- Braves ML (-165) at Caesars Sportsbook
- Dodgers ML (-145) at Caesars Sportsbook
Here’s a lean on two games on Thursday with help from the computer picks from OddsTrader.
Thursday, April 06, 2023 – 07:20 PM EDT at Truist Park
It’s the home opener for the Braves and first road game for the Padres, who at least were off on Wednesday to travel to the East Coast. This could easily be an NL playoff preview, and I like both to win their respective divisions.
Tough Start for Padres
Still no Fernando Tatis Jr. for the Padres as the NL MVP candidate won’t debut off his suspension until April 20 – that would be pushed back if San Diego has a game postponed. The Friars are moving Tatis Jr. to the outfield for good after signing All-Star shortstop Xander Bogaerts in free agency. So far, so good for Bogaerts as he’s hitting .409 (9-for-22) with three homers and seven RBI through six games.
It’s lefty Blake Snell (0-1, 6.23) on the bump for the Padres. He was OK in his season debut, allowing three runs with nine strikeouts over 4.1 innings of a no-decision vs. Colorado. Snell left with a 2-1 lead. He was 4-2 with a 3.06 ERA on the road last year and didn’t face Atlanta. Ronald Acuna Jr. is 1-for-3 off him career with a homer.
Spencer Strider, who was runner-up for 2022 NL Rookie of the Year to teammate Michael Harris, gets the call for the Braves. The right-hander was spectacular in his 2023 debut, shutting out the Nationals with nine strikeouts and three hits over six innings. He was 0-0 with a 3.86 ERA in two starts last year vs. San Diego.
The computer has Atlanta prevailing 4.9-3.3.
- Padres are 1-4 in their last 5 road games.
- Padres are 0-7 in their last 7 Thursday games.
- Braves are 23-8 in their last 31 during game 1 of a series.
MLB Pick: Braves ML (-165) at Caesars Sportsbook
Thursday, April 06, 2023 – 10:10 PM EDT at Chase Field
There were no late-night games on Wednesday’s schedule and this is the only one Thursday. The teams split four games at Dodger Stadium to open the season. That’s a win for Arizona because it had been utterly dominated in the series the past few years. Both teams were off Wednesday, so both bullpens will be fully stocked.
Dodgers Finding Their Form
Two injuries to note for the Dodgers as outfielder and former AL MVP Mookie Betts (ankle) and shortstop Miguel Rojas (groin) are both day-to-day. Rojas hasn’t played this week, while Betts twisted his right ankle during Tuesday’s win over the Rockies when he collided with teammate Jason Heyward in shallow right field.
It’s Dustin May (0-0, 0.00) on the mound for LA. The former top prospect took a no-decision last Friday vs. Arizona, allowing just three hits and a walk over seven shutout innings. The 25-year-old right-hander struck out four batters.
May exited after seven innings with the score tied 0-0, but Betts hit a solo homer in the home half of the frame to put him in line for a victory; Alex Vesia gave that lead back in the eighth. May’s fastball averaged 97.6 mph and hit as high as 100.2 mph.
“I’ll tell you, I think he’s better than he was before,” Manager Dave Roberts said of May after Tommy John surgery. “And I say that because, you know, going through that rehab process, there’s a maturity that has to happen. And I think that that’s one component. The delivery is as consistent as I’ve ever seen it. And so for me, I think the net he’s a better major league pitcher than he was, you know, call it 18, 19 months ago.”
Average Performance From Kelly
It’s Merrill Kelly (0-0, 0.00) for Arizona. Kelly didn’t factor into the decision in Friday’s 2-1 win over the Dodgers, allowing three hits and four walks over 3.2 scoreless innings while striking out four. Kelly was limited to 74 pitches, perhaps because he also pitched in the World Baseball Classic.
The computer has the Dodgers winning 5.4-4.6. That’s a lot of runs considering the teams combined for just three runs the last time these pitchers faced off.
- Dodgers are 52-19 in their last 71 during game 1 of a series.
- Diamondbacks are 0-7 in their last 7 during game 1 of a series.
- Dodgers are 20-7 in the last 27 meetings in Arizona.
MLB Pick: Dodgers ML (-145) at Caesars Sportsbook