Braves: What the stats say about teams up 2-0 in the NLCS

Marcell Ozuna

It hasn’t come without sweaty palms, but the Braves have managed to take a 2-0 lead over the Dodgers in the NLCS. In Game 1, it was a ninth-inning onslaught that propelled Atlanta to a win, but in Game 2, they had to stop one to squeak by with a one-run victory. However, it doesn’t matter how they got there. Game 3 takes place tonight with both teams starting with zero runs, despite what the analysts on FS1 want you to believe.

No… A-Rod, the runs don’t carry over from the night before, and the only team with momentum is the one up two games to zero.

As you would expect, teams up 2-0 in a best of seven series usually move on to the World Series or hold up The Commissioner’s Trophy. According to Chad Thornburg over at, clubs with a 2-0 series lead have won 72 times out of 85 tries, which is about 85%, and only one team — the 2004 Red Sox in the ALCS against the Yankees — has come back from a 3-0 deficit.

So the Braves are undoubtedly in pretty good shape. However, according to FanGraphs, they certainly aren’t out of the woods yet.

FanGraphs still gives the Dodgers a 26.9% chance to win the NLCS over the Braves and an 18.3% shot at winning the World Series. Meanwhile, the Braves have a 73.1% chance of winning the NLCS and an MLB-leading 40.8% shot at winning the World Series (the Rays are second at 38.1%).

But while these are fun, as we know, they don’t mean anything. Hell, FanGraphs didn’t even give the Braves a 40% chance to beat the Dodgers before the series began, and here we are. Los Angeles still has plenty of bullets to unload, and with their backs against the wall, expect to see everything they can possibly throw at Atlanta, whose starting pitching concerns really begin tonight with Kyle Wright toeing the mound in Game 3. 


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