Dodgers vs. Braves Game 3 Odds, Picks, Betting Preview (Wednesday, October 14)

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Tom Pennington/Getty Images. Pictured: Nick Markakis

It took two games, but the Los Angeles Dodgers finally found their hitting shoes.

Atlanta led 7-3 in Game 2. And what we thought was a mostly irrelevant home run by Ozzie Albies to give the Braves an 8-3 lead in the top of the ninth actually proved to be the game winner, as L.A. rallied for four runs in the bottom half to lose 8-7.

This series is far from over, but the Dodgers need a win tonight. Los Angeles will call on southpaw Julio Urias start Game 3 while Atlanta will counter with right-hander Kyle Wright.

Oddsmakers opened with the Dodgers as -165 favorites and that number is approaching -200 at certain sportsbooks. How should you be betting Game 3?

While I don’t think these two teams are that far apart, I’m not necessarily looking to take a side in the game. Instead, it’s a play on a team total that could be worth some consideration.

Atlanta Braves

If there are pitchers the Dodgers can have success against in the Braves rotation, Kyle Wright would be at the top of the list. Wright finished the regular season at 2-4 with a 5.21 ERA and 1.55 WHIP. His 5.90 FIP, which was higher than his ERA, suggests he’s a candidate for regression this postseason. And that’s saying something considering how bad he was in the regular season.

Wright has only made one playoff start and it was against the Marlins when he pitched six scoreless innings to lead Atlanta to a 7-0 win in the Division Series. That one start isn’t enough to change my opinion of Wright, who is 2-7 with a 6.22 ERA in his career.

The Marlins simply didn’t offer enough in the postseason as they averaged just 2.4 runs per game and were shutout out in their last two games. According to FanGraphs, Miami ranked as a below average team with a 95 wRC+ rating in the regular season while the Dodgers finished tied for first in the same category with an above average 122 rating.

Wright’s 5.68 BB/9 ratio is a concern against a Dodgers team that’s very patient at the plate. Los Angeles had the lowest chase rate at 26.5% on balls outside the zone.

In Game 2, Los Angeles drew six walks, which was four more than they drew in Game 1. Look for the Dodgers to continue with that same approach in Game 3.

Los Angeles Dodgers

I watched Julio Urias make his major league debut as a 19-year old and after five years, it seems the Dodgers are finally starting to trust him a bit more. Los Angeles has often coddled the young left-hander to protect him from injury but now it seems that the training wheels are finally off.

This year, Urias pitched at least six innings on five occasions and you’d have to go back to his rookie season to find the last time he had multiple six-inning outings.

Urias made 10 starts this season and finished the season 3-0 with a 3.27 ERA and 1.15 WHIP. Like Wright, his FIP at 3.72 is also higher than his ERA, which makes him a candidate for minor regression this postseason.

While it’s still a smaller sample size, Atlanta has actually done well against left-handers this postseason. In 32 at-bats, they have a .344 AVG/.417 OBP/.625 SLG slash line.

Urias is more vulnerable the first time through the batting order as his 6.16 ERA is higher than any other period during his starts. If he struggles early, Los Angeles may look to go to the bullpen early as they can ill afford to fall behind early after already trailing 2-0 in the series.

The Dodgers bullpen has sprung a few leaks this postseason with the uncertainty of Kenley Jansen in the closer’s role. Right now, that uncertainty seems to be permeating through the Dodgers bullpen as they’ve already allowed seven runs in the first two games.

Betting Analysis

The total for this game opened at 9 and one book has even moved the number up to 10. That’s almost a full 1.5 runs higher than the closing number in any game this series. We’ve also seen the Dodgers take money from -165 up to -195. If runs are expected in this game and with the Dodgers as almost a 2-1 favorite, I’d expect the Braves to put up their fair share of runs as well.

If we surmise the Dodgers to have a cushioned lead going into the later innings, its more likely that they won’t use their better relief pitchers in this game.

My model projects this game going over the total but I’m inclined to lean to Atlanta’s team total.

DraftKings has the Braves team total at 3.5 runs while my model projects them to score five runs in the game. At -125 odds, it’s worth a look.

The Bet: Lean Atlanta team total over 3.5 (-125)

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