Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers Free Pick - 10/3/13
Los Angeles Dodgers (92-70) at Atlanta Braves (96-66)
MLB Baseball: Thursday, October 3, 2013 at 8:37 pm (Turner Field)
Clayton Kershaw (L) (16-9) (1.831) vs. Kris Medlen (R) (15-11) (3.109)
The Line: Atlanta Braves +133 / Los Angeles Dodgers -143 --- Over/Under: 6 See the Latest Odds
The Los Angeles Dodgers and Atlanta Braves square off in game one of their series on Thursday.
Los Angeles has not been a factor in the National League West for a number of years and this year looked just like the last few early on with the Dodgers sitting last in the division. However, the team slowly but surely made their way up the division ladder and once they took over the top spot from the Diamondbacks they put the rest of the division in the rear view mirror with a torid second half run. The Dodgers finally slowed up in the final weeks of the season but by then their combination of pitching and hitting had laid waste to the West where they were the only team with a winning record. The Dodgers send ace left hander Clayton Kershaw to the bump to kick off the series. Kershaw was on fire to finish the regular season with back to back shut outs over 13 innings with seven hits allowed.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports
Before the season even began, Atlanta was rewarded the Wild Card and Washington was given back to back National League East crowns. However some where along the way the Nationals squad that hit and pitched their way to the top of the division was no where to be found until the final weeks and by then the Braves had firm control. Atlanta appeared to be the team to beat early on although the offense would come and go without warning to leave the rotation on it's own too many times. Atlanta finally went on a second half hot streak where their better then average arms received plenty of production at the plate and the division was never in doubt. The question is whether this team can get both on the same page in the postseason which historically has been an issue. Kris Medlen takes the ball in game one versus a dangerous Los Angeles lineup. Medlen has been rock steady for the Braves down the stretch with nine consecutive quality starts where he has gone 7-1.
I think Kershaw is a top two or three pitcher in the game and perhaps the best but Medlen has been awesome in the stretch run. This could be 1-0 or 1-1 in the 8th with the respective pens winning or losing it. That is why I'm hesitant to lay the chalk with Kershaw and lean under although this is a brutally low total with no room for error...