A battle of National League heavyweights continues on Saturday, after the Dodgers won the first-round by a score of 8-3 Friday night at SunTrust Park in Atlanta. The Dodgers scored in the top of the 2nd to take a 1-0 lead, with the Braves responding with 3 runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning.
A 3-1 lead was all the Braves had to celebrate in that contest, as the Dodgers stormed back for 7 unanswered scores. The long ball was working for the Dodgers again in that one. They set a Major League Baseball record with a whopping 22 home runs in just five games. Combined with their rotation, the Dodgers are a tough out right now for any opponent.
If the games were played on paper, we are going to have an Astros-Dodgers World Series. They’re the most well-rounded teams we have in the majors and I don’t expect that to change. The Braves are going to be in the postseason, but their bullpen can be scary bad at times. It’s amazing that they rank 14th in the majors, because they’ve gotten themselves into trouble plenty recently.
They haven’t been too reliable, whereas the Astros and Dodgers are in the top-10 when it comes to relievers. Following the 3-run inning for the Braves last night, the Dodgers’ pitching staff kept the Braves scoreless for 7 innings. Adam Kolarek and Julio Urias were both sharp in relief.
The Dodgers are now ten games up on the Braves in the National League. There is little suspense left for the top seed in the NL. The only thing left to decide for the Dodgers is if they’re going to have homefield advantage in the Dodgers, if they go that far in the postseason. The Dodgers will send out their Cy Young candidate, Hyun-jin Ryu, to the bump tonight. He is the clear favorite at this time and would receive an additional boost with a strong performance Saturday against the Braves. Head below for our free Dodgers vs. Braves pick.
L.A. Dodgers vs. Atlanta Braves Pick:
Betting odds provided by bovada.lv
This season has not gone according to plan for Mike Foltynewicz. Foltynewicz had his eyes set on following up last season with an encore presentation in 2019. He had his best season in the majors, posting an ERA of 2.85 in 31 starts last season.
Everything was going well for him and big things were expected out of him this year as well. However, Foltynewicz hasn’t made it easy on himself and must finish up strong to save some face going into the most important time of the season. He was sent down to the minors after getting mauled for 8 earned runs in 4 innings against the Nationals in June.
This will be his third start back in the starting rotation since June 22nd. He hasn’t done much to repair his horrid ERA. Foltynewicz enters Saturday with an ERA of 6.24 and 1.43 WHIP in 70.2 innings this season.
He has allowed 7 earned runs in 11.1 innings since returning, so there are clearly things for him to work out still. In Foltynewicz’s previous three outings, he posted an 8.80 ERA and 1.76 WHIP. The Dodgers have been able to reach base frequently against him in his career, as they carry a .398 OBP in 75 at-bats going into Saturday.
Foltynewicz is going to have to keep up with Ryu in this one. Ryu enters the contest on fire, with an ERA of 0.46 and 0.97 WHIP. He’s gotten used to spinning some spectacular games for the Dodgers this season. Other than one bad spot against the Rockies in Colorado, Ryu has been hot all season with a 1.45 ERA and 0.93 WHIP.
He hasn’t allowed a run in his previous 13 innings pitched and an offense hasn’t scored more than a run on him since June 28th in Colorado. Ryu has prevented more than 1-run in 11 of his previous 12 outings. That’s a Cy Young campaign for Ryu and it appears to be just a matter of time before he is named the winner. All things considered, getting him at this price looks like a fairly nice deal on Saturday against the Braves.