By: Ron Patrick
Atlanta got on the board in this series with a 2-1 victory Saturday, getting another quality start and a solo home run from Kris Medlen.
The Braves won as -150 chalk on Saturday's MLB betting board, and the game, like Thursday and Friday's, played UNDER on the total.
So Atlanta will shoot for a split of this four-game series when the teams meet Sunday afternoon (4:10 pm ET).
Sunday's Betting Odds
As of early Sunday morning most books were holding off on lining today's game, because of the pitching change for the Dodgers, who are going with rookie Matt Magill against Atlanta's Mike Minor.
Sunday's Pitching Match-Up
Magill (0-1, 6.38) is just 1/5 on quality starts this season, and 0 for his last four. Last time out he got bombed for six ER in six innings vs. Colorado, walking (if you can believe it) nine guys and giving up four homers.
For the season Magill has allowed 23 hits in 24 innings, but he's also walked 22; the Dodgers have lost all five of his starts.
However, in Magill's only start vs. Atlanta he gave up just one run through five innings, striking out eight, in a 5-2 LA loss three weeks ago at Turner Field.
Lefty Minor (7-2, 2.52) is an impressive 9/12 on quality starts this season, and working on a run of seven in a row. Most recently he allowed four runs, just two earned, in six innings vs. Pittsburgh, and over his last three starts he's given up just four ER through 20 1/3 innings.
On the season Minor has permitted just 57 hits in 78 2/3 innings, walked 14 and struck out 72; Atlanta is 9-3 in Minor's starts.
Minor has started once earlier this year vs. LA, giving up two runs and three hits through six innings, striking out nine, in that same 5-2 Braves win three weeks ago.
Last year Minor started twice against the Dodgers, allowing four runs through 13 innings; Atlanta won both those games.
Our Take on Sunday's Game
Minor has blossomed into a very effective starter for Atlanta, which has won his last six starts. Magill, meanwhile, had to be called back up from the Minors after that terrible start last week against the Rockies to start today. So we'll go with the Braves for our free MLB pick for Sunday.
By: Ron Patrick
LA took the second game of this series Friday night 2-1, getting another home run from phenom Yasiel Puig in the sixth inning to tie the game, then winning it on a wild pitch in the bottom of the tenth.
The Dodgers, to our relief, won as -100 “favorites” on Friday's MLB betting board, and the game never threatened its OVER/UNDER of seven.
So LA, which is 4-1 since bringing Puig up from the Minors, has a chance to win this four-game series when the teams meet Saturday night (10:10 pm ET).
Saturday's Betting Lines
As of Saturday AM most baseball betting shops were chalking Atlanta and Kris Medlen at around -140 over LA and rookie Stephen Fife, with an OVER/UNDER of 7.5.
Saturday's Pitching Match-Up
Fife (1-0, 4.50) began this season in the Minors, made a start for LA in April in which he gave up four runs in 4 2/3 innings against Baltimore, then went on the DL with a sore shoulder. He then did a another stint in the Minors, before getting called back up to fill in for the injured Chris Capuano in the Dodgers rotation. His last time out Fife got some better results, holding San Diego to one run through 5 1/3 innings of a 2-1 Los Angeles victory Tuesday night.
This will be Fife's first-ever appearance against Atlanta.
Medlen (2-6, 3.14) has pitched in a bit of bad luck this season. He's 6/12 on quality starts this year, but has only two victories to show for it, and the Braves, thanks to some poor run support, are only 5-7 in his starts.
Last time out Medlen held the Pirates to one unearned run over seven innings, and over his last four starts he's allowed six ER through 22 innings.
On the season Medlen has given up 71 hits in 71 2/3 innings, walked 24 and struck out 54.
Atlanta has lost Medlen starts this year by scores of 2-0, 4-2, 3-1 and 3-0.
Medlen has started once previously this year against LA and got a win, allowing one unearned run and just two hits through seven innings of a 3-1 Braves victory three weeks ago at Turner Field.
Our Take on Saturday's Game
Fife may not impress statistically, but we give him a certain edge over Atlanta hitters, at least for this start, because they haven't faced him before. Also, the Dodgers have found a little mojo with the addition of Puig. So we'll stick with LA, with a home dog price, for our free MLB pick for Saturday.
By: Ron Patrick
LA took the opener of this series Thursday night 5-0, getting a quality start from Zack Greinke and a grand slam from rookie sensation Yasiel Puig.
The Dodgers, to our betting dismay, won as +105 home dogs Thursday night, and the game stayed UNDER its betting odds total of seven.
So, LA has won three of its last four games, while Atlanta will try to start a new winning streak, as the teams head into Game 2 of this four-game series Friday night (10:10 pm ET).
Friday's Betting Odds
As of Friday AM most books were chalking LA with Hyun-Jin Ryu at around -110 over Atlanta and Paul Maholm, with an OVER/UNDER of seven for our sports picks.
Friday's Pitching Match-Up
Ryu (6-2, 2.89) is back after missing his last start because of a sore foot suffered when he got hit by a batted ball in his last outing, a complete-game, two-hit shutout victory over the Angels on May 28. So far this season Ryu is 7/11 on quality starts, and three for his last four, during which he's limited foes to five ER through 28 innings.
On the season the Korean lefty has allowed just 59 hits in 71 2/3 innings, walked 22 and struck out 67; LA, a team that's seven games under .500 overall, is 7-4 in Ryu's starts.
Ryu has started once earlier this season against the Braves, allowing two runs through five innings but walking five in an 8-5 Dodgers loss May 17 at Turner Field.
Fellow lefty Maholm (7-4, 3.68) is 6/12 on quality starts this year, and three for his last four. Most recently he held the Nationals to two ER through six innings, and over his last four starts he's allowed nine ER through 25 1/3 innings.
For the season Maholm has given up fewer hits, 70, than innings pitched, 73 1/3, and his K/BB ratio ain't bad, at 55/21. Atlanta is 8-4 in his starts, 4-0 over his last four.
Maholm has started once earlier this season against LA, allowing four runs (two earned) and eight hits through six innings of that same 8-5 Atlanta victory three weeks ago at Turner Field Ryu started. Last year Maholm, as a Cub, started once against the Dodgers and got a win by holding them to one run on three hits through six innings at Wrigley Field in May.
The OVER/UNDERS, surprisingly, are a combined 16-6 in Ryu and Maholm's starts this year, in part because of some low totals, and also some decent run support for both pitchers.
Our Take on Friday's Game
We've been big betting fans of Ryu for a while now, and Puig has juiced some life into both his team and the crowd out at Dodger Stadium. So we'll ride the wave and go with LA for our free MLB pick for Friday.
MLB Pick: Take the Dodgers at the -107 offered at Bet365.
By: Ron Patrick
The Atlanta Braves have rolled to a big lead in the NL East, making a bunch of money on the daily MLB betting odds in the process.
The Los Angeles Dodgers are still trying to get out of last place in the NL West, and have been among the absolute worst bets in baseball so far this season.
Who might take the cash when these two former divisional rivals get together for a four-game weekend series out at Chavez Ravine, starting Thursday night (10:10 pm ET)? Let's try and find out.
Braves-Dodgers Thursday Betting Lines
As of Thursday AM most baseball books were listing Thursday's game, which matches LA's Zack Greinke against Atlanta's Tim Hudson, at right around a pick 'em, with an OVER/UNDER of seven.
Also, The Greek was listing the Braves at -115 to win this series, based on the first three games, with the Dodgers “getting” -105 as home dogs.
Braves-Dodgers Series Set-Up
Atlanta just swept three games at home from Pittsburgh, winning Wednesday 5-0, and has won five in a row overall. The Braves have also scored at least five runs each of their last four games.
So, Atlanta, at 37-22, leads the NL East by 7.5 games over second-place Philly.
LA just took two of three games at home from San Diego, missing out on the sweep by losing Clay Kershaw's start Wednesday 6-2. Rookie call-up Yasiel Puig provided a spark in his first two ML games this week, both in the field and at the bat, and the Dodgers are hoping that will carry over.
Still, LA has been held to three runs or fewer in six of its last nine games.
So, the Dodgers, at 25-33, are still in last place in the NL West, 8.5 games behind first-place Arizona.
This is the second meeting between these two teams this season; back three weeks ago Atlanta swept three games from the Dodgers at Turner Field, with two of those three games staying UNDER on the totals.
Thursday's Pitching Match-Up
Greinke (2-1, 4.80), who missed a month with that broken collarbone, is just 1/6 on quality starts this season, and 0 for 4 since coming off the DL. Last time out he got nicked for four runs and nine hits in five-plus innings against Colorado, and over his last four starts he's allowed 14 ER and 33 hits in 18 2/3 innings.
On the season Greinke has given up 40 hits in 30 innings, walked eight and struck out 20; LA is 4-2 in Greinke's starts.
Greinke's last start against Atlanta came more than two years ago, so we don't put a whole lot of credence in that performance.
Soon-to-be 38-year-old Hudson (4-4, 4.80), by our strict standards, is 5/12 on quality starts this season, and just one for his last five. Last time out Hudson was good, holding the Nats to one unearned run and three hits through seven innings of a 2-1 Atlanta victory. But in his four starts previous to that Hudson had allowed 19 ER over 19 2/3 innings.
For the season Hudson has given up 68 hits in 69 1/3 innings, walked 18 and struck out 49; the Braves are 7-5 when Hudson has hit the hill.
Hudson last started against LA back in 2011, and that was a very different lineup than the one he'll face Thursday night.
In the battle of the bullpens for this series Atlanta relievers rank No. 1 in the Majors with a cumulative 2.65 ERA, and are 18/26 on save opportunities; meanwhile, the Dodgers pen ranks 21st with a 4.16 ERA and is only 16/28 on save opps.
Braves-Dodgers Betting Trends
On the season Atlanta is up $1,125, based on those theoretical $100 wagers on each game; only two teams, the Pirates and A's, have been more profitable.
On the other end of the profits scale LA is down $1,600 this year; only three other teams have lost more money.
These two teams are a combined 64-49 on the OVER/UNDERS this season.
The O/Us are also 20-11 in Dodgers home games this season, in large part because oddsmakers have posted such low totals on Dodger Stadium games.
LA recently got Hanley Ramirez back from the disabled list, but is also playing without Matt Kemp and Carl Crawford, who are both still on the DL.
Our Take on Thursday's Game
We'll call the match-up of starting pitchers a wash, because neither has been too hot lately. But we give Atlanta an edge with the bats and in the bullpen. So we'll go with the Braves for our free MLB pick for Thursday.
Bettors interested in this series should check back at this page for updates and more free MLB picks as the weekend plays out.