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Two Pitchers With Identical ERAs Meet As The Braves Visit Los Angeles

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 6/5/2013 7:59:54 PM

The Atlanta Braves and the Los Angeles Dodgers probably won’t gain much of any separation from each other this Thursday night… not if the pitching matchup is any indication.

Atlanta Braves @ Los Angeles Dodgers – Thursday, June 6
Sports betting line: no line

Why Atlanta Will Win

In a contest of online poker, the importance of a dealer remains intact. In this matchup, though, the importance of the dealer might not be so great. Atlanta starting pitcher Tim Hudson and Los Angeles starter Zack Greinke will both enter this contest with dueling earned-run averages of 4.80. Both men have been noticeably inconsistent this season, a natural reality when an ERA is that high in the National League. For NFL betting experts who don’t pay a lot of attention to Major League Baseball, it is important to realize that a high ERA in the National League is much worse than the same (numerical) ERA in the American League, because the National League forces pitchers to hit for themselves, while the American League has the designated hitter. A 4.80 ERA in the American League is remotely tolerable, though still not desirable. A 4.80 ERA in the National League is unacceptable. No half-decent National League starter should have an ERA over four runs, so it has to be said that Hudson and Greinke are suffering through disappointing seasons.

All of this points to an Atlanta win, however. The Braves have been swinging better bats and have scored a lot more runs than the Dodgers through the first two months of the 2013 campaign. Atlanta entered play on Wednesday, June 5, having scored 56 more runs than Los Angeles, 262-206. If this game does become a slugfest, a bettor would naturally want to place a lot more confidence and trust in the Braves than the Dodgers. Atlanta also has the better bullpen with Craig Kimbrel as the closer, just in case you’re worried about how the Braves will handle the eighth and ninth innings with a precarious lead.

Why Los Angeles Will Win

When the betting websites break down this contest, they’re going to give a good, long look at the pitching matchup, given that it’s so close. One thing analysts are going to acknowledge is that while Greinke didn’t pitch all that well in his most recent start (failing to escape the sixth inning while giving up four runs), he pitched in Denver against the Colorado Rockies. Pitching at Coors Field in Denver rarely treats pitchers well, so in this game – played in Los Angeles – Greinke could very well regain a measure of comfort and steadiness.

One also has to point out that Atlanta had to catch a flight out of its home city on Wednesday afternoon and make the cross-country journey to the West Coast for this night game. The Braves’ body clocks could easily be out of balance, and this game on Thursday could be the game in this four-game weekend series that catches them off guard.

Who Will Win?

The odds will be stacked against the Dodgers here. Yes, Atlanta might be tired, but the Braves figure to have too much weaponry for Los Angeles.

MLB Betting Pick: Atlanta


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