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MLB Odds & Picks for Dodgers vs. Braves: Expect Pitcher’s Duel in Atlanta

MLB Odds & Picks for Dodgers vs. Braves: Expect Pitcher’s Duel in Atlanta article feature image
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Todd Kirkland/Getty Images. Pictured: Spencer Strider

  • Two of the best teams in the National League face off on Sunday Night Baseball as the Braves host the Dodgers.
  • Tony Gonsolin starts for the Dodgers and Spencer Strider starts for the Braves in what is sure to be a great matchup.
  • Tanner McGrath provides his best bet below.

Dodgers vs. Braves Odds

Dodgers Odds -125
Braves Odds +105
Over/Under 8.5 (-105/-115)
Time 7:08 p.m. ET
TV ESPN
Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

What other game were they going to pick for Sunday Night Baseball this week?

Freddie Freeman made his emotional return to Truist Field to roaring applause.

Freddie Freeman received a standing ovation in his return to Atlanta.

(via @MLB)pic.twitter.com/mdQwkQTphG

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) June 24, 2022

The Dodgers stole game one easily, but the Braves punched back in game two, meaning we have an old-fashioned rubber match for the series win.

Plus, two young stars breaking out will take the mound in Tony Gonsolin and Spencer Strider.

Given all the storylines and talent on the field in a National TV matchup, this game has all the makings of a classic.

So, who has the edge?

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Los Angeles Dodgers: Turner is on Fire

The Dodgers are slumping.

The Dodgers certainly look like the Dodgers … on paper. Since June started, they have a top-10 lineup (via wRC+), a top-10 starting pitching staff (via xFIP) and a top-10 bullpen (via xFIP).

Yet they’ve barely cracked .500 on the month. Sweeps in San Francisco and at the hands of the Pirates hurt and they also lost two of three to the Mets in L.A.

Part of me thinks the Mookie Betts injury is going to be a problem. The Dodgers have already seen a decent defensive drop-off in right with Trayce Thompson and nobody in baseball can replace Betts’ offensive production in the leadoff spot.

But if you do need to replace solid leadoff production, you can’t do much better than Trea Turner. He’s been on base in 19 of 20 games this month and he’s a ridiculous 10-for-18 over his past 20 plate appearances.

But Turner has been raking since even before the Betts injury. He’s now seventh among NL hitters in fWAR (3.0) and has the fifth-best average (.318).

Trea Turner since May 10 (NL ranks, min 150 PA)

61 hits (1st)
10 SB (1st)
.359 AVG (2nd)
.997 OPS (2nd)
178 wRC+ (2nd)
.425 wOBA (2nd)
.400 BABIP (2nd)
.403 OBP (3rd)
.594 SLG (3rd)
32 RBI (5th)

I think it's time we add his name to the National League MVP conversation 👀 pic.twitter.com/O79tkyIbmB

— Blake Harris (@BlakeHarrisTBLA) June 25, 2022

Starting pitcher: Tony Gonsolin (RHP)

I don’t know how the Dodgers do it. They just continue to develop top-tier starting pitchers.

This year’s latest L.A. hits are Tyler Anderson and Gonsolin.

Gonsolin has thrown five scoreless starts this season. He’s pitched six innings or more in seven starts and has yet to pitch fewer than four innings or give up more than two runs in a start this season.

It’s been a masterclass in quality starts from Gonsolin. His low-90s fastball combines with a splitter to suppress hard-hit balls (his 28.1% hard-hit rate ranks in the 95th percentile) and his slider has a 40% Whiff rate.

Tony Gonsolin, Dirty 84mph Splitter…and Sword 😼⚔️ pic.twitter.com/uxFjeCP75Z

— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 22, 2022

Gonsolin’s BABIP is wildly low (.176), his strand rate is wildly high (90.9%) and his xFIP is up around 3.75. So, regression is coming.

But a 2.82 xERA and a great arsenal is something to be very excited about.


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Atlanta Braves: Firing on All Cylinders

The Braves are playing .800 ball in June. The offense is clicking on all cylinders, ranking second in OPS (.849) and fourth in wRC+ (132) since June 1. They’ve hit the second-most home runs (46) and scored the third-most runs (134) during that stretch, too.

It’s not just Ronald Acuña Jr. carrying the team. Austin Riley has been one of the better third basemen in the league this season. Dansby Swanson has slashed .378/.446/.633 this month. The Braves bullpen has posted the lowest reliever xFIP mark in MLB during June (3.05).

It’s been a true team effort in Atlanta and it’s all starting to come together.

It sucks the Mets are so good. Although Atlanta is still a game ahead in the second Wild Card column, the Braves just have to hang around and make a late-season divisional move like they did last season.

The only real question is the rotation. Max Fried has been phenomenal this year, ranking seventh among all pitchers in fWAR. However, Charlie Morton is a disaster, Ian Anderson is slumping and Kyle Wright is starting to see regression.

Luckily, Strider is here to save Atlanta’s rotational woes.

Starting pitcher: Spencer Strider (RHP)

Strider’s stuff is out of control. His fastball averages 98 mph and the spin rate on the four-seam ranks in the 98th percentile. He ranks in the 98th percentile of pitchers in whiff rate as well, posting a 32% mark on the four-seam and a 48% mark on his secondary slider.

But he can paint the corners as well as force swings and misses.

Haven’t stopped watching this Spencer Strider 100 mph paint job 🤩

pic.twitter.com/CVP5LlfWYv

— Farm To Fame (@FarmToFame_) June 16, 2022

Despite the hype, Strider’s been slightly unlucky through his first few starts. His 3.40 ERA is paired with a 3.17 xERA and a 2.32 FIP. Positive regression could be in the future for the kid.

He needs to get his walks under control. He walked over four batters per nine in Double-A and is currently at 4.15 through 16 MLB appearances.

But Strider is the real deal.

Dodgers-Braves Pick

These two pitchers have huge upside potential and both are already capitalizing on it.

While these are two top-tier offenses, these are also two top-end bullpens. In fact, the Dodgers rank first in MLB in reliever xFIP (3.51) and the Braves rank second (3.57).

The wind is projected to blow straight in on Sunday evening and although it’s not much, it’s enough to nudge me toward the under just a bit more.

I like the under at 8.5 as long as we’re laying no more than -110 juice.

Pick: Under 8.5 (-105 at DraftKings)

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