Should the LA Dodgers and Atlanta Braves meet in the 2018 playoffs, there’s a good chance that Friday’s pitching matchup could also be the Game 1 matchup: It’s three-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw for L.A. and young All-Star Mike Foltyenwicz for the Braves. Looks like Dodgers vs Braves it’s going to be a pretty tight game, with the home team coming in as the underdogs at the latest MLB Odds.
Dodgers vs Braves MLB Lines & Expert Prediction
- When: Friday, 7:35 PM ET
- Where: SunTrust Park, Atlanta
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Clayton Kershaw/Mike Foltynewicz
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Stream: MLB.tv
- Radio: TuneIn
- MLB Lines: Dodgers -175, Braves +165 (8)
Why Bet on LA Dodgers?The Dodgers entered Thursday’s series opener 3-3 since the break, winning two of three in Milwaukee and dropping two of three in Philadelphia. It’s a tough road trip that ends after the Atlanta series.Joc Pederson went 2-for-4 with a double and two runs scored Wednesday against the Phillies. Pederson is 10-for-18 with a homer, three doubles and six runs scored since the All-Star break. His current .269 average is nearly 50 points better than his .222 lifetime mark entering the season.Another young player, Cody Bellinger, isn’t putting up as impressive numbers as he did in winning NL Rookie of the Year last year, but he has still proven to be a valuable part of the Dodgers lineup. Bellinger has hit .243/.324/.470 with 22 doubles and 17 home runs. His production on both sides of the ball has amounted to 2.1 WAR, per Baseball-Reference’s calculations. Moreover, his 114 OPS+ is 17 points better than league average offensively. The 23-year-old believes his early season struggles possibly stemmed from him simply “trying too hard”.In the month of July, Dodger starting pitchers are 9-2 with a 3.20 ERA (40 ER/112.2 IP) and a .238 opponents’ average in 19 starts. That ERA tops the Majors this month, while the starters’ 113 strikeouts in July is the second most in the NL and their 24 walks are the second fewest on the Senior Circuit.It’s three-time Cy Young winner Clayton Kershaw on the bump here. Kershaw (3-5, 2.64) took the loss Saturday, giving up four runs (one earned) on seven hits over six innings while striking out five as the Dodgers dropped a 4-2 decision to the Brewers. The left-hander was sharp, throwing 61 of 88 pitches for strikes, but the defense failed him. Milwaukee’s first run got on base thanks to a catcher’s interference call against Yasmani Grandal in the second inning, while the winning runs scored in the sixth after Max Muncy’s two-out error.Kershaw continued to pitch well despite low velocity; he’s hitting more bats, but still gives the Dodgers a chance to win just about every start. The left-handed starter is currently in the fifth year of a seven-year, $215 million deal. However, Kershaw winner can opt out this winter. Some believe there’s a chance he lands with his hometown Texas Rangers.
Why Bet on Atlanta?The Braves have lost three of the last four series against Los Angeles in Atlanta. The Braves took two of three in 2015. That set win here in 2015 marked the Braves’ only series win against Los Angeles since 2014. The Braves are 9-20 against the Dodgers over this span.The Braves are 2-2 since the break entering Thursday’s opener. They were routed 9-3 in Miami on Tuesday to split a two-game set and had a rare Wednesday off. Star rookie second baseman Ozzie Albies sat Tuesday for the third straight game with right hamstring tightness but was set to return Thursday.No one wants to face Kershaw, but the Braves are leading the majors with a .275 (260-for-946) batting average against lefties this season, while their .342 on-base percentage is fourth best. The club’s .464 slugging percentage is the best in the N.L. and trails only the Yankees’ .489 mark for the major-league lead. Freddie Freeman is hitting .360 (45-for-125) against lefties this season, the best mark among qualifying left-handed hitters. His eight homers against lefties are tied for eighth among all hitters.It’s Mike Foltynewicz (7-6, 2.85) on the bump. Foltynewicz took the loss Sunday against the Nationals, allowing four runs on nine hits and three walks over 5.2 innings while striking out five. The right-hander wasn’t at his sharpest after the first pitch was delayed by rain for nearly two hours, giving up three runs in the bottom of the first inning before settling down.Foltynewicz ended up throwing 112 pitches (75 strikes), his highest total since he needed 113 to record a win in Boston on May 27. Foltynewicz allowed 2 earned runs or fewer in 15 of his first 16 starts, but he’s allowed at least 4 in each of his past 3 starts.
Latest MLB Betting Trends
- Dodgers are 7-0 in Kershaw’s last 7 starts vs. Braves
- Braves are 4-0 in Foltynewicz’s last 4 home starts
- Under is 4-1-1 in Foltynewicz’s last 6 home starts vs. a team with a winning record
- Under is 24-8-2 in Kershaw’s last 34 road starts vs. a team with a winning record