October 12, 2020 | 2:02pm | Updated October 12, 2020 | 1:00pm
The Atlanta Braves have gotten to the National League Championship Series thanks in large part to their pitching — shutting out their foes in four of their five postseason games — and will look to keep that going against the Dodgers on Monday.
Atlanta’s Game 1 starter will be Max Fried, who between the regular season and postseason has allowed more than two runs just twice in his 13 starts and allowed just three home runs in 67 innings.
The Dodgers will counter with Walker Buehler, who looked to be over a blister injury in his NLDS start against the San Diego Padres. He struck out eight, but also went just four innings and walked four batters.
These teams had the top two bullpen ERAs in the NL during the regular season, but in the playoffs it has been Atlanta that has taken it to another level with one run given up in 20¹/₃ innings. Dodgers relievers have given up five runs (four earned) in 22 innings including a close call against the Padres in Game 2 in which Kenley Jansen was brought on to get a save but did not complete the ninth inning.
Atlanta and Los Angeles also were the top two teams in MLB in both runs and home runs per game in 2020. With the underdog Braves having the best on-base percentage of any team that made the postseason, they should be able to generate enough offense to augment lights-out pitching and grab a victory in Game 1.
The play: Braves to win Game 1, +135.