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Braves at Dodgers Pick for April 23rd

Atlanta Braves +125 at Los Angeles Dodgers -135

Jair Jurrjens (0-1, 8.10 ERA) vs. Chris Capuano (1-0, 4.50 ERA)

The Atlanta Braves have been playing fantastic baseball since their opening series woes.  They’ve won 9 of 11 and done so in largely impressive fashion.  However, their one weak link has been one of the people who was supposed to be their strongest, today’s starting pitcher, Jair Jurrjens.  Since starting the All Star game a year ago, Jurrjens has struggled with his control and by extension, his pitch count, rarely making it past the sixth inning of his starts and seeing his once microscopic stats explode.

His 8.10 ERA is certainly cause for concern, but perhaps the more telling number is his 2.25 WHIP.  I don’t care how resilient you are or how capable you are of notching a few strikeouts in a pinch; if two and a quarters runners are reaching base every inning you are going to get shelled.

Such has been the case through three starts in 2012 for Jurrjens.

For the Dodgers, long time Brewer leftie Chris Capuano takes the hill.  Capuano has been solid, though not as spectacular as the rest of the Dodger staff so far this season.  His 1.31 WHIP is good enough to win most games, especially when you have the red-hot Dodger offense behind you.  Namely early MVP front-runner Matt Kemp.

Through 15 games Kemp leads the majors in every major offensive category.  He is batting a ridiculous .450 with 9 homeruns and 22 RBIs.  Suffice it to say Jurrjens and the Bravos bullpen will have their hands full worrying about Kemp.  And lest the get too content to pitch around him, teammate Andre Eithier is second in the bigs with 21 RBIs, so there isn’t really any effective way to pitch around this Dodger lineup.

Los Angeles is 12-4, but has returned only a decent amount on the money line this season, as the longer odds have begun to mirror up with their stellar play.  Tonight, however, you have an opportunity to get them at home against a struggling starter with a pretty reasonable moneyline of just -135.  That’s a pretty good value for a team that has showed very few signs of weakness, save for yesterday’s “can we leave yet?” 12-0 loss to the Houston Astros.  Hey, if you are going to take a loss, might as well make it count, right?

I like them to bounce back and be sharp tonight at home and continue the common 2012 trend of roughing up Jair Jurrjens.

Free Pick:  Los Angeles Dodgers -135 <– click to bet it and get $100 free bet