The Atlanta Braves are headed back home to face the Los Angeles Dodgers, looking for that final NLCS win to clinch the NL Pennant and a chance at winning the World Series.
The Dodgers announced Saturday that Max Scherzer has been scratched from starting Game 6, where Los Angeles trails the Braves 3-2. Scherzer explained he had dead arm after his Game 2 start in the NLCS, and the speculation is that his arm fatigue is the reason he will be missing this start. Walker Buehler will get the start for the Dodgers.
Nothing has been ruled out for Scherzer beyond starting this game. He could very well come out of the bullpen or be saved for a potential Game 7.
See our NLCS Game 6 predictions and best bets below. Please note that all MLB gameday odds and lines are current as of 1 PM EST on Saturday, October 23.
Dodgers vs. Braves NLCS Game 6 Prediction
Los Angeles Dodgers @ Atlanta Braves, October 23, 8:08 PM EST on TBS
Probable Starting Pitchers:
- Walker Buehler, Dodgers (16-4, 2.47 ERA)
- Ian Anderson, Braves (9-5, 3.58 ERA)
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Ian Anderson will take the hill for the Braves, looking to help Atlanta clinch the pennant and send the Dodgers home for the winter.
Anderson has been an absolute stud in the postseason despite all his inconsistencies in the regular season. Anderson has thrown eight innings in two starts this year in the postseason, allowing six hits but just two runs with eight strikeouts.
Last year, Anderson went 18.2 innings in the postseason and allowed just two runs in four starts. He finished last year’s postseason run with a 0.96 ERA. There’s something about Anderson in big spots, as he’s always stepping up.
Anderson hasn’t been the best in the last 30 days when it comes to analytics. However, he’s been extremely lucky and has limited hard contact and line drives, which has helped his case.
In the last 30 days, Anderson has an xFIP of 4.84 with just 17.2 percent strikeouts and 10.3 percent walks. He’s been successful thanks to a BABIP of .179 in that same time frame. That means just under 18 percent of balls put in play have been hits against Anderson in the last 30 days, which is a really good number for any starting pitcher.
The Dodgers have hit righties well recently, with help from lefties like Corey Seager and Cody Bellinger. Seager has a .518 ISO and wOBA of .490 in his last 63 plate appearances, while Bellinger has a .233 ISO with a wOBA of .375.
The lone right-handed batter that has produced at a high rate has been A.J. Pollock. He’s got a .389 ISO and wOBA of .449 against right-handed pitching in his last 42 plate appearances.
Last year Anderson faced the Dodgers twice in the postseason, throwing seven innings and allowing two runs. However, he also walked seven batters with just seven strikeouts.
The Dodgers bring back their right-handed ace Walker Buehler, who the Braves roughed up earlier in the series.
The Braves are hitting just 32.5 percent ground balls against righties as a projected lineup in the last 30 days while also hitting 28.4 percent line drives. However, this team also strikes out 26.7 percent in the last 30 days against righties, and that’s not even including the pitcher’s spot.
Atlanta has been much better against left-handed pitching in the last 30 days, even though they’ve got a smaller sample size there. The lineup for Atlanta has a .267 ISO and .415 wOBA in the last 30 days against lefties.
I wouldn’t expect too many lefties coming out of the bullpen for the Dodgers. Maybe they’ll go with Alex Vesia against Joc Pederson, but the Braves do a solid job splitting up lefties and righties in their lineup.
These are tough, tough games to predict. But one thing is for sure, Anderson is always stepping up in the postseason. Therefore, I think the Braves find a way to close this series out.
NLCS Game 6 Pick: Braves 4, Dodgers 3
Dodgers vs. Braves NLCS Game 6 Best Bets
Best Bet: Braves Moneyline (+132) at FanDuel
Wager: 1 Unit
Anderson needs to limit walks in this game, as that’s the one thing holding him back.
He’s got great stuff and can get any hitter out, but he needs to get ahead of counts and get quick outs. If Anderson can do that, the Braves will find a way to win this game.
Check out our 2021 NLCS Predictions & Best Bets.
Best Bet: Under 8.5 (-120) at FanDuel
Wager: 1 Unit
Last night, we watched a low-scoring affair between the Houston Astros and the Boston Red Sox. Any time there’s an elimination game, managers are going to do whatever they can to keep the game tight. If a pitcher doesn’t have it, they’re coming right out of the game after a minimum of three batters.
Anderson has an ERA of 2.25 this season in the postseason and last year posted a microscopic 0.96. He’ll need to throw more strikes and limit walks, but somehow, he always finds a way out of jams.
Best Bet: Ian Anderson Over 3.5 K’s (-130) at FanDuel
Wager: 1 Unit
This year, Anderson has been a bit more comfortable at home with way fewer walks and a 5-1 record in 11 games in the regular season. If he’s able to limit walks, Anderson’s going to pitch longer in this game.
The right-hander will get to face Will Smith, Chris Taylor, Bellinger, and Pollock, who have all struck out more than 20 percent of the time this season. That’s not even including the pitcher’s spot, which is usually a pretty good bet for a strikeout.
I like Anderson to go five or more innings in this game, and if he does that, he’ll get four or more strikeouts.