Dodgers vs. Braves, 07/21/17 – Preview & Prediction

We will now be keeping records for free pick wins and losses!

Image licensed from USA Today Sports

Atlanta Braves (45-48; 48-42-3 O/U) vs. Los Angeles Dodgers (66-29; 44-48-3 O/U)

MLB: Friday, July 21, 2017 at 10:10pm EST

Line: Los Angeles -290/Atlanta +260

Total: 7.5

The red-hot Los Angeles Dodgers and the Atlanta Braves will continue a four game series Friday night from Dodger Stadium. The Braves will give the start to 31-year old left-hander Jaime Garcia, and the Dodgers will reply with 26-year old left-hander Alex Wood. This marks the first head-to-head series this season, and the Dodgers won five of six over Atlanta last year.

Garcia Rebounds with Stellar Performance Over D-Backs

Jamie Garcia will get the nod for the 18th time of the season, aiming for his second straight win. Garcia rebounded with a terrific performance in his previous start, holding the Diamondbacks to one run in seven innings leading to his third win. The veteran left-hander hit a recent rough patch over the last month and currently owns a 4.33 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP to go with a 3-7 record in 106 innings of work. He has posted mixed results in his career against the Dodgers, going 2-2 with a 4.61 ERA in six starts. Justin Turner is 2 for 7 against Garcia, while Adrian Gonzalez is 1 for 5, and Yasiel Puig is 1 for 3 with one RBI. Matt Kemp is swinging the bat well after a slow start to the month, driving in six runs over his last eight games. The 32-year old left fielder is having a strong season, currently hitting .291 with 13 home runs and 45 RBI’s. Kemp has collected 13 RBI’s in 29 career games against his former team.

The Braves are currently scoring an average of 4.62 runs per game, ranking them 17th in the Majors, and are hitting .262 as a team. The Atlanta pitching features a 4.65 team ERA, positioning them 23rd in the Major Leagues.

Wood Targets Sixth Consecutive Victory

Alex Wood will make his 17th appearance and 15th start of the season, looking to keep his undefeated record intact. Wood came through with another tremendous performance in his previous start, tossing six shutout innings over the Marlins and recorded the win to improve his record to a shiny 11-0. The young left-hander is simply having a phenomenal season, sporting a 1.56 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP in 86.2 innings logged. He made his lone career start against the Braves last season and conceded six runs (three earned) in four innings and took the loss. Wood has not conceded more than two runs in a start since June 10th. Justin Turner continues to produce for the Dodgers, belting another three home runs along with seven RBI’s over his last seven games. The 32-year old third baseman is having a tremendous season, sporting an astonishing .372 average with 11 home runs and 40 RBI’s in 70 games. Turner is hitting .254 with 18 RBI’s in 48 career games against the Braves. The Dodgers have now won 11 consecutive games heading into Thursday’s action.

The Dodgers are now scoring an average of 5.15 runs per game, good for fifth in the Majors, and posses a .258 team batting average. The Los Angeles pitching continues to shine, posting a Major League best 3.07 team ERA.

Trends:

The Atlanta Braves are:

  • 1-10 in their last 11 games at Dodger Stadium.
  • 1-4 in their last 5 road games against a team with a home winning percentage greater than .600.
  • 14-30 in their last 44 road games against a left-handed starter.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are:

  • 11-1 in their last 12 home games against a left-handed starter.
  • 11-0 in Wood’s last 11 starts.
  • 41-10 in their last 51 games overall.

I am taking the Dodgers on the run line (-1.5) in this matchup. Wood is showing no signs of slowing down as he has now tossed 13 consecutive shutout innings, and his ERA over his last five starts is an incredible 0.82. Also, Garcia has conceded five or more runs in four out of his last five starts, and he owns a subpar 4.61 career ERA against the Dodgers. The Dodgers have won by two or more runs in nine of Wood’s last 11 starts, so I am confident they can take this one by a couple runs.

Pick: Los Angeles Dodgers -1.5*