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It’s as good a way as any to start September — the young stallion against the old vet. Atlanta is looking to make a series ending statement against the team its looking to upend for the Commissioner’s trophy while the Dodgers try to make a NL West push. The main thing to remember is it rarely pays to bet against Max Scherzer — we like the Dodgers to cover the spread and the under.
Garcia’s 2021 record: (49-45-2)
Odds presented by: DraftKings Sportsbook
|Team||Run Spread||Money Line||Total|
|Atlanta Braves||+1.5 (-125)||+165||O 8 (-105)|
|Los Angeles Dodgers||-1.5 (+105)||-195||U 8 (-115)|
|Braves vs Dodgers Information|
|Teams||Atlanta Braves at Los Angeles Dodgers|
|Location||Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA|
|Time||Wednesday, Sept. 1, 10:10 p.m. EST|
|How to watch||Bally Sports South, Spectrum SportsNet, MLB.TV|
The calendar reads September and now the time of year is clear — it’s the final month of the regular season and organizations and legacies will be changed forever over the coming 60 days through October.
We’d be hard pressed to find a matchup that is a better primer for the postseason than a three-time Cy Young Award winning pitcher leading the defending champions against the team they knocked out to get there last season in the Atlanta Braves.
And game three should be interesting, after the Dodgers got out to a 5-0 lead and held on to a win in game one of this series and use a late rally to win game two, 3-2.
Max Scherzer takes the bump for Los Angeles and he’s been as good as advertised since being traded from Washington with Trea Turner a month ago. He’s 4-0 so far in Dodger blue, with a 1.55 ERA and 0.828 WHIP.
He’s countered by Max Fried, who after a very trying first two-thirds of the season rounded into form in a big way in August. His final line from the month: 4-0, 1.36 ERA, .818 WHIP and five quality starts including a complete-game shutout of the Orioles.
He’s now 11-7 on the year with a 3.54 ERA and 1.20 WHIP.
The Dodgers record of 84-49 is insanely good, but unfortunately for them, it’s still not quite enough because they play in the same division as the NL West leading San Francisco Giants.
But even with that impressive record, the past few weeks haven’t been perfect for the Dodgers. They’ve scored more than five runs just once in the past 14 days, including last night’s win.
They will need to look to get going somehow and maybe it’s the outfield shuffle that will do it. Los Angeles’s quartet of outfielders — Mookie Betts, AJ Pollock, Cody Bellinger and Chris Taylor– are all healthy, which means one needs to start each game on the bench. Against lefties it will be the slumping Cody Belllinger, which they’re hping will sparkr his bat.
The Braves meanwhile come into the series 2-5 — not as bad as it could be, considering they’ve played arguably the three toughest teams in baseball: the Giants, Dodgers and Yankees — but still far from where they want.
When facing someone like Max Scherzer, hitters need every advantage they can have, so we’re looking for someone who isn’t phased by the pressure of being on the road. Overall, that’s really the entire Braves roster — their 13-game road winning streak was just snapped earlier this week — but in particular Austin Riley.
The power-hitting third baseman is hitting .305 on the road, with 16 home runs (of 28 total) and 36 RBIs.
For the Dodgers we need someone who can handle lefties — and we actually turn to someone who has long dominated them but plays sparingly: Albert Pujols. The future first ballot hall-of-famer is hitting .309 (29-of-94) against lefties this season with eight home runs, 24 RBIs and .946 OPS.
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Tony writes about baseball for WSN.com after recently graduating with his Masters from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Prior to that, Tony was a local sports reporter for MLive Media Group, based out of Jackson, Michigan where he covered everything from high school to professional sports. He graduated from Michigan State in 2015 with a degree in journalism. During his time there he covered the Michigan State football and men’s basketball teams from 2013-15 and hosted a sports radio show on WDBM 89FM.More info on Tony Garcia
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