Dodgers vs Braves Odds, Pick | MLB Prediction Monday
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- The Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves open a three-game series at Truist Park on Monday night.
- The underdog Dodgers have lost three of their last four games and turn to touted pitching prospect Gavin Stone.
- Kenny Ducey previews Dodgers vs. Braves below and breaks down his betting pick on the total.
Dodgers vs. Braves Odds
-120 / +100
-120 / +100
The Dodgers managed to win just one of four games in St. Louis over the weekend and will now travel to Atlanta to try and get their season back on track.
Taking out the Braves these days is a daunting task, but could the return of L.A.’s second-best pitching prospect be the catalyst for the visitors?
Let’s break this all down in our Dodgers vs. Braves preview and prediction.
Dealing with a couple of big injuries in the rotation, the Dodgers are calling up the kids to help fill the void. First up will be a start for Gavin Stone, their No. 4 prospect and the No. 44 prospect in all of baseball, according to MLB.com.
We don’t have a ton to go off of here with Stone, who debuted earlier this month against the Phillies and allowed five runs (four earned) on eight hits and two walks over four frames. He struck out just one hitter, which was certainly noteworthy considering the righty has averaged more than 10 strikeouts per nine at every stop in the minors.
Down in Triple-A this season, he owned a 4.40 ERA in eight starts, so perhaps the start against the Phillies is an indicator of how he’s feeling at the moment. He managed a 1.16 ERA in six Triple-A starts last year and a 1.60 ERA in 14 Double-A appearances.
It’s hard to know how he’ll pitch here, but facing the Braves is never an easy task. He’ll likely need some help from a Dodgers offense that has struggled of late. They rank 15th in wRC+ over the last week despite a low 20.3% strikeout rate and decent .187 ISO, so there certainly is some hope they can turn things back around.
The Cardinals hit their pitching hard over the weekend, squandering two five-run performances from this lineup on Saturday and Sunday.
On the other side of this pitching matchup we have the graying Charlie Morton, who at the age of 39 has begun his season with a 2.85 ERA. While he’s dazzled against some good lineups, though, there might be a bit more to him than meets the eye.
Morton’s expected ERA is up over four runs for a second straight year, and he’s striking out fewer hitters with a 23.8% strikeout rate, which is five points lower than it was last season. His underlying numbers seem to mirror what we saw last year, with slightly worse strikeout numbers, though one big positive here is his ground ball rate is back up to 49.6%.
For reference, he’s sporting a 49.7% career ground ball rate, and league average is just under 45%. He was uncharacteristically down to 39.6% a season ago, so perhaps that was the biggest cause for all his troubles.
This Braves offense, meanwhile, just continues to rake. Their 116 wRC+ over the last week ranks eighth in baseball and they’ve done so despite an incredibly low 4.6% walk rate.
This team is swinging the bat, and it is making incredible contact with a .244 ISO. Last Monday they made a mockery of a surging Triple-A talent in Cody Bradford, and they look poised to run it back here.
Dodgers vs. Braves Betting Pick
Stone may turn into a solid big-league talent, but it’s clear he’s in a rut this season between his poor Triple-A numbers and his tough big-league debut this month. He’s been a bit better in his last couple of outings down in Oklahoma City, but he’s still nowhere near where he needs to be to quiet a Braves offense that has been incredibly dangerous, top to bottom.
Morton may be inducing ground balls at a higher rate, but the Dodgers have the lowest ground ball rate in the game and despite fleeting success at the plate in the last week still rank third-lowest in that department. I do think Morton is pitching quite well at the moment despite his poor xERA, but this is not the matchup for him.
With that, I’m going to bet the Over here, and if the number jumps to 10 I might recommend pivoting to the first five number.
Pick: Over 9.5 (-105)
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