LA Dodgers, Braves finish MLB betting series

By: Barry Daniels | Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Dodgers opened as 145 favorites in Thursday’s matinee with Atlanta.

The Los Angeles Dodgers conclude their eight-game homestand Thursday with a matinee contest against an Atlanta Braves squad that is in the midst of a 10-game West Coast excursion. The first pitch from Dodger Stadium will be thrown at 12:10 p.m. (PT).

The final game of this four-game series will pit Braves right-hander Jair Jurrjens (1-0, 0.00 ERA) against Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw (2-2, 2.96 ERA).

Sports Club owner Pete Korner, who distributes the betting line to the majority of Nevada sports books monitored by Don Best Sports' Real-Time Odds, has made the Dodgers a 145 home favorite in his overnight line. The total is set at seven ‘under’ (minus 110).

The Dodgers and Braves split the first two contests of this four-game series, with the ‘over/under’ also split.

Monday’s opener saw the Dodgers nip the Braves as 115 home favorites, 4-2. The combined six runs ducked ‘under’ the seven-run closing total.

Ted Lilly led the Dodgers by hurling seven shutout innings to pick up his first win of the season. The veteran southpaw allowed four hits, two walks and struck out six, and didn't allow a runner past second base.

The Dodgers jumped on Atlanta starter Tim Hudson early when they pushed across three runs in the first on singles by Matt Kemp and James Loney. Loney finished 2-for-4 with two RBIs, and snapped a 0-for-11 streak that had spanned three games.

Atlanta scored twice in the ninth, but reliever Jonathan Broxton eventually shut the door after tossing 25 pitches.

Atlanta evened the series with Tuesday’s 10-1 trouncing of the Dodgers as 115 road favorites. The combined 11 runs catapulted ‘over’ the seven-run closing total.

The game wasn’t as one-sided as the final score might indicate, as the Braves entered the ninth inning with a 2-1 lead.  Atlanta batted around in the ninth and got a two-run homer by Eric Hinske and a three-run shot from Dan Uggla to snap a two-game losing streak.

The win lifted the Braves' road ledger to 4-5, with the Dodgers falling to 5-5 at home. The ‘under’ was 11-6-1 in Atlanta’s first 18 overall outings, while the ‘over’ was 10-6-2 in the Dodgers’ first 18 efforts.

Wednesday's contest pitting veteran right-handers Derek Lowe and Jon Garland was still pending. Atlanta was 130 road chalk with seven for the total.

Jurrjens will be making just his second start of the season for the Braves in Thursday’s finale. His season got started late when he was placed on the disabled list because of an oblique strain.

The 25-year-old right-hander had a very successful season debut last Saturday by defeating the Mets as a 170 home favorite, 4-0. Jurrjens blanked the Mets on two hits through seven innings spanning 100 pitches. He fanned four and walked just one.

Jurrjens captured his lone start against the Dodgers last season by allowing just one run on six hits through seven innings en route to an easy 13-1 victory. Jurrjens closed as a 135 home favorite, while the combined 14 runs soared ‘over’ the seven-run closing total.

The Dodgers will counter with Kershaw, who is coming off his poorest performance of the young season. Kershaw lasted just 4 2/3 innings last Saturday against St. Louis, allowing five runs on six hits en route to suffering a 9-2 setback as a 150 home favorite. He walked five, fanned five and tossed 111 pitches before being removed in the fifth inning.

Kershaw was not involved in the decision during his lone start against the Braves last season. He yielded four runs on five hits in 6 2/3 innings as the Dodgers went on to register a 5-4 victory as 165 home favorites. Kershaw fanned eight and walked five and needed 110 pitches to finish his work.

Wally Bell is scheduled to call his fourth game behind home plate this season. The veteran arbiter has seen the ‘under’ go 2-1 in his first three assignments, with an average of 8.0 runs per game. The ‘under’ was 17-16-2 in his 35 efforts last season.

The weather forecast for Thursday’s afternoon tilt calls for partly cloudy skies and a 10 percent chance of showers. The high will be 65 degrees, with the wind from the southwest at 10 miles per hour.

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