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Braves (TBD) vs Dodgers (May) Game 5 Picks and Odds – Oct. 16

Bryan Thiel

by Bryan Thiel in MLB Baseball

Oct 16, 2020 · 9:53 AM PDT

Bryse Wilson, Atlanta Braves SP
Bryse Wilson gave up one run and struck out five over six innings against the Dodgers in Game 4 of the NLCS. Image from @ZachKleinWSB (Twitter).
  • Bryse Wilson out-dueled Clayton Kershaw to give the Braves a 3-1 lead in the NLCS
  • Dustin May starts Game 5 for the Dodgers; the Braves have yet to name a starter
  • First pitch for Game 5 is scheduled for 9:08 pm ET from Globe Life Field in Texas

With the world expecting the Dodgers to treat Bryse Wilson the same way they did Kyle Wright, Wilson turned the tables.

Wilson tossed six innings of one hit, one run ball, out-shining Clayton Kershaw in the process. Wilson’s gutsy performance bought the Braves enough time to put together a six-run sixth, ultimately winning 10-2 and taking a 3-1 lead in the NLCS.

Now the Dodgers are facing elimination, and will have to figure it out quickly. Game 5 goes Friday, October 16th from Globe Life Field in Texas at 9:08 pm ET.

Braves vs Dodgers Odds – Game 5

Team Moneyline
Atlanta Braves (TBD) +160
Los Angeles Dodgers (Dustin May) -190

Odds as of Oct 16th from DraftKings

Despite the fact they have a chance to close out the series, the Braves are still underdogs on the moneyline.

The likely reason for that, and the lack of a total, is that no one knows who is starting for the Braves. As many expected, Game 5 is looking like a bullpen game.

Mystery Surrounds Braves Starting Pitcher

Some thought that, win or lose, Max Fried could come back on short rest after a dominant Game 1 and start Game 5. That theory was quickly put to rest.

So what options do the Braves have?

Well, they could turn back to Kyle Wright. As crazy as it seems, a day removed from giving up seven runs, it wasn’t an overly taxing outing. Wright threw just 28 pitches on Tuesday, so any potential issues would be more mental than physical.

Another option would be Josh Tomlin. Tomlin hasn’t started since September 6th, and gave up three runs in the ninth inning of Game 2. But he only threw 20 pitches that night.

Neither will give the Braves five innings, so they would be operating as an opener.

Dodgers  Turn to Dustin May

Like the Braves with Fried, the Dodgers won’t turn to Walker Buehler on short rest.

So that leaves May. An arm out of the bullpen in Game 1, he was a touch wild, but got he job done over 1.2 innings. The sophomore was actually better than Buehler in 2020 as well.

2020 Comparison: Dustin May vs Walker Buehler

May
VS
Buehler

10 Starts 8
3-1 Record 1-0
2.57 ERA 3.44
44 Strikeouts 42
16 Walks 11
1.089 WHIP 0.955
4.62 FIP 4.36

May hasn’t started since September 22nd, but threw four innings of relief on the 27th. He’s made three appearances in the postseason, going 2.0, 1.0 and 1.2 innings in the process. He’s struck out seven, walked three, and has yet to allow a run.

Whether starting or relieving, May never allowed more than two runs in any game in 2020. And of his 12 outings, six came against the Padres, Giants and Angels who finished among the top 12 in runs scored, OBP and OPS.

Freeman Keeps on Hitting

When you talk about the Braves, you typically think of Ronald Acuna Jr. He is, after all, the emotional leader of the team and had an outstanding regular season.

But entering Game 4, he had one hit in 12 plate appearances in the NLCS. Leaving the heavy lifting to Freddie Freeman.

Freddie Freeman 2020 NLCS

NLCS Game H/AB HR RBI Runs BB
Game 1 1/4 1 1 1 1
Game 2 2/4 1 3 2 0
Game 3 1/1 0 0 0 1
Game 4 1/4 0 1 1 0

At this point he’s the front runner for NLCS MVP and unless your name is Corey Seager, the race isn’t really that close. And the thing about Freeman, is that both home runs and his go-ahead double in Game 4 came off Dodger starters. He’s making his impact early in games.

Braves Must Get to Dodgers Bullpen

LA needed to go to the bullpen twice to get out of the sixth inning in Game 4. In total, they used four relievers.

Yes both teams loaded their playoff rosters with pitchers, but the Dodgers used five relievers in Game 1 and six in Game 2. In total, LA’s bullpen has given up  11 runs and 19 hits  over 11.2 innings in the three losses.

If Dustin May can’t make it through the sixth inning and the Braves can cobble a start together, Atlanta will head to the World Series.

The Pick: Braves +160

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