After walking off the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL Wild Card Game, the Los Angeles Dodgers (106-56) will take on their division rival San Francisco Giants (107-55) in an NLDS showdown between the teams with the two best records during the regular season.
While Los Angeles is fresh off a World Series championship in 2020, San Francisco blew away expectations by posting MLB’s top record after enduring four straight losing seasons. Both teams are incredibly deep with veteran talent and postseason experience, although the Dodgers certainly have more star power
After battling all season for the NL West crown, now they’ll fight for the right to advance to the NLCS. Which team will come out on top in Game 1? Let’s dig in with our NLDS Game 1 Dodgers vs Giants predictions and best bets.
Please note that all NLDS Game 1 odds and lines are current as of 2 PM EST on Friday, October 8.
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Dodgers vs Giants Game 1 Predictions
After starting Max Scherzer in the Wild Card Game, Los Angeles will turn to Walker Buehler (16-4, 2.47 ERA) in Game 1. He’ll oppose San Francisco success story Logan Webb (11-3, 3.03 ERA), who emerged as one of the Giants’ top starters after struggling in his first two seasons.
While Buehler has loads of playoff experience, Webb has yet to pitch in the postseason. Buehler is also far more dominant and accomplished, which gives the Dodgers an edge in Game 1.
Additionally, Buehler excelled against San Francisco this year, going 3-1 with a 2.19 ERA and 0.97 WHIP in six starts against them. Webb dominated Los Angeles as well with a 2.25 ERA and 0.69 WHIP in three starts versus the Dodgers.
Both lineups are mostly intact, although both squads are missing their slugging first basemen. Los Angeles will be without Max Muncy (dislocated elbow), while San Francisco will have to make do without Brandon Belt (fractured thumb).
Given the quality of both starting pitchers, this game looks to have the makings of a low-scoring affair. The Giants have won twice as many games at home (54) as they’ve lost (27) this year, but the Dodgers aren’t afraid of playing on the road based on their 48-33 record away from Dodger Stadium this year.
Given LA’s postseason experience, momentum, and superior starter, I’m leaning towards LA here.
Dodgers vs Giants Game 1 Pick: Dodgers 4, Giants 2
Dodgers vs Giants Game 1 Best Bets
Best Bet: Dodgers Moneyline (-120) at BetMGM
Wager: 2 Units
As mentioned above, there are several reasons why I (and the sportsbooks on our MLB gameday odds) like the Dodgers in Game 1. The Giants are a very tough team, but the LA was essentially just as dominant during the regular season, finishing only one game behind San Francisco in the standings as well as the season series.
The Dodgers are also on a roll, having won eight straight and 19 of their last 22. They’re firing on all cylinders at the perfect time, so it’s not hard to envision them taking care of business on the road in Game 1, especially against a team they’re already very familiar with.
- Read our full Dodgers vs Giants NLDS Predictions & Best Bets.
Best Bet: Under 7 Total Runs (+100) at BetMGM
Wager: 1 Unit
While I do not typically recommend betting on totals this low, the playoffs are a whole different animal. With two ace-caliber pitchers on the bump, it’s not hard to see this one being a tight, low-scoring game, especially with both bullpens being fresh as well.
The Giants have not hit Buehler well historically despite his last outing in the Bay Area and Webb was terrific against the Dodgers this year. These offenses can explode at any minute, but the pitching depth on both sides should prevent that, making this our MLB bet of the day.