Lo Duca: Weird Start Time Will Play a Role in Braves-Dodgers

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USA Today Sports. Pictured: Mike Foltynewicz, Hyun-Jin Ryu

Betting odds: Colorado Rockies at Milwaukee Brewers

  • Rockies moneyline:+145 (Antonio Senzatela)
  • Brewers moneyline: -160 (Brandon Woodruff)
  • Over/Under: 8.5 (-108/-112)
  • First pitch: 5:07 p.m. ET
  • Channel: FS1

>> Odds as of 12 p.m. ET. Download The Action Network App to get real-time MLB odds and track your bets


Once again Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell played coy and didn’t reveal his Game 1 “opener” until Thursday morning. Come on, Craig, don’t you know we (and the oddsmakers) have a job to do?

While the Brewers will piece things together with a bullpen game, the Rockies basically had no choice but to throw right-hander Antonio Senzatela.

We have a pretty good idea of what to expect from the 23-year-old by looking at his numbers. Senzatela’s 4.38 ERA is almost perfectly inline with his 4.43 xFIP, so his results have been a good indication of how well he’s pitched.

We also know that it is very unlikely that Senzatela will blow the Brewers away. Over 90.1 innings the Venezuelan has a 6.87 K/9 and in 225 career innings that number drops slightly to 6.84.

While we have a good feel for Senzatela, the bullpen game is a bit of an unknown. We saw in the A’s-Yankees game that it can backfire.

Brandon Woodruff will be tasked with getting the first outs of the game for the Brewers and he, like Senzatela, will be making his postseason debut. The 25-year-old right-hander has much better numbers as a reliever than as a starter and he’s been hot lately so Counsell is banking on him to keep in rhythm.

The Brewers will do everything they can to avoid trotting out a lefty against this lineup, so don’t expect to see Gio Gonzalez or Wade Miley as the first man up after Woodruff.

The uncertainty with the bullpen game is keeping me away from picking a side here, but I think there’s good value on the total.

You never know if a pitcher will have his best stuff. When you trot out six or seven in a game, the likelihood that one of them will be a little off increases. What are the chances that these guys — a lot of whom are making the postseason debut — all have their best stuff? Not likely. I think the Rockies can scratch out a few run and that should be enough to get this game over, because Milwaukee should have success against Senzatela.

This number currently sits at 8.5 but the way the juice is going I’d suggest waiting to see if you can pick off an 8 if it dips.

The Bet: Over 8.5 (+100)

Betting odds: Atlanta Braves at Los Angeles Dodgers

  • Braves moneyline: +165 (Mike Foltynewicz)
  • Dodgers moneyline: -175 (Hyun-Jin Ryu)
  • Over/Under: 7 (-125/+105)
  • First pitch: 8:35 p.m. ET
  • Channel: MLB Network

After winning their sixth straight National League West title, the Dodgers will open up the divisional series on Thursday against the NL East champions, the Atlanta Braves.

Hyun-Jin Ryu — not Clayton Kershaw — will be on the mound for the Dodgers. The 31-year-old southpaw comes into this game red hot. He’s allowed just one run in his last 19 innings and has a 1.50 ERA and 30 strikeouts in 30 innings in September.

It’s also worth mentioning that those were high-intensity starts, as L.A. was in a dead heat with Colorado and — to some extent — Arizona down the stretch.

Ryu faces off against Atlanta’s most talented starter, Mike Foltynewicz. The 2010 first-round pick finally broke out this season posting a 2.85 ERA and 9.93 K/9 in 183 frames for the Braves.

The Baby Braves have a potent offense backing up Folty but this is also the first time a lot of Atlanta’s players have made it to the postseason.

The Braves’ three most important hitters — Ronald Acuna, Freddie Freeman and Nick Markakis — have a combined seven games of playoff experience (and they all belong to Markakis from when he was in the AL with Baltimore). And hitting conditions won’t be ideal Thursday night.

The game is set to start at 5:35 p.m. PT, and that means one thing — shadows. I wrote back on Opening Day about how awful the shadows are at Dodger Stadium. The worst time of day is between 5 and 8 p.m. local time so I don’t expect either team to get off to a hot start.

Both of these pitchers are rolling and don’t need any help getting outs. But they will get some from Mother Nature on Thursday evening.

Bet: First-5-Under 3.5 (-105)

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