After squaring the series at 1-1 with a 3-0 victory, the Atlanta Braves now look to take a 2-1 series lead against the Milwaukee Brewers.
Monday’s Game 3 could go a long way toward deciding what team makes it out of the NLDS, and the Braves are in the driving seat.
MLB lines have the Braves at -119 to win, so most of the early betting support has come for the home side.
Anderson on the Mound for Braves
Ian Anderson has been trusted with the ball for the Braves, and he can handle the pressure.
He went 9-5 during the regular season and posted a 3.58 ERA. The numbers are solid for the right-hander, who went six innings for three hits and two runs against the Philadelphia Phillies in his most recent outing.
With a 5-1 record at home, Anderson has been trusted to get Atlanta off to a solid start. Its team ERA is 3.88, so starting pitching has done its job.
Runs have been scarce in the opening two games. The Braves lost Game One 2-1 before winning 3-0 in Game 2, so pitching has been the key aspect.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) October 10, 2021
Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell doesn’t believe there is any offensive frustration, despite the low-scoring games.
“It’s been a tough series to score runs for both sides,” Counsell told Reuters. “It’s two games. It’s 1-1. It’s a two-out-of-three series now. Everybody’s going to be frustrated when you just miss a pitch that you feel like you had to hit, so I think that’s natural. But I don’t think offensively there’s frustration.”
Despite posting an 89-74 record, Atlanta has been a bad bet. Bettors that have backed them in every game are losing money, and that’s likely due to its poor record at home. Atlanta is only 42-38 at home, where they would have been favorite on most of those occasions.
It’s something to ponder when taking the -119, but given the situation, Atlanta should be confident in taking the 2-1 lead.
Brewers Clinging On
It has been a successful year for Milwaukee, but we get the impression it’s holding on for dear life.
Winning Game One would have given them confidence, but now the Brewers will need to win on the road to extend the series. Winning on the road hasn’t been a problem (50-31), so bettors should have some confidence in the Brewers at +109 with the sportsbook.
The Brewers have been a good bet, but we’re worried about the offensive numbers. They rank 27th in the league for batting average, and 20th in OPS. Despite this series looking like a pitchers’ duel, they’ll need to start hitting sometime soon.
— Milwaukee Brewers (@Brewers) October 9, 2021
Scoring two runs in the first three games, it’s a desperate time. Counsell thought his team could have scored runs in the Game Two loss, but fouled the pitchers that were there to hit.
“I thought in those three innings (last three innings), we got runners on base,” Counsell said. “We had some pitches to hit. And we just fouled them off.”
There aren’t many runs expected, with bet online markets setting team totals at 3½ runs. That puts pressure on Freddy Peralta, who gets the ball for the Brewers.
The Braves are 6-0 in their last six playoff games as a favorite, and they are 5-1 in their last six as a home favorite.
Momentum is on their side after going 13-3 in their last 16 overall, so that lends reason to why bookmakers have them as favorites for Game Three.
There are some positive betting trends for the Brewers, including going 6-1 in their last seven against National League East teams. However, they are 2-10 in their last 12 games winning teams and 0-4 as a road underdog.
Another close game is expected, but our MLB picks are with the Atlanta Braves.
The -119 price is good enough to take, but we’re searching for more value. We think the Braves can win 4-1, so we’re locking in the -1½ at +160 for more value.
We expect Anderson to provide a solid six or seven innings, and if the Braves hitters can get to Peralta early, it could be curtains.