|LAD (-138) @ Fanduel|
My 10* PERFECT STORM is on the LA Dodgers at 4:38 ET.
The Dodgers' season was on the brink in Game 5 but Mookie Betts' third-inning, shoestring catch altered the momentum, and then Will Smith's sixth-inning three-run HR put LA up for good at 4-2. Let's also not forget SS Corey Seager, who homered twice (the 2nd coming in LA's three-run 7th) in the Dodgers' 7-3, season-saving victory over the Braves. Seager 'flies under the radar' in LA's star-packed lineup but he now has 10 RBI in this NLCS, the most in a LCS since Nelson Cruz (Texas) set the record with 13 in 2011.
LA finally started to reach Atlanta pitching by scoring SEVEN runs in the final three innings of an 8-7 Game 2 loss. Then came a 15-3 win in Game 3 (record-setting 11-run 1st), before the Dodgers went meekly 10-2 in Game 4 to fall in a 1-3 'hole.' LA still trails Atlanta 3-2 and must win Saturday and Sunday to reach the World Series, but Friday's win has to give them a real shot of confidence. The Dodgers will NEED that confidence as Atlanta will send Max Fried to the mound in Game 6, with LA countering with Walker Buehler (a rematch of the Game 1 starters).
Fried allowed just one run on four hits over six innings in Game 1, a contest not decided until the Braves broke open a one-all game with a four-run 9th. Fried delivered an outstanding regular season for an Atlanta pitching staff that was decimated by injuries. He made 11 starts, going 7-0 with a 2.25 ERA, 1.09 WHIP and .211 BAA, as the Braves won 10 of his 11 starts. He pitched seven scoreless innings in his Game 1 start vs Cincy, as the Braves won 1-0 in 13 innings. His Game 1 start vs Miami was not very good, as he allowed four ERs on six hits over just four innings but Atlanta's six-run 7th gave the Braves a 9-5 win. Add in Atlanta's 5-1 win in Game 1 of this series and the Braves enter this game 13-1 in his 14 starts here in 2020.
Here's the 'dope' on LA's Buehler. He made 30 starts for LA in 2019, going 14-4 with a 3.26 ERA, 1.04 WHIP and .223 BAA. He only earned ONE win during the regular season zero losses), as the Dodgers went 7-1 in his eight regular season starts, during which he was bothered in September by some finger issues. He ended the regular season with a 3.44 ERA, 0.95 WHIP (42-11 KW ratio) and an outstanding BAA of .178. However, his longest outing all season was just SIX innings. The Dodgers had won both of his postseason starts but Buehler only finished FOUR innings in each outing, before his Game 1 matchup with Fried. Buehler allowed just one run on three hits over five innings in that contest, although he walked FIVE batters.
I've played on Fried MANY times this season (I had him over Buehler in Game 1 of this series) but I'll play the Dodgers in this one. The Braves have that great top of the lineup (Acuna, Freeman and Ozuna, two red-hot starters in Fried and Anderson plus a bullpen, that for the most part, has delivered this season. However, the pen allowed LA seven runs in the final three innings in Game 2, did little to 'stop the bleeding' in the Game 3 blowout and then there was last night. A.J. Minter delivered three scoreless innings, after which FIVE Atlanta relievers allowed SEVEN runs! As for LA, which has had bullpen woes, SIX relievers handled seven innings behind starter Dustin May allowed one run on four hits with a 7-1 KW ratio). Blake Treinen dominated over two innings to earn the victory, Brusdar Graterol rebounded after a rough outing in Game 4 to retire all three batters he faced, and Kenley Jansen appeared to exorcise his demons in the ninth, striking out the side to end the game on 12 pitches in a non-save situation.
Do the Dodgers suddenly have late-inning options again? Let's NOT forget that LA won EIGHT more games than Atlanta in the regular season plus owned a MLB-best plus-136 run differential, more than DOUBLE that of Atlanta's (plus-60). LA sends this to a Game 7 on Sunday!