The MLB’s divisional round of the playoffs is well underway with day one providing ample offense for both the New York Yankees and Houston Astros, both of whom have 1-0 series leads. The ALDS will continue but joining the American League in today’s slate of games is the beginning of the NLDS, which much like its AL counterparts, will see the league’s East and West divisions go head-to-head.
The action kicks off at 2.08pm ET today (Tuesday) with the opener between the Atlanta Braves and Miami Marlins.
Atlanta Braves vs Miami Marlins Predictions, Picks & Betting Preview
The Miami Marlins’ 2020 season is notable for two main reasons. The first of course, being the role COVID-19 played in it. Miami played just one game before an outbreak of the virus led to their season going on hiatus and a larger talk around baseball of the entire MLB shutting down. Both the Marlins and MLB weathered through the outbreak, which served as the first of two on the season. The second reason Miami’s season was notable is because they went from being a 105-loss team in 2019, to a playoff squad one year later. Talk about a turnaround in the Sunshine State. With the Tampa Bay Rays in the ALDS, this marks the first time in a while that two Florida-based teams are playing into October.
In the postseason thus far, the Marlins relied on their pitching, which was lights off. Sixto Sanchez and Sandy Alcantara, who will pitch game one against the Atlanta Braves, pitched gems, allowing a combined just one run and nine hits. That’s over two games and 18 innings of baseball as Miami’s bullpen was just as good if not better than their starting rotation. The Marlins will need to rely on this pitching against the Braves, who have one of the better hitting teams in the NL.
Speaking of those Braves, Atlanta’s 2020 was more of the same. Backed by their strong lineup and top-notch bullpen, the Braves managed to make up for what they lacked in their starting rotation in order to somewhat easily win their third consecutive NL East title. This included winning six of ten in their regular season series against Miami.
In the playoffs, the Braves battled through one of the best pitched series this year has seen. Against the Cincinnati Reds, Atlanta backed starts by top youngsters, Max Fried and Ian Anderson, with a total of six runs scored in both games combined. It was more than enough as Atlanta has yet to allow a run to their opponent in the playoffs. The Braves have also allowed just 13 hits, including allowing just two in Anderson’s game two outing.
Pitching will be a major key in this series as both teams are handling their roles from the mound exceptionally well. In the AL, offense seems to be breaking through but at least in this NL series, look for the winning team to be the one who finishes the series as having the better pitching group. Fans will get their first taste of the pitching duels on Tuesday night as Alcantara opposes Fried. The Marlins have reached the playoffs just two times in their short history and they’ve yet to lose a single series.
- For our Atlanta Braves vs Miami Marlins predictions, while our pick won’t take them to the World Series, back Miami to win this five-game set that should go the distance. As for game one, back the Braves and Fried to win in what should be a close contest. Place your wagers with Bovada or BetOnline.
LA Dodgers vs San Diego Padres Betting Preview, Predictions & Picks
Before the season even began, the Los Angeles Dodgers were the American betting sites’ co-favorites to win the World Series, an opportunity that may well have been robbed of them two years prior when they finished runner up to the Houston Astros.
With all that is now known about the Astros, it has only heightened LA’s desire to win their first championship since 1988. While the Dodgers did get their chance against the Astros this year (they won three of four meetings), LA also spent all 60 of its games showing why they are the best team in baseball. The Dodgers won 43 of their games including going 6-4 against their NLDS opponents, the San Diego Padres (series begins 9:38 PM ET today, Tuesday).
The Dodgers first round series against the Milwaukee Brewers was business as usual for LA. Allowing just two runs total, the Dodgers scored seven of their own runs. While a low offensive production for them, the pitching of Julio Urias and Clayton Kershaw was sublime. Specifically for Kershaw, who tossed eight scoreless innings while striking out 13 and somewhat shaking the monkey on his back regarding his previous postseason struggles. The Dodgers will need him to pitch more games like that, especially against the Padres offense, which can be explosive at the drop of the hat.
Finishing the year second in the NL West, the Padres enjoyed a fantastic season. The team won 37 games, a mark that would have won them any other division, except of course the one they happened to be in. Much of this was due to a revamped offense behind Manny Machado, who is finally starting to pay off for San Diego, Wil Myers, and Fernando Tatis Jr., who is one of the best young players in the game. These three hitters came up clutch more often than not in 2020 including when they needed to most in the playoffs.
The Padres played their first round series against the St. Louis Cardinals and it really was a tale of two pedigrees. On one hand were the veteran Cardinals, tried and tested, and as an organization, no strangers to playoff appearances. On the other were the Padres, who had last made the playoffs in 2006 and who remain one of just a handful of franchises never to have won a World Series. One would think advantage Cardinals and in game one, that’s exactly what happened as St. Louis won, 7-4, to put the Padres on the brink of elimination.
In game two, with their backs against the wall, both Myers and Tatis combined for four home runs, two apiece, to lead San Diego to an 11-9 victory. That left the do-or-die game three. St. Louis had their opportunities but in the end it was the team’s pitching that prevailed. Needing to pitch a bullpen game, the Padres sent nine men to the mound, none of whom allowed a run and only four of whom allowed hits (St. Louis had just four hits total).
One of the keys to watch for against the Dodgers is the same thing that played into these two teams’ regular season series and that was the bats. Unlike the other NLDS series which appears will be dominated by pitching, this one should have it’s fair share of runs as both LA and SD are among the top offensive teams in baseball. The Padres have yet to announce their game one starter but the Dodgers are going with Walker Buehler, who pitched good but not great. The Padres will have an opportunity to jump on Buehler early, something they could need with Kershaw waiting in game two.
- For our LA Dodgers vs San Diego Padres predictions and picks, we like the Dodgers to win in five this series, but take the Padres to strike first with a game one victory. Make those bets with Bovada or BetOnline.
Marilee writes on NFL, MLB & tennis for USA Betting. Another area of her sporting journalistic expertise is pro wrestling. A native of Philadelphia and a big Eagles fan, she has been a sports writer for many major websites including Bleacher Report and Rant Sports. She started her journalistic career early, as sports editor for her college newspaper.