April 20, 2024

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The Sports Fanatics

MLB playoffs: Best bets for Saturday’s NLDS games, including a Freddie Freeman home run in Braves vs. Brewers

After a very successful first three days of the playoffs, we hit a roadblock on Friday and missed all three props. That means we’ve gone 6-6, but bear in mind that underdog odds are tough to hit and this means we’re still up for the playoffs at +295. Also, remember I’m doing game picks over on SportsLine and there are two more up right now. I’ve gone 6-2-1 thus far in the playoffs, so hop on over there and subscribe. When there’s money to be made, there’s no time to waste. Fingers crossed on a better day. 

All odds courtesy of Caesars Sportsbook.

Freeman battled with some tough at-bats against difficult pitching matchups in Game 1. Prior to that, he had nine homers and a .615 slugging percentage in his career in 29 games in that ballpark. Brewers starter Brandon Woodruff can be had via the longball from lefties, as he’s allowed 10 this season. Freeman is 3 for 9 with a home run in his career against Woodruff. 

So does any of this make a Freeman home run likely? No, of course not. Look at the +450 sitting there. It’s a tough call to try and gamble on who is going to hit a home run in any given game. Giancarlo Stanton, Nelson Cruz and Yordan Alvarez say I’ve had good fortune in picking a home run so far this postseason. Let’s watch Freeman get us back on track after Randy Arozarena was held in the yard on Friday.  

Max Fried over 4.5 strikeouts, -140

Fried is not a strikeout pitcher, which is why this number might look low. He’s on a huge second-half run with a 1.74 ERA in his last 14 games. He’s averaged 6.14 strikeouts per start in there, so that’s a win. In those 14 starts, he’s only been under 4.5 strikeouts twice, and both of those times it was exactly four. The Brewers are capable of producing some high-strikeout volume in a game. They struck out 10 times in Game 1. I expect Fried has a great outing and goes deep, which means we will get to at least five strikeouts here. 

Kevin Gausman under 5.5 strikeouts, -120

Gausman didn’t really show a noticeable dip in strikeout rate through the season, but there are other factors at play here for me. He had a 4.42 ERA after the All-Star break compared to 1.73 before. The Dodgers struck out 11 times in Game 1 and were criticized publicly by their manager, Dave Roberts, after the game for too much over-swinging with a golf analogy. 

After being dominated for nine innings, I think the Dodgers’ offense is a sleeping giant heading into this one. Finally, the Giants barely used their bullpen and there’s a day off Sunday. 

All this is to say I believe the Dodgers hit Gausman a bit early and Giants manager Gabe Kapler gets aggressive in using his bullpen in an effort to take advantage of their rest both before and after this game in order to take a 2-0 series lead. In other words, he won’t let Gausman “wear it” in order to preserve the bullpen and will have a quick hook. 

This means I don’t believe Gausman will have enough time to get to six strikeouts. Take the under.