Los Angeles Dodgers vs Atlanta Braves (6/24/22) Starting Lineup, Betting Odds, Prediction

It’s Freddie Freeman’s highly-anticipated return.

The Los Angeles Dodgers will finally visit the Atlanta Braves less than a year removed from Freeman’s World Series title with the team that drafted and developed him. The baseball world will be watching closely.

Which team has the edge?

Read on for the starting lineups, betting odds, and my prediction for Game 1 of this three-game set.

Los Angeles Dodgers vs Atlanta Braves Odds

As usual, the Dodgers are favored. They’re the best all-around roster in baseball.

However, the Dodgers haven’t been their normal selves of late. They’re just 9-9 this month, recently getting swept by the Pirates and briefly losing their division lead in the NL West before re-tying back up with the Padres. Also, it doesn’t help that the Yankees are now almost unanimously considered the best team in baseball and the favorite to win the World Series.

Meanwhile, the Braves have been the hottest team in baseball. They’re a whopping 17-3 in June, have dwindled the Mets’ double-digit division lead to just four, and pulled off a 14-game win streak along the way.

So, that begs the question, are the Braves undervalued as home dogs?

Los Angeles Dodgers Starting Lineup

J. Urias L
4-6 2.56 ERA

SS T. Turner R
1B F. Freeman L
C W. Smith R
3B M. Muncy L
LF C. Taylor R
DH J. Turner R
CF C. Bellinger L
RF E. Alvarez S
2B G. Lux L

Los Angeles Dodgers vs Ian Anderson

Once heralded as the young star of the Braves rotation, Ian Anderson has been anything but in 2022. His 4.35 ERA and 4.34 FIP are pretty suboptimal for a pitcher of his talent, his strikeouts are down, and his walks are up.

Anderson has never had much play on his stuff, but his spin rates are lower than ever right now. He now ranks in the first percentile of qualified pitchers in both fastball spin rate and curveball spin rate.

chart 2022 06 23T152845.389

Image credit: Baseball Savant

He’s due for a bit of positive regression (3.76 xERA) and the Braves are 9-4 in Anderson starts this year. So, I’m not to down on the 24-year-old New York product.

The Dodgers tend to be good against righties. They have a top-10 wRC+ and OPS against the side over the last month. The lineup is as deep as ever.

I’m a little worried about what they’ll do in Mookie Betts’ absence. They’re already feeling the effect on defense with a backup in the right field, and nobody can replace his 141 OPS+ and 2.9 bWAR.

But the star of this matchup will be Freeman. All he’s done this season is post a 140 OPS+ with 2.7 fWAR, and his batted ball stats indicate a bit of positive regression.

Screen Shot 2022 06 23 at 3.59.24 PM

Image credit: Baseball Savant

Freeman went 3-for-13 with two walks in the first three-game set against his former team this season, but he smacked two home runs in the process as the Dodgers went on to steal two of three. 

He’ll look to do the same here.

Atlanta Braves Starting Lineup

I. Anderson R
6-3 4.35 ERA

RF R. Acuna R
SS D. Swanson R
3B A. Riley R
1B M. Olson L
DH M. Ozuna R
C W. Contreras R
LF A. Duvall R
2B O. Arcia R
CF M. Harris L

Atlanta Braves vs Julio Urias

Julio Urias is one of my favorite pitchers in the game. He’s a model of consistency, perfectly placed to give you great, consistent innings in the middle of your rotation, but he can also pitch a complete game shutout at any time.

So far, he’s compiled just over 70 innings and kept his ERA in the mid-2.00s. He’s due for some regression, and his 4.36 FIP is concerning, but it seems strikeouts are down across the board this season.

Urias has allowed one run or fewer in eight starts this season, and he has another two starts where he’s allowed just two earned. That’s 10 of his 13 total starts.

It seems almost impossible that the Dodgers are 5-8 in Urias starts this year. During Urias’s starts, the Dodgers have been shut out twice, scored one run twice, and scored three runs three times. That’s seven of Urias’ 13 starts that the best offense in baseball failed to conjure up four or more runs.

Anyways, I’d be scared of the Braves if I were Julio. Atlanta has been the third-best offense in baseball against southpaws this season (123 wRC+, .812 OPS), and has performed even better over the last month (150 wRC+, .916 OPS).

The Braves are a righty-heavy lineup with a bunch of typical platoon splits guys. Five of the seven righties in the regular nine-man lineup have wRC+’s above 150 against the left side, with Ronald Acuña Jr.’s 194 leading the way.

Los Angeles Dodgers vs Atlanta Braves Pick & Prediction

My picks: Atlanta Braves ML (+110 at WynnBet), Over 9 (-106 at FanDuel Sportsbook)

I absolutely love the Braves ML here.

I love betting home underdogs – especially at plus-money – and I love betting this Atlanta lineup against a southpaw. They’re going to crush Urias.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers have been worth fading recently. They’re a short favorite here, but I still think they’re overvalued in the betting markets. The Braves are 17-3 this month while the Dodgers have been playing .500 ball – this feels like the wrong team is favored.

I’d also look towards the over here. The Braves have a good matchup with Urias and Anderson hasn’t been all-too-impressive. Plus, I can imagine Freeman going long again in his old stomping grounds – especially with the wind projected to be blowing out towards the right field.

Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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