Date/Time: October 3rd, 8:30 PM ET
Probable Starters: Kershaw (Los Angeles) vs. Medlen (Atlanta)
Moneyline: Dodgers -145
It’s not all that often that you see a ‘total’ of 6 in a baseball betting battle, but that’s what is happening for the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves on Thursday night in what should be a fantastic pitching duel at Turner Field between two of the best in the game.
The Dodgers, of course, are starting out this series with their ace on the hill, LHP Clayton Kershaw. The base numbers in 2013 for Kershaw are just sick, and he is going to walk away with the Cy Young Award in the National League as a result. He put up 1.83 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP, and he threw a whopping 236 innings of work in that time. He lefty has only allowed seven hits in 13 scoreless innings in his last two starts, and in that span, he has 18 strikeouts and just two walks. You could nitpick, but in the end, you would have to conclude that this is the best pitcher in baseball. It doesn’t make him unbeatable, though. Kershaw did go 16-9 this year, proving that he is mortal, and not having OF Andre Ethier and OF Matt Kemp in the outfield really leaves a gaping hole at one of these outfield positions that is going to be tough to fill.
Atlanta can’t exactly be full of confidence at this point. The team had a shot to get into the playoffs playing here at Turner Field in 2011, except for the fact that it was beaten by the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 162 to get knocked out. Then it had a shot to get into the main portion of the playoffs last year, but it was beaten again at home by the St. Louis Cardinals. Then the team rolled off 56 victories here in the Peach State, and that at least has to restore confidence that this is a club that can indeed wins games against the best in the National League here in Atlanta. The Braves have their entire lineup together, save for perhaps C Brian McCann, who is still dealing with a groin strain. We would bet that he plays, especially with RHP Kris Medlen on the hill. Medlen has a sub-1.00 ERA in his last seven starts, and he is starting to look like the man that took the world by storm last season before getting beaten in that Wild Card game.
The oddsmakers just have this whole series wrong as we see it. Yes, there is a lot of money that has been tied up into the Dodgers, and yes, this is a good team for sure. Kershaw is awesome, and he might put nine zeroes on the board in a row. That doesn’t mean that Medlen can’t do the same thing. Especially at plus odds, we absolutely love Atlanta at home on Thursday night.
Los Angeles Dodgers @ Atlanta Braves Pick: Atlanta Braves +139
is a staff writer living in the Orlando area. He has covered NFL, MLB, college football, CFL, AFL, NBA, college basketball, NASCAR, golf, tennis, and the NHL for a number of various outlets in his career, and he has been published by a number of different media outlets, including the Orlando Sentinel and the Wall Street Journal.