Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers: Game 3 Odds, Picks and Preview -- 10/19/2021

by Chuck Sommers

Game time: 5:08 p.m. ET
Venue: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA
Where to watch: TBS

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Dodgers -170, Braves +150
BetMGM: Dodgers -189, Braves +160
Caesars: Dodgers -172, Braves +157

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Braves - Dodgers preview and analysis


Game 3, National League Championship Series -- Braves lead 2-0

Here we go again?

There’s this sense of deja vu in the National League Championship Series, but one wonders if this time will be different?

With back-to-back walk-off wins, the Atlanta Braves have a 2-0 series lead over the Los Angeles Dodgers. It’s almost like last year in the bubble where the Braves took a 2-0 lead, and even a 3-1 lead on the Dodgers, before L.A. reeled off three straight to make the World Series and, eventually, win the championship.

Game 3 is in Dodger Stadium on Tuesday.

The Braves rallied from down two runs in the eighth to tie the game with some aggressive base running. Eddie Rosario scored from second on a single from Ozzie Albies, evading the tag wide and getting his left hand there.

Austin Riley, the hero from Game 1, delivered a game-tying double at the next at-bat in which Albies just beat the cut-off throw.

Rosario drove in Dansby Swanson in the bottom of the ninth when a ground ball popped off Trea Turner’s glove to send Atlanta into euphoria.

“You better not leave early when this team is down, because you’ll end up missing the best part of the game and listening to it on your radio when you’re driving home,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said. “These guys never quit.”

This wasn’t a game the Braves were supposed to win. Their pitchers had nine walks, Freddie Freeman strikes out every time he reaches the box, and Max Scherzer was on the mound Sunday. It had all the makings of the Dodgers evening this series back to L.A.

But Scherzer lasted only 4.1 innings while striking out seven. He said after the game that his arm felt “dead,” likely the effects of getting the save in Game 5 against the San Francisco Giants.

Scherzer wasn’t the only starter manager Dave Roberts turned to in Game 2. Julio Urias, the team’s 20-game winner, was asked to come into the eighth inning on two days' rest to keep a two-run lead. Clearly, that decision backfired and Kenley Jansen got rocked in the ninth for the loss.

“He hadn’t thrown a bullpen and he was the best option at that point in time,” Roberts said. “He was prepared for it. It was a perfect spot for him, and getting him through that eighth to go to Kenley to finish the game.”

Much like other decisions Roberts has made in his career, it in fact was not a perfect spot. But it is a spot that the Dodgers have been in before, against this very team. The Dodgers had four runs on only four hits, but still kept it to within one run -- while even leading at one point. Corey Seager hit a two-run homer, while Chris Taylor provided the other two runs with a double in the seventh.

But the Dodgers could’ve used six more hits like the Braves had. One of those came in the bottom of the fourth when Joctober struck again. Joc Pederson hit yet another home run, this one a two-run shot to tie the game. If he’s only good for one hit like he was on Sunday, that hit usually tends to come at a huge time in the postseason for one Mr. Pederson.

“We get knocked down a few times, but we're able to grind back, get a guy on, get him over and then come up with a big hit,” Pederson said. “So it's pretty special.”

Game 3 is set to be another stellar pitching matchup when Charlie Morton goes up against Walker Buehler. Morton is 0-1 this postseason with a 3.86 ERA, while Buehler is also 0-1 but to only hold a 3.38 ERA.

Prediction


The NLCS will not be decided until some team steals home-field advantage, but I don’t feel it to be the Braves on this night. The Dodgers falling behind 3-0 would be disastrous, and Buehler has been a big-game arm for them all season. L.A. will play a much better brand of baseball and pause from giving its fans a heart attack of playoff baseball. Dodgers win 5-3

Betting trends


The Braves are 0-6 this season as an underdog of +150 or more.

Atlanta is 40-28 this season after playing two straight home games.

The under is 18-6 since 1997 when the Dodgers were home favorites of -150 to -200.

Key injuries


Braves: RF Jorge Soler (illness, out)

Dodgers: 3B Justin Turner (neck, day-to-day), Max Muncy (elbow, out)

Projected lineup


Braves:
Eddie Rosario (L) LF
Freddie Freeman (L) 1B
Ozzie Albies (S) 2B
Austin Riley (R) 3B
Joc Pederson (L) RF
Adam Duvall (R) CF
Travis d'Arnaud (R) C
Dansby Swanson (R) SS
Charlie Morton (R) P

Dodgers:
Mookie Betts (R) RF
Corey Seager (L) SS
Trea Turner (R) 2B
Will Smith (R) C
Gavin Lux (L) CF
Chris Taylor (R) 3B
Cody Bellinger (L) 1B
AJ Pollock (R) LF
Walker Buehler (R) P

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Chuck Sommers

About the Author:

Chuck Sommers has camped outside of sportsbooks since he can remember, learning the tricks and nuances of the trade. He still has nightmares of betting $5,000 on the Raiders in the Tuck Rule game but has since turned that to 25 years of veteran handicapping greatness. You can find him mostly in the shadows at the Red Rock or Aliante casinos wondering if the over is cashing on any given Sunday.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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