The Atlanta Braves and Los Angeles Dodgers will wrap up a three-game series on Wednesday night. It’s time to continue our MLB odds series and make a Braves-Dodgers prediction and pick.
The Dodgers managed to take the first two games in this hugely important series, and now they’re looking for the sweep. These wins are coming at the perfect time for Los Angeles as it aims to take first place in the NL West. The Dodgers still trail the rival San Francisco Giants by a half-game, but that deficit could evaporate with another win in this one.
This game also holds a ton of weight for the Braves, who lead the NL East by only 2.5 games. The Philadelphia Phillies are rapidly gaining ground on them, so Atlanta needs to start winning again quickly to keep its playoff hopes in good shape.
Here’s how the bookmakers have set the lines for Wednesday’s game.
MLB Odds: Braves-Dodgers Odds
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Atlanta Braves +1 1/2 (-119)
Los Angeles Dodgers -1 1/2 (-101)
Over 7 1/2 runs (-103)
Under 7 1/2 runs (-117)
Why The Braves Could Cover The Spread
Atlanta usually relies on its offense to come up big to win games, but that won’t be the case in this one. The Braves will send out ace Max Fried to make the start on Wednesday.
Fried has had a pretty good season, earning himself a 3.54 ERA and a 1.20 WHIP on the year. Those are good season-long numbers, but Fried’s stats over the month of August were much, much better. Throughout August, the righty managed to post a 1.36 ERA and a 0.82 WHIP. One of his August outings was a complete game shutout of the Baltimore Orioles. It’s hard to be on a better hot streak than Fried, and the momentum from an entire month of fantastic pitching should carry over into this game.
The Braves will have to face Dodgers starter Max Scherzer in this matchup. Hitting Scherzer is no easy task, but Atlanta is well acquainted with him from his days as a Washington National. These Braves hitters have faced the dominant righty once this season, scoring four runs over six innings against him. It’s unlikely that Atlanta repeats that performance in this one, but it’s nice knowing they are capable of a performance like that.
Why The Dodgers Could Cover The Spread
Los Angeles is one of the most well-balanced teams in baseball. The offense ranks inside the top 10 in the league in slugging percentage, OBP, and OPS while ranking 11th in batting average. The pitching rotation is undeniably one of the best in baseball when fully healthy. The Dodgers are lucky enough to send out one of their best starters in this one in Scherzer.
Scherzer has obviously been elite this year, earning a 2.51 ERA and a 0.88 WHIP. Those numbers get even better when Mad Max plays at home, where he earns a 2.31 ERA and a 0.78 WHIP. Helping Scherzer is the fact that Atlanta is a far worse offense when on the road. The Braves see all of their major batting stats take a fall when they play anywhere but Truist Park, which is perfect for Scherzer in this matchup. Another factor that is certainly leaning in Scherzer’s favor is his history against these Braves hitters. Out of the eight starters Atlanta will deploy, none of them have a career batting average higher than .230 against Scherzer. He should continue to keep those batting averages low in this game at Dodger Stadium.
Speaking of history, the Los Angeles lineup has fared very well against Max Fried in past duels. Seven of the eight projected Dodgers starters in this game are hitting .333 or better against Fried throughout their careers. Shortstop Trea Turner, another former Washington National, is hitting .368 off Fried over 19 at-bats. All signs point to this LA lineup faring well in Wednesday’s game.
Final Braves-Dodgers Prediction & Pick
This should be a very close game, and for that reason the Braves are the better pick. The Dodgers have a slightly better chance of winning this game outright, but Atlanta’s pitching should keep this game close until the late innings at the very least. The under is another risky but acceptable pick here.
FINAL BRAVES-DODGERS PREDICTION & PICK: Atlanta Braves +1 1/2 (-119)