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Braves vs. Dodgers Odds, Preview, Prediction: How to Bet Los Angeles Against Drew Smyly (August 30)

Braves vs. Dodgers Odds, Preview, Prediction: How to Bet Los Angeles Against Drew Smyly (August 30) article feature image

G Fiume/Getty Images. Pictured: Drew Smyly

  • Julio Urias and the Los Angeles Dodgers are heavy favorites against the Atlanta Braves on Monday night.
  • Urias has been one of the league's most consistent pitchers this season while his counterpart, Drew Smyly, is a candidate for negative regression.
  • Is that enough to warrant a bet on the Dodgers? Michael Arinze breaks it down.

Braves vs. Dodgers Odds

Braves Odds +180
Dodgers Odds -210
Over/Under 8.5
Time 10:10 p.m. ET
Odds as of Monday afternoon and via DraftKings.

On Sunday, I, along with others, got duped by the Los Angeles Dodgers when they decided to push Julio Urías’ start by a day. Urías was expected to start the rubber match against the Rockies, but Dodgers manager Dave Roberts explained to the media that an extra day’s rest was the priority for his starter at the moment.

“Making sure you take care of the guys, Julio and Walker, namely, as far as giving them an extra day to appreciate and understand what they have in store for them the rest of the season [is important],” Roberts said.

One might be compelled to believe that the Dodgers overlooked the Rockies in their series finale because Roberts’ plan didn’t pan out as Los Angeles was blanked 5-0. Now, Urías will start the series opener against Atlanta on Monday, and the Braves will counter with their own left-hander in Drew Smyly.

That’s just one of the similarities between these teams who also met in the NLCS last season. There’s plenty to unpack, so let’s dive right into this matchup.

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Atlanta Braves

It wasn’t that long ago that Atlanta was teetering around .500. The Braves went into the All-Star break with a 44-45 record, but they’ve turned their season around by going 26-14 in the second half of the season. Smyly’s had his own impressive run that dates back to May 26, which is the last time he lost a decision. After a 2-3 start to the season, he’s rattled off seven straight wins. However, one could argue that there are some warning signs notwithstanding his 9-3 record.

The Arkansas native has a 4.54 ERA, and his 5.04 FIP is a half-run higher, thus making him a candidate for regression. The other alarming thing is, despite his current streak without a loss, he’s not necessarily a pitcher that’s going to pitch deep into a game.

In fact, Smyly’s failed to complete five innings in six of his 14 starts during that span, and only twice was he able to complete six innings. This tells me that the Braves are aware of his limitations, and they won’t hesitate to pull him early if things start heading south for him on the mound. This often has been the case when Smyly’s forced to pitch from the stretch with runners on base. He always seems to be one pitch away from surrendering a home run, given his 1.86 HR/9 ratio. 17.4% of his flyballs end up leaving the park as souvenirs.

In his last outing, he worked around three home runs to the lowly Orioles and still got the win after lasting five innings. That likely won’t get the job done against a Dodgers team ranked in the top-five with 181 home runs on the year.

Smyly has shown a tendency that once he allows multiple home runs in a game, he’s likely to do the same in his next start. We’ve already seen this occur three out of five times this season.

rockie-vs-dodgers-odds-preview-prediction-expect-urías-to-lead-los-angeles-to-series-victory-august 29
Jim McIsaac / Getty Images. Pictured: Julio Urías

Los Angeles Dodgers

Since Urías didn’t pitch yesterday, my assessment of him remains valid coming into this game, so feel free to peruse the link I shared in my opening. I will however try to contrast Urías with Smyly for this pitching matchup.

In 25 starts, Urías has failed to complete five innings only once. That’s an incredible amount of consistency, and that only strengthens the case of one side having the edge in this pitching matchup.

In addition, unlike Smyly, Urías has been able to keep the ball in the park given his 1.06 HR/9 ratio. And if we look at the batter vs. pitcher matchups, he’s limited Atlanta to a .217 / .333 / .348 line with a .130 ISO. In comparison, Smyly has a .233 / .329 / .433 line with a .200 ISO against Los Angeles.

A key focus for this game will be which team can have more success hitting for power. The Dodgers lineup also has a clear edge in terms of slugging percentage and ISO in this department.

This will be Urías’ second start and fourth appearance against Atlanta. He’s 1-0 in those outings with a 1.00 ERA. He faced the Braves in June earlier this season and limited them to just one run on four hits.  To Smyly’s credit, he has a 2.19 ERA in four appearances and two starts against the Dodgers. However, he’s yet to factor in a decision.

His teams did manage to win both of those starts, and in comparison, the Dodgers are also 2-0 when Urías starts against the Braves.

Braves-Dodgers Pick

I have to admit that it was a bit surprising to see Los Angeles sweep San Diego on the road only to return home and lose two out of three games against Colorado. Part of me wonders if the Dodgers and their manager were peeking ahead to this week’s schedule against the Braves and the Giants.

Sometimes, that’s all it takes to knock a team off its stride.

In the NLCS last year, Atlanta jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the series and held a 3-1 lead after four games but couldn’t win another game to advance to the World Series. This season, Atlanta took two-out-of-three at home against Los Angeles, with the only Dodgers win occurring in Urías’ start.

These two teams are much closer than their win-loss record, and the current odds for this game would suggest. However, the advanced numbers show that Smyly’s really been fortunate in some of his outings, and his inability to pitch deep into games is another red flag.

Given Smyly’s looming regression, I’m going back to the play I wanted to make yesterday, and that’s to back Urías on the 0.5 run line in the first five innings (F5).

Pick: Dodgers F5 RL -0.5 (-140)

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