The race for the wildcards continues in the wild west and Atlanta is in the best position to secure one, but the Dodgers are entitled to aim higher than that. By winning the series, LA can leapfrog San Francisco once again and claim sole lead in the West division, a possible scenario given the Giants’ difficult match away at San Diego.
Match: Atlanta Braves vs LA Dodgers
Bet: LA Dodgers
Odds: bet365 2.10
It was pitching that helped the Dodgers tie the series last night and a solitary effort from Hanley Ramirez, who is perhaps the most inspired transfer the franchise made this season. Trading him from the Marlins gave LA that offensive boost that they’ve been lacking for years, and turned them into a competitive team capable of running deep into the playoffs. The wildcard might be just as difficult to win as the division, but it is refreshing for the Dodgers to have two options for playing baseball in October.
May the best pitcher win
At a first glance neither Billingsley nor Minor appear to be great pitchers, because both have a losing record in 2012 and 9 defeats already. Chad has a better ERA of only 3.62 while Atlanta’s starter is inching closer to five runs conceded per game, but he shows a lot of promise and seems capable of improving his stats. Since the All Star Game, he won one decision but has an ERA of only 2.39 which means that a better support from his teammates could help him turn around what is a mediocre season.
At the opposite side we have a pitcher who is thriving recently, as Billingsley won five consecutive games and posted a 1.56 ERA during this span. It is nothing short of amazing how Chad rebounded after losing his previous five decision and if Ramirez continues to play as well as he did lately, the Dodgers will surely win the series. Billingsley will have to deal with McCann who is usually a threat for the opposing team, but tonight the catcher is not playing at full potential. He didn’t play in the first two games due to serious problems in his right shoulder and it appears like he will be sent in for only a few innings.
LA Dodgers has a winning record away from home and although the Braves are a formidable opponent on their own field, the visitors have the first chance to secure victory. Billingsley is the better pitcher and hasn’t played better all season long, so taking the 2.10 odds offered by Bet365 is pretty much a no-brainer.