In this article, we’ll provide you with our top MLB Playoffs betting picks and advice for the Game 1 of the two National League Division Series matchups between the St. Louis Cardinals at Atlanta Braves and Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Dodgers. We study the odds, betting lines teams and players to give you our recommended baseball betting picks to beat the New Jersey sportsbooks.
St. Louis Cardinals at Atlanta Braves ( -136) – O/U: 8.5
Game 1 Betting Pick: Over 8.5
Thursday, October 3rd, 2019 – 5:02 p.m. EST
STL: Miles Mikolas – R (9-14, 4.16 ERA/1.22 WHIP)
ATL: Dallas Keuchel – L (8-8, 3.75 ERA/1.37 WHIP)
Game 1 of the NL Divisional Series between the Cardinals and Braves should be a fascinating matchup, as the Braves won four of the six regular-season games. Not to mention, four of the six games also went under the total. Our top pick is for the total to go over nine runs. Let’s dive into the facts and figures below to learn why this is our top betting pick.
Game 1 Betting Lines Analysis: Cardinals at Braves
The moneyline has stayed put early on, but 76 percent of public bets/92 percent of money wagered is coming in on the Braves. In addition, the total went from 8.5 to 9.0 at some books, with 71 percent of public bets/73 percent of money wagered is coming on the total going over.
Cardinals Betting Form
Miles Mikolas gets the Game 1 start, and this could be a sign of where the Cardinals’ postseason is heading. After all, Mikolas had a 4-8 record and 5.40 ERA in 17 road starts during the regular season – and that’s the best decision they could make? Mikolas did allow seven hits (2 HR) and three runs while striking out nine against the Braves in his only meeting against them this season. That outing, however, was in the friendly confines of Busch Stadium.
Surprisingly, despite having a mostly right-handed lineup, the Cardinals were slightly below average against left-handed pitching. They’ll probably see that pitching of handedness for about six innings on Thursday, so expect plenty of struggles.
Braves Betting Form
We go from one good end of the splits to the other, as Dallas Keuchel toes the rubber for the Braves. He’s been fantastic at home this season with a 2.74 ERA compared to 5.01 on the road. Keuchel did have a couple of woes in two of his last three starts to end the year, but this is a guy that has made 10 postseason appearances (nine starts) before – he is no stranger to postseason action. In those 10 appearances, Keuchel owns a 4-2 record and 3.31 ERA.
Atlanta’s offense is one of the best against right-handed pitching, so they should get off to a hot start in this game. The trio of Ronald Acuna Jr., Freddie Freeman and Josh Donaldson are as deadly as any in the postseason right now, and that’s the ultimate path to victory.
Game 1 Betting Pick: Over 8.5
Mikolas is a guy that has struggled plenty on the road and the Braves are waiting with eager eyes. As mentioned, their lineup is one of the best in baseball and it certainly helps that SunTrust Park is one of the more offensive-friendly fields in all of MLB. With Keuchel, we expect him to have a nice game, but it can definitely get bumpy if those last-season struggles are still lingering. All in all, we’re looking at a big offensive game to start the series and the early bettors certainly agree.
Washington Nationals at Los Angeles Dodgers (-175) – O/U: 7
Betting Pick: Under 7.5
Thursday, October 3rd, 2019 – 8:37 p.m. EST
WSH: Patrick Corbin – L (14-7, 3.25 ERA/1.18 WHIP)
LAD: Walker Buehler – R (14-4, 3.26 ERA/1.04 WHIP)
Game 1 of the NL Divisional Series between the Washington Nationals and Los Angeles Dodgers will be an exciting matchup, as the Dodgers won four of the seven regular-season games. Not to mention, four of the seven games also went under the total, with one push. Our top pick is for the total to go under 7.5 runs. Let’s dive into the facts and figures below to learn why this is our top betting pick.
Nationals Betting Form
Patrick Corbin will look to piggyback on the momentum of the Nationals come-from-behind victory in the NL Wild Card Game. The left-hander did have a fantastic performance against the Dodgers in LA earlier this season, pitching seven innings of shutout ball while striking out eight batters. The Dodgers haven’t had much success lifetime against Corbin, mostly from his time in Arizona — only Justin Turner has respectable long-term numbers in this matchup.
If there is a knock on Corbin, though, it’s his 6-5 record and 4.18 ERA in 17 road starts – compared to 8-2 record and 2.40 ERA in 16 home starts.
Hopefully, for the Nationals’ sake, Corbin can take this thing close to the distance. After all, the Nationals’ bullpen had the second-highest ERA in baseball during the regular season and won’t have the benefit of someone like Max Scherzer or Stephen Strasburg coming out of the bullpen. It is worth noting, though, that Daniel Hudson’s stuff has looked electric and the Nationals have been using him as a closer down the stretch. If things get dicey as they did in the NL Wild Card Game, look for him to maybe come in a little sooner than the ninth and shut things down.
Washington’s offense will certainly have a tough time tonight against the firepower that LA’s arms are bringing to the table. The splits are quite similar, but in reality, the Nats were better against left-handed pitching than they were against righties. Look for them to struggle against a tough starting pitcher and bullpen that are both fully rested.
Dodgers Betting Form
Walker Buehler was pretty damn good in 2019, but he did falter twice in the month of September which brought his numbers down over that span. Nonetheless, he was excellent at Dodger Stadium during the regular season, posting a 6-1 record and 2.86 ERA in 14 starts. Against the Nats during the regular season, Buehler went 0-1 with a 2.92 ERA in two starts — a span of 12 1/3 innings.
One of the biggest advantages for the Dodgers tonight, and for the rest of the postseason, will be the versatility of their pitchers. During the regular season, LA’s bullpen was one of the best in baseball, and now they’ve got a ton of arms coming at opposing offenses from every direction.
As we mentioned, Corbin has done quite well against this Dodgers’ roster. With more than a few days off, it’s possible that LA comes out a bit rusty on offense.
Game 1 Betting Pick: Under 7.5
We really like each of these starting pitchers and they’ll be the catalyst in keeping this total under 7.5 runs. This matchup has worked plenty of times before for Corbin and Buehler seems to really love pitching at Dodger Stadium. Look for this to be a low-scoring game and that’s music to our ears.