This article is part of our MLB Picks series.
Milwaukee Brewers (-140) vs. Atlanta (+120)
The Brewers have been the better team all year, and they have a prototypical pitching staff for a deep October run. However, it's worth noting that Max Fried and Charlie Morton are pitching really well of late. The home crowd in Milwaukee will be absolutely rocking Friday and Saturday, and the Brewers are clear favorites in both of those games, regardless of how well Fried and Morton have been pitching, but I'm expecting some pitcher duels whenever one of them is starting for Atlanta.
The Devin Williams injury takes the Brewers from a potentially all-time playoff pitching staff to a merely great one, but I think Aaron Ashby's emergence as a dominant 1-2 inning guy should help plug that hole. The tough thing about facing the Brewers is that their three top starters are righties, and most of their top relievers are lefties, so if you have the platoon advantage early against elite right-handed starters, you'll forfeit that advantage once they turn it over to the bullpen, or vice versa.
I like the under on 7 runs for Game 1 (-105) and the under on 7 runs for Game 2 (+100). I also like the Brewers -140 for the series.
Los Angeles Dodgers (-170) vs. San Francisco Giants (+145)
This is a pretty disrespectful line for a 107-win Giants team. The Dodgers are the big brand here, and they obviously have more household names, but the Giants are a legitimately stacked club in their own right. If Brandon Belt were healthy, I'd be loving the Giants as heavy underdogs. Without Belt, the Giants' lineup loses a little punch, but this is where their excellent depth comes into play.
Neither of these teams will go quietly into the night, so betting the Giants to win the series 3-2 at +400 looks pretty juicy. You're not going to find much value on the Dodgers side, but if you're feeling really strong that they will win this series, parlaying the Brewers and Dodgers at +175 has its merits. However, I'd rather parlay the Brewers and Giants at +320. For just a strict series bet, I'm either betting the Giants +145 to win this series, or I'm staying away — there's just no value on the Dodgers -170. After all, they're without one of their best hitters in Max Muncy as well.