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Atlanta Braves (42-25) vs Los Angeles Dodgers (48-19)
Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 8:08 pm
At 8:05 pm, our selection is on the Atlanta Braves over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Yesterday, we had our 5* Baseball Game of the Year on the Dodgers. And, for faithful followers, it wasn't much of a surprise, given I tabbed the Dodgers as my preseason pick (at 4-1 odds) to win the World Series. But just because I picked Los Angeles to win the World Series doesn't mean I will blindly take them every game (although I did take my preseason NHL pick -- the Tampa Bay Lightning -- in all 22 of their Playoff games this past season, and that worked out perfectly). But my confidence level on the Lightning was off the charts, and I don't have the same level of confidence with this Dodgers club. Certainly, they're the best team. But the Braves, Tampa Bay Rays and, yes, even the 35-35 Houston Astros, are good enough to win the World Series. If you're the Braves, you have no choice but to act like Wednesday's Game 3 never happened. And for those who saw the first inning, it was likely something which will not be seen again, as LA set an MLB post-season record by scoring 11 runs in the top of the 1st inning to put the game out of reach soon after the National Anthem had concluded. So, a case of amnesia is really the only way for Atlanta to plow forward. And tonight it will go with another one of its "young guns" in 22-year-old RHP Bryse Wilson. In his three seasons in the Majors, Wilson has split his pitching time almost evenly between starting and relieving but he has done by far his best work as a starter. In seven starts covering 30 2/3 innings, Wilson is 3-1 with a 4.40 ERA (vs. 9.75 in eight relief appearances). Despite their big win on Wednesday, the Dodgers are still just 1-4 in their last five games vs. NL East teams. And Kershaw's post-season record is pedestrian-at-best (11-11, 4.23 ERA, 34 appearances), including a 3-5 record, with a 4.61 ERA, in 13 National League Championship Series appearances. Atlanta has enough offensive talent to win on any day, and surely against an injury-hampered Kershaw. We'll take the Braves as a massive underdog. As always, good luck...Al McMordie.