The favorites started off strong in the National League Division Series (NLDS) on Tuesday, as both the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves posted Game 1 wins.
The Braves posted six runs in the seventh inning to rally against the upstart Miami Marlins. Meanwhile, the Dodgers combined strong pitching and timely hitting to get past the Padres.
Acuna, d’Arnaud Lead Atlanta to Game 1 Win
Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a leadoff home run for the Braves to give Atlanta an early lead on Tuesday. But the real fireworks came in the third inning when Marlins pitcher Sandy Alcantara drilled Acuna in the side with a fastball. While the teams stopped short of a brawl, it was the latest episode in an ongoing feud between Acuna and the Marlins.
“I looked over to their bench and said, ‘It’s been five times,’” Acuna told reporters via a translator. “At this point, I think we’ve grown accustomed to it.”
|Marlins vs. Braves Game 2 NLDS Odds (via FanDuel Sportsbook)|
|Marlins (Lopez): +192||Braves (Anderson): -225|
|Marlins (+1.5): -122||Braves (-1.5): +104|
|Over 8.5: -112||Under 8.5: -108|
|Marlins: +550||Braves: -800|
The Marlins held onto a 4-3 lead heading into the seventh inning. That’s when Atlanta exploded for six runs, highlighted by a tiebreaking home run from catcher Travis d’Arnaud, who drove in four runs on the day.
The Braves will look to rookie starter Ian Anderson to carry that momentum into Game 2 of the NLDS. Anderson threw six shutout innings in Atlanta’s victory over the Cincinnati Reds in Game 2 of their wild-card series. He did allow five runs over 8.2 innings in two starts against the Marlins during the regular season, however.
“We feel pretty confident heading into [Game 2], especially with Ian going,” d’Arnaud told reporters. “He’s been tremendous for us all year.”
The Marlins will rely on Pablo Lopez to try and tie up the series. Lopez will make his first career postseason appearance after going 6-4 with a 3.61 ERA this season.
FanDuel Sportsbook lists the Braves as a -225 favorite over the Marlins (+192) in Game 2.
Kershaw Aims to Provide Dodgers Commanding NLDS Lead
The San Diego Padres briefly held a 1-0 lead in their NLDS Game 1 clash with the Los Angeles Dodgers. But it was all Los Angeles after that, as the Dodgers scored four times in the sixth inning to pull away and win 5-1. Dodgers starter Walker Buehler gave up one run over a short, four-inning stint, after which the Los Angeles bullpen provided five shutout innings of work.
“Physically, I felt great,” Buehler said afterward. “I think the ball was coming out of my hand well. I just missed a lot with it.”
The Padres pulled starter Mike Clevinger just two pitches into the second inning. Clevinger was attempting to return from an elbow injury, but left the game as his velocity fell precipitously during his short appearance. He reported feeling tight during the first inning, and couldn’t get right for the second.
“It was like a NASCAR pit stop almost,” Clevinger said after the game. “Just tried to keep it going. It wasn’t there.”
The Dodgers will try to go up 2-0 in the NLDS behind ace Clayton Kershaw. While Kershaw has historically struggled in the postseason, he was dominant against the Milwaukee Brewers in the wild-card round, throwing eight scoreless innings to help clinch the series for Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, the Padres have yet to name a starter for Wednesday’s game. Sportsbooks have yet to post odds on the game because of that question mark, though the Dodgers figure to come in as substantial favorites no matter who gets the start for San Diego. Overall, Los Angeles stands as a -650 favorite to win the series over the Padres (+460).