The Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers both ran away with their respective divisions, as they prepare to open up a best-of-seven series Thursday night.
Let’s take a closer look at the MLB betting odds for Game 1 of
this National League Division Series at Turner Field, with the first pitch
scheduled for 8:37 p.m. ET on TBS.
Health is a concern
Los Angeles put together one of the more amazing mid-season runs
in MLB history this season, which allowed the club to win the NL West division
by 11 games, but it also came with a price.
The Dodgers’ roster is certainly banged up, with the biggest
missing piece being outfielder Matt Kemp, who has been shutdown with an ankle
MLB handicappers will find that the Dodgers were 8-8 as road
favorites of -125 to -150 since the start of the 2013 campaign, with the UNDER
going 9-7 in that situation.
Atlanta was never really challenged in capturing the NL East,
which could pose a problem in pressure situations in October, as it prepares to
dress up as a home underdog of +125 to +150 for the first time.
The Braves will need to do a better job of putting the ball in
play, as they averaged a strikeout every 4.43 plate appearances.
What is the Series Price for this Match-up?
Dodgers starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw (16-9, 1.83 ERA) finished
the regular season with back-to-back victories, including a 11-0 home win over
the Colorado Rockies last Friday, as he allowed four hits over six shutout
The left-hander was 8-3 with a 2.14 ERA in 16 road games, with
opposing hitters batting just .187 against him.
In four career games versus the Braves, Kershaw hasn’t earned a
decision in compiling a 2.45 ERA.
Braves starting pitcher Kris Medlen (15-12, 3.11 ERA) finished the
year as one of the hottest throwers in baseball—posting a 9-3 record and 2.38
ERA in 13 appearances since the All-Star break.
The right-hander was 9-6 with a 2.26 ERA in 17 home games (16
starts), with opposing hitters batting .260 against him.
In eight lifetime outings (three starts) versus the Dodgers,
Medlen has gone 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA.
I’m going to recommend that readers back the Dodgers in the first
five innings for your MLB picks, but this is one of the tougher match-ups in the early going
during the 2013 MLB playoffs.
MLB Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers -147 First Five Innings