Don't Miss Out! Braves vs Dodgers Betting Odds and Score Prediction Available Now

Don’t Miss Out! Braves vs Dodgers Betting Odds and Score Prediction Available Now

Without question the marquee series of the weekend around the majors is a potential if not likely NLCS preview as the Atlanta Braves visit the Los Angeles Dodgers, who opened as short favorites on the MLB odds for Friday’s opener.

Check out my analysis of the first game of this great series to be held at Dodger Stadium between the two teams facing each other in the regular season.

MLB Lines Dodgers -121, Braves -114 (total 5.5)
What´s the Score? Dodgers 5, Braves 4
 

Atlanta Braves Odds -114

The Braves (20-9) lead the NL East and absolutely should win it yet again barring more injuries – the team already has lost ace Spencer Strider to a season-ending injury so they might have to go get starting pitching at some point.

Atlanta avoided its first series sweep of the season on Wednesday with a 5-2 win in Seattle after scoring just three runs in dropping the first two. Austin Riley went 2-for-4 with a walk, a triple, a run scored and two RBIs. That’s now five hits in the last four games for Riley but Wednesday’s triple was his first extra-base hit since April 17. The third baseman is slashing just.235/.311/.387 with two homers and 16 RBI, but he still sports an 89th percentile barrel rate and 85th percentile hard-hit rate on the season.

“He’s been swinging the bat probably as well as anybody, but had nothing to show for it,” Braves manager Brian Snitker said of Riley, who exited April with a .365 slugging percentage, but his expected slugging percentage — which is based on exit velocity and launch angle — was .443. That was one of the numbers that indicated Riley was hindered by some bad luck over the past month.

However, reigning NL MVP Ronald Acuna Jr. continues to struggle. His strikeout rate rose to 27.9 percent after he struck out three more times on Wednesday. Last year, he incredibly struck out just 11.4 percent of the time while hitting 41 homers. But this year, he has just one homer with a .690 OPS.

Five different Braves – Matt Olson (54), Acuna Jr. (41), Marcell Ozuna (40), Riley (37) and Ozzie Albies (33) – hit at least 30 home runs last season, and combined for 205 homers in 3,013 at-bats (14.7 AB/HR). Those same five have combined for just 17 homers in more than 530 at-bats this year. Despite Atlanta’s home run dearth in comparison to last year, the Braves still rank third in all of baseball with a .435 slugging percentage.

Closer Raisel Iglesias tossed a scoreless ninth inning for his eighth save of the season. Iglesias was summoned to guard a three-run lead in the final frame and made things interesting by issuing a leadoff walk to Luke Raley before giving up a single to ensuing batter Julio Rodríguez. He set down Mitch Haniger and Jorge Polanco before getting Cal Raleigh to ground out to preserve the victory. Iglesias has converted eight of nine save opportunities this season to accompany a sparkling 2.19 ERA, 1.05 WHIP and 9/3 K/BB ratio across 12 1/3 innings (13 appearances).

It’s veteran right-hander Charlie Morton (2-0) on the mound. Morton allowed four hits and one walk while striking out six batters over seven scoreless innings in a no-decision against Cleveland last Saturday. Morton notched his second straight quality start, and he appears to be coming back around after allowing 10 runs over 11.1 frames across a pair of outings April 8 and April 14. Through five starts, he’s posting a 3.60 ERA, 1.13 WHIP and 28:11 K:BB over 30 innings.

Last season Morton had a 3.32 ERA through his first start in September, then gave up 10 runs in 10 2/3 innings over his next two before leaving his final start after one inning with a finger-ligament injury that sidelined Morton for the National League Division Series, which the Braves lost.

Morton is 1-4 with a 5.70 ERA in seven career starts vs the Dodgers. That victory came in June 2021 in Atlanta.

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Los Angeles Dodgers Odds -121

The Dodgers (20-13) have a comfortable lead already in the NL West and absolutely will run away with that title again. They come off an 8-0 win in Arizona on Wednesday to take two of three against the Diamondbacks in a 2023 playoff rematch. Rookie Pages went 1-for-5 with a two-run homer.

Pages kicked off a five-run second inning for the Dodgers with a two-run shot off Jordan Montgomery following a one-out walk from Enrique Hernandez. It was Pages’ third home run of the campaign and he’s now hit safely in eight consecutive games. Over that stretch he’s batting .363 (12-for-33) with two homers, seven RBI and seven runs scored. Since arriving from Triple-A Oklahoma City, Pages (the Dodgers’ No. 3 prospect) has shown the hit tool that made him one of the top prospects in the organization and across the minors.

Will Smith went 1-for-5 with a solo homer Wednesday. The 29-year-old backstop is up to four homers on the year while slashing an excellent .355/.395/.555 with 18 runs scored and 24 RBI across 124 plate appearances. Smith actually was at DH on Wednesday because Shohei Ohtani got his first game off this season but of course will be in there Friday. Ohtani is slashing.336/.399/.618 this season with seven home runs and 19 RBIs. He had been one of four Dodgers to have played in every game this season along with Freddie Freeman, Teoscar Hernández and Mookie Betts.

Roberts identified the lineup’s two-strike hitting as one of the reasons for the Dodgers’ sharp rebound since falling to 12-11 on the season and securing a third straight losing series on April 20. Until April 20, LA was batting .188 with two strikes. Since, that number is .222, second in the majors.

It’s young right-hander Gavin Stone on the mound Friday. Stone (2-1) earned the win last Friday against the Blue Jays, allowing one run on two hits and two walks over seven innings. He struck out two. While there would ideally be more swing-and-miss stuff from Stone, he was able to prevent the Blue Jays from making hard contact. Part of that was due to a change he made with his pitch sequencing and usage by utilizing his changeup less often.

The changeup is Stone’s best pitch, and he’s used it often this year, accounting for nearly 30% of his total pitches so far. But Stone cut that percentage in half to 15% against the Blue Jays, and relied on his other offerings more.

The 25-year-old has held opponents to two runs or fewer in each of his last three outings, lowering his ERA to 4.68 with a 1.44 WHIP and 18:12 K:BB across five starts (25 innings) this season. Stone has pitched five career innings vs. the Braves, allowing four runs without a decision.

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Braves vs Dodgers Series History

These two powerhouses met in the 2018 National League Division Series then played in consecutive National League Championship Series in 2020 and 2021, with each team beating the other en route to a title in the latter two seasons. They have not met in the playoffs since. This series features the top four finishers in NL MVP voting last year, with reigning winner Ronald Acuña Jr. and first baseman Matt Olson (fourth) of Atlanta facing off with Mookie Betts (second) and Freddie Freeman (third) of LA. And let’s not forget the Dodgers also have the reigning AL MVP in Shohei Ohtani.

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Braves at Dodgers Info

When: Friday, 10:10 PM ET
Where: Dodger Stadium
Pitchers (away/home): Charlie Morton/Gavin Stone
TV: MLB Extra Innings


 

Injuries to Consider

Atlanta Braves

DatePlayerPositionStatus
Apr 24Sean MurphyC10-Day-IL
Apr 20Spencer StriderSP15-Day-IL
Apr 9JR RitchieSPDay-To-Day

LA Dodgers

DatePlayerPositionStatus
May 2Walker BuehlerSP15-Day-IL
May 1Zyhir HopeOFDay-To-Day
May 1Joe KellyRPDay-To-Day
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