MLB Playoffs 2018 Betting Tips and Picks: Dodgers vs. Braves

MLB Playoffs 2018 Betting Tips and Picks: Dodgers vs. Braves

Quick Tips:

  • Bet Dodgers in 3 at +325 with 888Sport.
  • Bet Dodgers -1.5 games at +120 with 888Sport.
  • Bet Dodgers in 4 at +325 with 888Sport.

One week ago, the Dodgers were in second place in the National League West, their playoff fate hanging in the balance in a tight race both in the division and for a wild-card spot. Now, Los Angeles is the favorite +180 at 888Sport to win the pennant, in part because they face the weakest team in the field, Atlanta, while the wild-card-winning Rockies take on the Brewers.

The Dodgers are -225 to win the best-of-five division series, while Atlanta, trying to snap a streak of eight straight playoff series lost, clocks in at +180. Los Angeles won the season series handily, 5-2, and while those games were in June and July, it fits a larger trend in which Atlanta dominated the National League East but went 12-24 for the season against playoff teams.

Dodgers vs. Braves Betting Analysis

Winners of six straight West titles, the Dodgers have advanced beyond the division series three of the past five years, and they swept the Diamondbacks in 2017. Another sweep this time around is the best way to get paid – Dodgers in 3 is a +375 proposition at 888Sport, while Dodgers in 4 is at +325 and Dodgers in 5 is at +300.

The proposition of a sweep is so appealing because the Dodgers have the highest-scoring team in the National League, and line up for Games 1-3 with Hyun-Jin Ryu, Clayton Kershaw, and Walker Buehler on the mound.

Ryu hasn’t appeared in the playoffs since 2014, but has a 2.81 ERA in three career postseason starts, posted a 1.15 ERA in nine starts at Dodger Stadium this season, and hasn’t given up more than three earned runs in a start all year.

Facing an in-form Ryu and the legend Kershaw to start the series would be enough of a challenge for anyone, but Atlanta has struggled all season against lefthanded starters, going just 21-26 when the opposition has opened with a southpaw.

Typical caveats apply that it’s baseball, and not just baseball but playoff baseball, so anything can happen, but it is extremely hard to build a case beyond “it’s baseball” where Atlanta is the team to pick here.

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Dodgers vs. Braves Betting Tips

Cleveland has Corey Kluber and Carlos Carrasco, and they’re +160 against the Astros. Atlanta is rolling in with Mike Foltynewicz and Kevin Gausman.

With all due respect to the wonderful performances turned in by those guys this season, they’re not Kluber and Carrasco – or, perhaps more to the point, they’re not Ryu and Kershaw, let alone Buehler, who proved himself in a big game with his brilliance against the Rockies in the West tiebreaker and should have a chance to pitch his team to a sweep when the series shifts to Atlanta.

What’s wild here is that the line for the Dodgers on the -1.5 game spread is +120 with 888Sport, a market which, considering the -225 price on the Dodgers just to win the series, gives Atlanta more of a chance than it should at making this a five-game affair.

Again, that doesn’t mean Atlanta can’t do it, just that it’s unlikely. For those who do feel an upset in their bones, the best line available is +400 for Atlanta winning both Game 1 and the series.

Given the task of facing Kershaw, who for his litany of playoff struggles is unbeaten in his last four postseason starts at Dodger Stadium, if Atlanta is going to win this series, it has to stem from Foltynewicz outdueling Ryu to set things in motion.

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