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MLB Playoffs 2021: Odds, Daily Fantasy Predictions for Saturday's NLDS

Adam WellsOctober 9, 2021

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

After sharing the spotlight with the American League on Friday, the two National League Division Series will have the stage all to themselves Saturday.

Game 2 of the San Francisco Giants-Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves-Milwaukee Brewers series are set to be played.

Looking ahead to these matchups, let's go over the odds and some notable fantasy bets that can help add to your enjoyment of the NLDS.


2021 NLDS Game 2 Odds

Atlanta Braves +114 (wager $100 to win $114) at Milwaukee Brewers -134 (wager $134 to win $100)

Los Angeles Dodgers +158 at San Francisco Giants -192

Odds via FanDuel.


DFS Predictions

With a lighter playoff schedule than there was Friday, the DFS pickings are slimmer. But each of the four teams boasts one player who looks poised to have a standout performance. 

Atlanta starter Max Fried is arguably the best bet among all four starting pitchers Saturday. The southpaw had a terrific regular season with a 3.04 ERA and career-low 1.09 WHIP in 28 starts.

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Even though the playoffs are an entirely different animal, Milwaukee's lineup plays into Fried's hand.

Per Zach Kram of The Ringer, the Brewers are the only team in the divisional round who posted a below-average wRC+ (97) in the regular season. Their 738 runs scored ranked a respectable 12th in MLB, but depth is an issue for the NL Central champs.

Only four of Milwaukee's eight regular position players had an average or better OPS+ (100). Fried is also a rare left-handed starter who gets opposite-handed hitters out at a better rate than same-handed hitters.

Righties had a .611 OPS against Fried in 2021, compared to a .707 mark against lefties.

It projects to be a very low-scoring game at American Family Field, so Brandon Woodruff is the must-start player from the Brewers you need to add.

Woodruff was overshadowed in his own rotation this season by Corbin Burnes, but the 28-year-old has been brilliant in his own right. Opposing hitters had a .573 OPS against him in 2021, and he has a deep repertoire of pitches to get outs.

Mathew Brownstein @MBrownstein89

Only 7 pitchers recorded a run value of at least -5 on three different pitches this season (min. 100 PAs against each pitch):<br><br>Brandon Woodruff<br>Lance Lynn<br>Lance McCullers<br>Max Fried<br>Walker Buehler<br>Zack Wheeler<br>Marcus Stroman (-6 slider; -5 cutter; -5 sinker)<a href="https://twitter.com/STR0?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@STR0</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Mets?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Mets</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/LGM?src=hash&amp;ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#LGM</a>

The Braves aren't a high-contact offense. They had 1,453 strikeouts during the regular season, 11th-most in MLB. Woodruff should have no problem putting up zeroes and notching a lot of strikeouts in this game.

In the Dodgers-Giants game, you could go in any number of directions and feel confident about where things will end up.

Los Angeles catcher Will Smith is an under-the-radar option, at least on his own team. The 26-year-old would be the best hitter in most other lineups across MLB.

Smith's .270/.383/.529 slash line with 19 homers against right-handed pitching this season bodes well for a matchup against Giants star Kevin Gausman. He's also gotten stronger as the year has gone on with a .936 OPS after the All-Star break, compared to an .800 mark in the first half.

In 16 games against the Giants during the regular season, Smith had a .275/.393/.490 slash line.

From the Giants side, Evan Longoria is a potential sleeper to go off in a game being started against Julio Urias. The three-time All-Star had a 1.088 OPS against lefties during the regular season.

That stat line does come with a bit of a caveat since Longoria only played 81 games and had a total of 66 at-bats against southpaws. He also didn't play in any of the 19 matchups between the Giants and Dodgers in the regular season.

This does make Longoria more risky than the other players who have been mentioned. But one reason to feel more optimistic is because he has historically hit well against left-handed pitching. Longoria's career OPS against southpaws is 89 points higher (.872) than it is against righties (.783).

A big playoff game from Longoria would also be in keeping with this Giants season. He doesn't jump out at you on initial glance, but 107 wins later, it's hard to deny that this is a great team that has the potential to go far in October.

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