The Los Angeles Dodgers (7-2) search for their seventh straight win when they play host to the Atlanta Braves (5-6). L.A. is hoping to exact some revenge after losing to the Braves in six games in the N.L.C.S. last year. This marks Freddie Freeman’s first game vs. his former team after playing 12 seasons in Atlanta. See below for more insight, analysis and a Braves vs. Dodgers prediction.
Braves vs. Dodgers Odds & Analysis
For the 10th straight game to start the season, the Dodgers are favored. The line opened at -185, but has gotten bigger on a number of sites as we inch closer to first pitch. The Braves have won just once in their last eight trips to La La Land. The total opened at 8.5 with the consensus now at 8.
Huascar Ynoa will make his second start of the season for the Braves. It was one week ago today he was roughed up, like a boxer facing Mike Tyson in his prime, by the Washington Nationals. He gave up seven hits, two walks and five earned runs in just three innings pitched. This marks his first career start vs. Los Angeles.
It would be hard to ask Clayton Kershaw to duplicate his only outing of the season so far. He threw seven perfect innings, including 13 strikeouts, last Wednesday in a 7-0 romp over Minnesota. He should be fresh though after he was controversially pulled after 80 pitches and just six outs to go. He has one career loss in 12 regular season starts vs. Atlanta.
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Braves Battling Consistency During Early Season Struggles
Matt Olson is doing everything he can to have Braves fans forget about the aforementioned Freeman. He is hitting .421 and is tied for the league lead with 16 hits through 11 games. Atlanta has been dependent on the deep ball though to begin the season – they lead the National League with 13 home runs, including four each from Ozzie Albies and Marcell Ozuna.
Offense hasn’t been the issue – rather it’s their pitching. Despite sitting second in all of baseball with 104 strikeouts, they have a team E.R.A. of 4.64. Only Texas, Washington and Cincinnati have allowed more runs this season.
More offensive help could be on the way soon though, as the team announced outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. will begin a rehab stint on Tuesday following an ACL injury last season.
Dodgers Doing It With Great Pitching And Big Bats
The Dodgers are coming off two consecutive series sweeps and a big reason for that is their pitching. They have given up just nine runs during their six-game win streak. The starting rotation has an E.R.A. of 1.71 through nine games, that’s the second best in the majors behind the Mets.
That’s not to say their bats aren’t booming though as they have also scored 40 runs during their win streak. Former Brave Freddie Freeman is leading the way with 12 hits, including a 4-for-5 performance against Cincinnati on Sunday. L.A. is hitting .270 as a team, fourth best in the majors – this, despite the fact Mookie Betts is struggling, batting just .206 so far this season.
Both Freeman and Trey Turner have the fifth best odds to win Most Valuable Player in the National League at +1200.
Braves vs. Dodgers Pick Insights
Braves: Keys to Victory
Small Ball. Atlanta will need to find a way to get men on base and generate runs against Kershaw. Coming off his “perfect” performance, that sounds easier said than done. If they solely depend on the deep ball for offense, then they will likely be looking at a seventh loss in their first dozen games.
Dodgers: Keys to Victory
Wake up the struggling bats. It’s a bit scary to think the Dodgers are rolling without much production from the likes of Betts, Max Muncy, Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger. If even one or two of these guys get going, then you may be wise to take the home team when making your Braves vs. Dodgers pick.
Odds Shark’s Computer Braves vs. Dodgers Prediction: Dodgers -220 ML
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