NLCS Game 4 Preview: Braves vs. Dodgers Odds & Prediction

Braves vs. Dodgers Odds

Braves Odds +188
Dodgers Odds -225
Over/Under 8
Date Wednesday, Oct. 20
Time 8:08 p.m. ET
TV TBS

On Wednesday evening, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves will battle in the National League Championship Series at Truist Park. Atlanta took care of business in the series opener, securing a 3-2 victory. In Game 2, the Braves stole a victory thanks to some questionable managerial decisions and poor defense from the Dodgers. Yesterday, Atlanta’s bullpen usage finally caught up to them, as we have been predicting. The Dodgers rallied from a three-run deficit in the eighth inning to get their first win of the series. In Game 4, Atlanta will send Huascar Ynoa to the hill as they go for a commanding 3-1 series lead. He will be opposed by Julio Urias. Oddsmakers are expecting the Dodgers to even the series, pricing Los Angeles as -225 home favorites.

Let’s take a deeper look at the matchup to see where bettors can find value at sportsbooks for Game 4 of the NLCS.

Atlanta Braves (+188)

Across 91.0 innings of work this season, Ynoa posted a 4.05 ERA, 4.30 xERA, and a 3.93 FIP. He was atrocious when pitching away from Truist Park with a 4.78 FIP and a pedestrian 21.5 strikeout percentage. After returning from the injured list in mid-August, Ynoa had a 5.05 ERA and a 4.08 FIP in nine trips to the mound. In his only appearance this postseason, he allowed two earned runs in a single inning of relief work. Having not thrown more than 22 pitches in a game since October 1, bettors should expect Ynoa to be an elongated opener tonight with a possible piggyback from Drew Smyly. Rust could be a major factor for Ynoa, who has only one live game appearance in the last 19 days. He could be in for a tough time in Game 4.

Against left-handed pitching this year, Atlanta ranked 20th in OPS, fourth in ISO, 10th in walk rate, and 13th in strikeout percentage. Their high strikeout numbers make this offense vulnerable to low-scoring outputs due to their inconsistency hitting with runners in scoring position. Poor contact skills are especially problematic against pitchers, such as Urias, who generate a lot of swings-and-misses. The Braves have no shortage of talent in this lineup, but they have an extremely tough task in this one against one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball. Run scoring opportunities could be at a premium for this group in Game 4.

Throughout this postseason, we have been repeatedly mentioning that Manager Brian Snitker was overusing Tyler Matzek, Will Smith, and Luke Jackson. The heavy usage finally had consequences in Game 3 as this bullpen blew what appeared to be a sure-fire win and a commanding 3-0 series lead. As this series goes on, the lack of reliable options in Atlanta’s relief unit is going to become an even bigger problem. This unit is vulnerable tonight and going forward for the rest of the NLCS.

Los Angeles Dodgers (-180)

Urias thrived in his first full season as a starter for the Dodgers—posting a 2.96 ERA, 3.12 xERA, and a 3.13 FIP. Throughout his young career, Urias has been at his best when pitching away from Dodger Stadium, but he has hardly been poor when pitching at home. In 2021, he had a 3.31 FIP and a 1.04 WHIP, which any team would love to get out of their starting pitcher. During the regular season, Urias ranked in the 86th percentile or better in average exit velocity, hard-hit rate, xwOBA, xERA, barrel-rate, walk percentage, and chase-rate. Urias was dominant over his final 12 regular season outings with a 1.76 ERA and a 2.19 FIP. In the division series against the San Francisco Giants, he was outstanding, allowing only two earned runs in nine innings of work. Urias was tagged for two earned runs out of the bullpen in an unusual usage situation in Game 2 of the NCLS, but only threw 14 pitches, so he should not be limited on his pitch count tonight. Expect him to have a strong performance against an Atlanta team that struggles against left-handed pitching.

The Dodgers lineup has no shortage of superstar talent, with names such as Mookie Betts, Corey Seager, Trea Turner, Justin Turner, Will Smith, A.J. Pollock, and Cody Bellinger. However, this group was only slightly better than mediocre at the plate for the majority of the campaign. This inconsistency has carried over into the postseason. In eight playoff games, Los Angeles has been shutout twice, scored three runs or less five times, but also has three games with six or more runs. As yesterday’s rally in the eighth inning illustrated, this is a talented lineup capable of serious damage in any given inning. The biggest question mark for bettors is their frustrating inconsistency at the plate.

An intense battle in the division series against the Giants resulted in the Dodgers bullpen being less rested than they would have liked for it to have been entering the NLCS. A bullpen game to start the series against Atlanta did not help matters, as the Dodgers used eight relievers in Game 1. Manager Dave Roberts made some questionable decisions in Game 2, using Urias out of the bullpen. Roberts also removed Brusdar Graterol, bringing in Kenley Jansen, who promptly gave up the game-winning hit on the first pitch that he threw. Jansen was the only high-leverage reliever used in yesterday’s victory. Blake Treinen and Graterol have not pitched since Sunday. Roberts should have everyone at his disposal tonight to try to even up this series.

Game 4 Pick

The Dodgers have the better starting pitcher and the better offense in this contest. They also have a far more rested bullpen. Urias should be sharp on the mound, and the Dodgers’ bats should be locked-in with their season seemingly on the line in this matchup. The Dodgers should win this games comfortably.

PICK: Dodgers -1.5 (-105)

Image Credit: Imagn

About the Author

  • Nick Galaida (nickgalaida)

  • A failed high school pitcher, Nick discovered that he has a higher aptitude for analyzing and writing about sports than he does playing them. To his friends, he is better known as “The Commish.” When he’s not organizing a fantasy league, placing a bet, or writing an article, he’s probably nose-deep in a book—further illustrating the point that his niche in this world is as a nerd rather than an athlete.

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