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NLCS Bracket 2018: Schedule, Odds, World Series Predictions Before Game 3

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistOctober 14, 2018

Los Angeles Dodgers' Justin Turner (10) celebrates with manager Dave Roberts (30) after hitting a two-run home run during the eighth inning of Game 2 of the National League Championship Series baseball game against the Milwaukee Brewers Saturday, Oct. 13, 2018, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

The Milwaukee Brewers are in trouble.

The National League Central champion heads to Dodger Stadium tied with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NLCS.

Few things have gone to plan for Craig Counsell's team, as its dominant bullpen has been rattled by a confident Dodgers lineup.

Los Angeles sits in perfect position to take control of the series in Game 3 on Monday, and if it gets on a roll at home, it could finish off the series inside Dodger Stadium by Wednesday.

                   

NLCS Schedule

All Times ET. 

Game 3: Monday October 15 at Los Angeles (7:39 p.m., FS1) 

Game 4: Tuesday, October 16 at Los Angeles (9:09 p.m., FS1) 

Game 5: Wednesday, October 17 at Los Angeles (5:05 p.m., FS1) 

Game 6: Friday, October 19 at Milwaukee (8:39 p.m., FS1)*

Game 7: Saturday, October 20 at Milwaukee (9:09 p.m., FS1)*

*If necessary.

              

Odds

Game 3 

Milwaukee (+140; bet $100 to win $140) 

Los Angeles (-165; bet $165 to win $100)

According to OddsShark.

               

Predictions

Milwaukee's Bullpen Continues to Struggle

Eight of the nine runs the Brewers have let up in the NLCS have been conceded by the bullpen.

Of the octet of relievers Milwaukee has trotted out to the mound, six have given up at least one hit, with Brandon Woodruff and Junior Guerra the only pitchers with unblemished lines.

Counsell blew up his normal bullpen strategy in Game 1, as he let Josh Hader deal for three innings, making him unavailable for Game 2.

In the loss to the Dodgers on Saturday, Jeremy Jeffress conceded a game-winning two-run homer to Justin Turner in the eighth inning.

MILWAUKEE, WI - OCTOBER 13:  Justin Turner #10 of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a two run home run against Jeremy Jeffress #32 of the Milwaukee Brewers during the eighth inning in Game Two of the National League Championship Series at Miller Park on Octobe
Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Although he wasn't charged with the second Dodgers' run, Jeffress allowed the score, as he walked Austin Barnes with the bases loaded after coming in for Corbin Burnes.

The majority of the Dodgers lineup has been challenged with the best stuff from each of Milwaukee's top relievers through two games.

There's an extended book on Hader going into Game 3 because he went through the entire order during his Game 1 appearance.

The change of scenery and day off—or in Hader's case, two days off—could help the Brewers refocus and put Games 1 and 2 behind them.

But given the success the Dodgers have had in the latter innings in the NLCS, it will be hard for the Brewers to regain their commanding bullpen form moving forward.

                    

Turner's Game 2 Home Run Gives Dodgers Lineup an Extra Spark

Los Angeles' lineup lacked a contribution from Turner in Game 1, as he went 0-for-5 and struck out on four occasions.

In Game 2, Turner produced two hits, including the game-winning two-run shot off Jeffress in the eighth inning.

Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

With the home run acting as a catalyst for Turner's NLCS performance, the Dodgers should be able to put plenty of runners on base for their power hitters in the three upcoming home games.

Leadoff man Chris Taylor leads the Dodgers with five hits in the NLCS, while cleanup hitter Manny Machado has three hits and has driven in a team-high three runs.

With Taylor and Turner thriving at the top of the lineup, the Dodgers could put a few runs across the plate early in Game 3, which would force the Brewers to stretch out their bullpen even further.

In addition to Taylor and Turner's spark at the top of the order, Los Angeles could unleash Max Muncy in Game 3 after he started the first two games on the bench in favor of David Freese.

If Muncy and Machado come to the plate with runners in scoring position on multiple occasions, the Dodgers have an opportunity to run away with the series.

               

Series Prediction: Los Angeles in six. 

             

Follow Joe on Twitter, @JTansey90.

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