Keep Up With The Trend & Back Braves As Your Underdog MLB Pick vs. Dodgers

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 1:58 PM GMT

After Atlanta Braves re-align their rotation, Julio Teheran offers a great underdog MLB pick vs. Los Angeles Dodgers in tonight's game.

 

MLB Record: 8-8-1, +1.08

Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Atlanta Braves
The streaking home team could offer nice underdog value Wednesday night while it continues to recover from a disastrous start as Ross Stripling and the Los Angeles Dodgers (8-6, 4-4 away) pay a visit to fellow right-hander Julio Teheran and the suddenly hot Atlanta Braves (4-9, 1-5 home) at Turner Field in Atlanta, GA at 7:10 ET in a game available on FOX Sports – South. The posted money line at Bovada has Atlanta as a moderate home underdog for this contest at current MLB odds of +120.

 

A Tale of Two Seasons Already
The Braves are only 13 games into the season, but it already feels as if they have played two entirely different seasons! That is because they got off to a historically bad 0-9 start over which they scored a grand total of 24 runs (2.67 RPG), but to its credit Atlanta has gotten off the mat with its current four-game winning streak since then while scoring 26 runs, including taking the series opener here last night 8-1 behind Williams Perez.

The Dodgers had been the winning MLB picks in four of their previous five games before last night, but those games were all at home and they were not as fortunate in the opening game of this six-game road trip Tuesday, with the defeat evening their road mark at 4-4. Los Angeles does remain in a flat-footed tie atop the National League West along with the surprising Colorado Rockies, with both teams standing at 8-6.

 

Teheran Looks to Regain Form
Teheran was originally scheduled to start the series opener last night, but he was pushed back a day as he looks to break out of a funk that has seen him allow a total of 10 earned runs and 12 hits over 11 innings over his last two starts. However, he is obviously better than that as the bona fide ace of the Braves starting rotation once they traded Shelby Miller, and his last two starts could actually be serving to give him nice overlay value at home here.

Teheran looked like an emerging star when he combined for a 3.03 ERA and 1.12 WHIP during the 2013 and 2014 seasons, but on the surface it would appear he declined while going 11-8 with a 4.04 ERA and 1.31 WHIP last year. Those figures were skewed however by allowing six earned runs or more in five of his 33 starts, as he was mostly good in the other 28 outings and he did post a 3.23 ERA over 106 innings from July onward.

Furthermore Teheran has a career 2.91 ERA and 1.09 WHIP at Turner Field including a 2.89 ERA and 1.06 WHIP here last season (compared to a 5.40 ERA and 1.59 WHIP on the road in 2015), so we like his chances for positive regression beginning with this start tonight.

 

Nice Start But Can it Last?
Meanwhile, Stripling made an immediate impression in his first Major League start for the Dodgers this season when he tossed 7.1 hitless innings before Manager Dave Roberts pulled him from the game after his 100th pitch, and unfortunately the bullpen then gave the game up in a 3-2 loss. Then, with far less fanfare, Stripling pitched reasonably well in his second start vs. Arizona last Thursday, allowing two earned runs in five innings in another no-decision.

The Dodgers have high hopes for Stripling, who has apparently surpassed his initial forecasts as only a fifth round draft pick in the 2012 MLB Draft, but they are also monitoring his pitches as he was pulled after 96 pitches last time out. Well, the Braves are heating up offensively vs. right-handed pitchers averaging a whopping 6.23 runs per nine innings against them over the last five games, so this game could mark another early call to the Dodger bullpen.

That unit remain a sore spot as of now though and it could be the only thing keeping Los Angeles from a division title this year, barring a major trade of course to get some bullpen help.

 

Troubles on the Highway
Finally, the Dodgers have not been as good on the road as they have been at home since the start of last season, as they finished seven games under .500 at 37-44 away from home last year before their modest 4-4 road start here in 2016. The Dodgers are also 0-4 in their last four road games vs. right-handed starters, while it is the Braves that are 4-1 in the last five head-to-head meetings between these clubs.

The price seems right here to back those trends to continue, so take the Atlanta Braves at the underdog price at home hosting the Los Angeles Dodgers from Turner Field on Wednesday.

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Free MLB Pick: Braves +119
Best Line Offered: at Heritage