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MLB Computer Picks for May 22: Back Braves Over Dodgers in Potential Playoff Preview

Charlie Morton Atlanta Braves New York Mets
Charlie Morton 50 of the Atlanta Braves pitches against the New York Mets on May 01 2023 Jim McIsaacGetty ImagesAFP

MLB Pick: Braves ML (-125) at WynnBet 


Picks Summary:

  • Dodgers vs. Braves: Braves (-125) 
  • Diamondbacks vs. Phillies: Phillies (-169) 
  • Rangers vs. Pirates: Rangers (-140)  

The Atlanta Braves are the betting favorites to win the NL pennant, and the Los Angeles Dodgers are a close second. The two powerhouses meet at Truist Park on Monday to open a potential playoff preview.

Here are picks from that game and two others with MLB odds from the top-rated books and score simulations from the OddsTrader computer. 


Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Atlanta Braves 

Monday, May 22, 2023 – 07:20 PM EDT at Truist Park 


Atlanta is the +200 favorite currently to win the NL pennant and Los Angeles is +250 with then a drop-off to the Mets at +700. Both the Dodgers and Braves have been hit hard in their rotations by injury, but it hasn’t slowed either team down much. 

Because lefty Julio Urias was the latest Dodgers starter to land on the injured list, rookie Gavin Stone, the franchise’s No. 4 overall prospect, is needed on Monday if not for a while going forward. The 24-year-old has a 2-2 record with a 4.04 ERA at Triple-A Oklahoma City. He made his big-league debut on May 3 vs. the Phillies and allowed five runs and eight hits over four in another fill-in spot before being sent back down. 

Stone better be cautious in the first inning because few teams are better than the Braves in that inning thanks to leadoff hitter Ronald Acuna Jr. In Sunday’s win over Seattle, Atlanta produced a first-inning run for the 20th time this season, and Acuna scored it after extending his hitting streak to 11. 

Veteran Charlie Morton (5-3, 2.85) is on the mound for the Braves. He comes off his best start of the season, 6.2 shutout innings last Monday vs. Texas with 10 strikeouts. Morton has been better at home, going 2-1 with a 2.50 ERA.  

The Pick

The computer favors the Braves to win 6.4-4.7, and this is a tough spot for LA’s Stone.

  • Dodgers are 1-6 in their last 7 road games vs. a right-handed starter. 
  • Braves are 6-1 in their last 7 Monday games. 

MLB Pick: Braves ML (-125) at WynnBet 


Arizona Diamondbacks vs. Philadelphia Phillies 

Monday, May 22, 2023 – 06:40 PM EDT at Citizens Bank Park 


Note that the Phillies might be down two key relievers in Seranthony Dominguez and Craig Kimbrel as both were needed in Sunday’s 2-1 win over the Cubs. Dominguez made his 15th straight appearance without allowing an earned run, the longest streak of his career. Kimbrel recorded his 399th career save – only seven pitchers have 400 saves – and has gotten a save in all five of his opportunities this season. The Phillies have won five of their seven series at home this season and have a record of 13-8 with a plus-18 run differential at Citizens Bank Park this year. 

It’s ace right-hander Zack Wheeler (3-3, 4.06 ERA) on the mound for the Phillies. He has been a bit hit-or-miss in the early going but better at home with a 1-1 record and 3.34 ERA in five starts. Wheeler threw six shutout innings last year in his lone appearance against the Diamondbacks and is 5-2 with a 2.95 ERA in nine career starts against them. Christian Walker is the only Arizona batter with good splits off him, going 6-for-11 with a double and homer. 

Lefty Tommy Henry (1-1, 5.00) goes for Philadelphia. In two road starts, he’s 0-1 with a 7.20 ERA. Henry’s lone career start against the Phillies was last year in Phoenix, and it didn’t go well as he allowed seven runs and eight hits over four innings.  

The Pick

The computer simulates a final score of 4.2-3.9 in favor of the Phillies.  

  • Phillies are 12-3 in their last 15 home games vs. a left-handed starter. 
  • Diamondbacks are 1-5 in the last 6 meetings in Philadelphia. 

MLB Pick: Phillies ML (-169) at WynnBet 


Texas Rangers vs. Pittsburgh Pirates 

Monday, May 22, 2023 – 06:35 PM EDT at PNC Park 


This matchup features the Manager of the Year betting favorites in the American League in the Rangers’ first-year Bruce Bochy and in the National League in the Pirates’ Derek Shelton, who actually entered this season on a very hot seat. Texas is 12 games above .500 for the first time since the end of the 2016 campaign and should have staying power with a big payroll.  

Penny-pinching Pittsburgh has slowed way down after a red-hot start but that was to be expected with star shortstop Oneil Cruz perhaps out until September due to injury. Not sure the Bucs have staying power without him. The Rangers got back their star shortstop from injury over the weekend in Corey Seager, and he helped lead a three-game home sweep of Colorado with a huge series.  

Dane Dunning (4-0, 1.69 ERA) is on the mound Monday for Texas. He has made three starts and eight relief appearances. This month purely as a starter, Dunning has a 1.59 ERA. Not many Pirates have seen him. They counter with Luis Ortiz (0-2, 5.63) and this might be his last outing before being sent down because his first two this year have been below average.  

The Pick

The computer projects a final score of 5.5-4.4 in favor of the Rangers. 

  • Rangers are 4-1 in their last 5 road games vs. a right-handed starter. 
  • Pirates are 2-6 in their last 8 home games. 

MLB Pick: Rangers ML (-140) at Bet365 


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