makes his eighth career postseason appearance (seventh start) tonight. It will continue a remarkable season in which he was signed by the Braves in spring training.

He recovered from a hamstring injury to help anchor Atlanta’s youthful rotation.

The 34-year-old is 2-4 with a 2.79 ERA and a 1.16 WHIP in the playoffs. He held left-handed batters to a .191 average in the regular season and went 5-2 with a 2.67 ERA in 13 road starts.

Sanchez went 1-1 in two starts against the Dodgers. He gave up two runs on three hits in 5 1/3 innings at Los Angeles to get the win on June 9.

The only positive for the Braves was the performance of left-handers Sean Newcomb and Max Fried. They combined to strike out three and allow one hit in 3 1/3 scoreless innings after Foltynewicz lasted just two innings.

Freddie Freeman, the only position player left from the 2013 playoff team, singled in the first inning of Game 1.

Dodgers Expect Kershaw to be …. Well Kershaw

Los Angeles is an overwhelming favorite to win the series and advance to the NL Championship Series. They never were threatened as starter Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched seven innings and saved the Dodgers’ bullpen.

Enrique Hernandez added a solo homer as the Dodgers have belted 31 in their past 16 games. They finished the regular season with 235 homers.

Many people were surprised when the Dodgers started Hyun-Jin Ryu in the series opener. This was even though Kershaw allowed three runs or more three times in six starts in September.

He finished the month 3-0 with a 3.89 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP.

Kershaw makes his 20th career postseason start tonight. In 24 overall games he is 7-7 with a 4.35 ERA with 139 strikeouts in 122 innings. Kershaw beat the Braves in his only start against them in 2018.

He struck out eight with no walks and one run allowed in 7 2/3 innings on July 27 in Atlanta.

Muncy hit only five homers in 96 games across two seasons in Oakland. He belted 35 this season and has three homers and nine RBIs in his past four games.

PREDICTION: Dodgers 3, Braves 1

NLDS Game 2 Betting Odds and Trends

 

Next up:
Atlanta home to Los Angeles Sunday, October 7

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