The Braves and Dodgers close out a 4-game weekend series Sunday afternoon that could be a preview of the 2023 National League Championship series. Veteran Charlie Morton takes the mound for the Braves against the Dodgers’ promising rookie Bobby Miller.
The Dodgers are the betting favorites in this game with -118 moneyline odds, while the over/under in a matchup of two high-powered offenses is set at 9.5 runs. The prediction here is that the Braves win and the under hits.
Braves vs. Dodgers Prediction
Starting pitchers: RHP Charlie Morton (14-10, 3.29 ERA) vs. RHP Bobby Miller (8-3, 4.00 ERA)
Bobby Miller faced a tall task in his MLB debut on May 24. The 2020 1st-round pick would finally be making the big leagues, and his first start would be on the road against the best offense in baseball.
The big-league moment wasn’t too big for Miller, who had a stellar debut, limiting the Braves to 4 hits and 1 earned run over 5 innings. He hasn’t been quite so dominant since then, but he has had a very solid rookie season so far for the Dodgers.
Now he gets another big test against the Braves, this time at home, in what looks like a potential NLCS preview. It could have big implications for Miller, who is vying for opportunities to pitch in the postseason.
Miller started finding his groove in August, logging a 3.21 ERA over 5 starts (28 innings). That number looked even better through 3 starts (1.15) before consecutive starts allowing 4 earned runs over 6+ innings. That said, allowing 4 over 6+ innings against the Braves would not be a bad outcome.
The Dodgers have a tough test of their own against Charlie Morton, the 39-year-old veteran who stands in stark contrast to Miller. Morton is still pitching very well in his 16th season. He is in the midst of a stretch of 4 games (24 innings) in which he’s allowed just 1 earned run (a 0.38 ERA) on 12 hits.
Morton got hit hard the first time he faced the Dodgers this season on May 22, allowing 6 runs (including 2 homers) over 5 innings. Freddie Freeman did the most damage with a double and a 3-run homer. Freeman is .556 lifetime against Morton (10-for-18) with 3 home runs.
The edge goes to Morton in this matchup given his experience and recent performance, but both pitchers will have their hands full with the opposing lineup. The Braves and Dodgers are MLB’s top two teams in runs scored, home runs, OPS, wOBA, and wRC+ – with Atlanta leading in all categories.
It’s boring to always bet on the Braves, but this season it’s also smart money. They may be on the road against a promising young pitcher in Miller, but their lineup and Morton’s experience will win the day. Take the Braves moneyline at -118 odds.
We also like the under on the juice up line of 9.5 runs. Even with the firepower in these two lineups, only 2 of their 5 games so far this season (pending Saturday’s outcome) have gone over 9.5 runs. It’s a big number to clear in any matchup, and we like these starting pitchers enough to back the under.
Braves vs. Dodgers Prediction: Braves moneyline (-118), under 9.5 runs (-108)
Note: all metrics above taken before Saturday’s games
Braves vs. Dodgers Odds
The Braves are the betting favorites with -118 moneyline odds, while the Dodgers are also less than even money at -102 on the moneyline.
Atlanta is laying -1.5 runs on the spread at +154 odds, while the Dodgers are getting +1.5 runs at -185 odds.
The over/under in this game is set at 9.5 runs with -112 odds on the over and -108 odds on the under.
Braves vs. Dodgers Key Matchups
Here are the key matchups that could decide Braves vs. Dodgers.
Charlie Morton vs. Mookie Betts
Part of the reason we picked the Braves in our Braves vs. Dodgers predictions is that Charlie Morton inspires a bit more confidence than Dodgers’ rookie Bobby Miller, especially given Morton’s strong recent performance.
If he wants to keep that up, his at-bats against Mookie Betts will be critical. Betts has entered the NL MVP conversation after hitting .450 in August. He leads the majors in hits, home runs (11) and wOBA (.548) since August 1.
Betts is 8-for-29 (.276) lifetime against Morton with 1 home run. If Morton can get a few key outs against him, that will go a long way towards a Braves victory.
Another reason we picked the under in our Braves vs. Dodgers prediction is that these teams have two of the best bullpens in baseball. The Braves are 4th in bullpen ERA (3.47) and 3rd in FIP (3.66) and xFIP (3.91). The Dodgers are 8th in ERA (3.72), 5th in FIP (3.85) and 8th in xFIP (4.11).
Since August 1 the relief staffs for the Dodgers (2.31) and Braves (2.71) are 1st and 3rd, respectively, in ERA. That means it could be difficult for either team to mount a late comeback, which places even more importance on the starting pitchers exiting the game with a lead.
Braves vs. Dodgers Starting Lineups (Projected)
Braves Starting Lineup
RF Ronald Acuña Jr. (R)
2B Ozzie Albies (S)
3B Austin Riley (R)
1B Matt Olson (L)
DH Marcell Ozuna (R)
LF Eddie Rosario (L)
C Sean Murphy (R)
SS Orlando Arcia (R)
CF Michael Harris (L)
Dodgers Starting Lineup
2B Mookie Betts (R)
1B Freddie Freeman (L)
C Will Smith (R)
DH Max Muncy (L)
LF David Peralta (L)
RF Jason Heyward (L)
CF James Outman (L)
3B Kiké Hernández (R)
SS Miguel Rojas (R)