A rematch of last year’s National League Championship Series is on the weekend docket, and we’ve got a free MLB pick for the opener of the set in Atlanta between the Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Atlanta Braves
Friday, June 4, 2021 – 7:20 PM ET at Truist Park
Los Angeles and Atlanta appeared to be on a collision course for a rematch this October, at least going by preseason MLB futures that had the Dodgers -200 favorites to beat out the San Diego Padres in the NL West while the Braves were slightly ahead of the New York Mets in the NL East. Only Los Angeles is living up to those projections right now, the Dodgers in a tight race with the San Francisco Giants and Padres in their division while the Braves are playing sub-.500 baseball and trailing the Mets.
A couple of young hurlers have been tabbed for mound duty in Friday’s opener, Julio Urias (7-2, 3.61) for Los Angeles and Ian Anderson (4-2, 3.27) for Atlanta. The Dodgers are going off -122 at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review), +112 the return on the Braves and a 9-run total that favors the ‘under.’
Bums Reach Atlanta on 5-1 O/U Spurt
Los Angeles enjoyed a day off on Thursday to travel east for a six-game trip, this stop in Atlanta followed by three in Pittsburgh. The Dodgers just finished a rather disappointing 3-4 homestand that began by losing three of four to the Giants before taking two of three from the St. Louis Cardinals. Their offense caught fire in the wins over the Cardinals, the series concluding with a 14-3 rout in which Cody Bellinger drove in six runs.
Though he is coming off a rough assignment against the Giants, Urias has still been a strong play on the betting odds with the Dodgers winning eight of his 11 starts (+2.60 units). San Francisco knocked him around last Saturday by collecting a season-high 11 hits and seven runs (six earned) against the southpaw. Urias had won his previous three starts, and was 4-2 in May.
Urias faced the Braves twice in last year’s NLCS and earned the win in both outings, including the decisive Game 7 matchup out of the bullpen. He saw them twice in 2019, picking up two saves during a series at Dodger Stadium. Friday marks Urias’ first career appearance at Truist Park, and he owns a 2.53 ERA in five road assignments this season.
Braves Lead Majors with 84 HR
Atlanta just completed a long set with Washington, beating the Nationals 5-3 on Thursday to earn a split. Everyone knows about Ronald Acuña Jr.’s importance to the lineup, but Dansby Swanson has been doing his share – and then some – for the Braves recently. The 27-year-old shortstop is currently enjoying a career-best 12-game hit streak, batting .362 (17-47) during the stretch with 5 HR, 10 RBI and 9 Runs in those dozen contests.
May wasn’t as kind to Anderson as April, but the bottom line was Atlanta won three of his five starts last month. He took the loss last Saturday in New York, the only game the Braves and Mets got in between rainouts, allowing four runs in as many innings as a +150 underdog at online betting sites, and closed May with a 4.15 ERA compared to 2.48 a month earlier.
Anderson started Game 7 of the NLCS last October, a no-decision in a 4-3 Dodgers win. He also got an ND with four shutout innings in Game 2 of the series, an 8-7 Atlanta triumph. Those are the only two times Anderson has faced Los Angeles, and he’s 2-0 with a 3.07 ERA in five home assignments this season.
Rivalry Trends, Mother Nature and A Free Pick
Los Angeles rallied from a 3-1 deficit against Atlanta in the 2020 NLCS to win its 25th pennant before taking out Tampa Bay in the World Series. Friday marks their first regular season matchup since August 2019 when the Braves took two of three at home from the Dodgers. Los Angeles swept Atlanta earlier that season at Dodger Stadium, and totals have run 4-7-1 O/U/P in the last dozen meetings at Truist Park.
The weatherman says to expect cloudy skies in Atlanta today, and for most of the weekend series. The good news is there isn’t any rain in the Friday forecast which calls for an 83° thermometer reading at game-time, along with a light breeze from the west (out to left).
Urias pitches better on the road while Anderson is better at home, and that should attract ‘under’ bettors to this party. My crystal ball keeps showing a 5-3 LA victory, and that has me attending the party with a run-line play.
*The pick reflects the line at the moment the writer made the play, the odds at the beginning of this article show the live line movement. Since the lines might vary, don’t forget to refer back to our live odds.