Atlanta Braves vs. LA Dodgers Odds & Predictions
Atlanta Braves (5-6) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (7-2)
When: 10:10 p.m., Monday, April 18
Where: Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
Moneyline: ATL +155/LAD -190
Runline: Braves +1.5/Dodgers -1.5
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Starting Pitchers: Huascar Ynoa (0-1, 15.00 ERA, 3.00 WHIP) vs. Clayton Kershaw (1-0, 0.00 ERA, 0.00 WHIP)
Staring at the Past
The debate has raged about whether or not the Braves miss Freddie Freeman since his move to the Dodgers, and the early returns suggest that they do. Atlanta’s offense has been rather weak to date outside of one big game with the Nationals, in which the Braves plated 16 runs. Over the rest of the season, the Braves have really had trouble stringing rallies together in the same game. Atlanta has scored three runs or fewer in seven different games this season, and all but one of those went in the loss column.
For whatever reason, Atlanta’s lineup doesn’t seem to be able to piece together life without Freeman in the lineup. It isn’t because of a lack of power, either: the Braves have 12 home runs in 11 games this season. No, the problem here is that Atlanta isn’t getting enough hits and isn’t getting enough baserunners to drive them in. Freeman drove in 83 runs for Atlanta last season, and so far, the Braves haven’t found a consistent replacement for one of the best run producers their lineup had.
So what exactly does Clayton Kershaw do for an encore now that he’s coming off seven perfect innings yet wasn’t able to finish the job for the perfect game? The Dodgers decided to pull him after they got into the eighth inning and decided not to overdo it in his first start of the season, which begs the question of whether Kershaw will be able to pick up where he left off.
Nobody expects that Kershaw will make a serious run at Johnny Vander Meer’s streak of 21.2 consecutive innings without a hit, but Kershaw was looking much like his old self against Minnesota and won’t have the pressure of coming off throwing a no-hitter or perfect game in his previous start. If he can pitch anything close to how he did last time out, it would be a welcome change from his previous appearance against the Braves: the last time he faced Atlanta, Kershaw gave up five runs and eight hits in a loss over six innings.
Locking Them Down
The Dodgers are simply rolling through opposing lineups so far, as they’ve held opponents to a .175 batting average and have a 2.28 ERA over the course of nine games. Only once in nine contests have the Dodgers given up more than three runs, which is usually more than enough for their offense to put up enough numbers to earn a win.
Conversely, this really isn’t the opponent that Atlanta’s pitching staff wants to see. The Braves have been a bit too strikeout-happy, as they’ve issued too many free passes while hunting for whiffs. Atlanta does have 104 strikeouts on the year, but the Braves have also walked 34, putting on the runners that opponents have needed to get past their struggling lineup.
- The Braves are 4-1 in their past five games as an underdog.
- The Braves are 13-5 in their past 18 games against the NL West.
- The Dodgers are 43-12 in their past 55 home games.
- The Dodgers are 54-19 in their past 73 overall.
- The under is 5-1-1 in the Braves’ past seven road games.
- The under is 4-1 in the Braves’ past five against the NL West.
- The under is 5-0 in the Dodgers’ past five Monday games.
- The under is 6-2-1 in the Dodgers’ past nine games overall.
- The Dodgers are 36-17 in the past 53 meetings in Los Angeles.
- The over is 4-1 in the past five meetings.
With temperatures at around 66 degrees and only five miles per hour breezes expected, this should be a perfect day for baseball in Southern California.
With the Braves not doing much hitting at the moment against weaker pitchers than Kershaw, it’s hard to see Atlanta turning this around, even against a pitcher who is not quite what he used to be in his prime years. Kershaw showed that there is still plenty of life left in his arm, and the Dodgers are still hitting the ball well enough to give him plenty of support. I don’t expect they’ll need a lot of runs here. I’ll take the Dodgers to claim the win here. Bet your baseball picks for FREE by scoring a 100% bonus real cash bonus on your first deposit of $100 to $300 at MyBookie Sportsbook! (Must use bonus code PREDICT100).
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