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Braves Defending First Place as Play Host to Los Angeles Dodgers

Posted by Jeff Rudzinski on 5/16/2013 6:39:34 PM

The Atlanta Braves have gotten off to a better start than sports books expected, and they now find themselves atop the NL East standings with a 22-18 record. The Los Angeles Dodgers on the other hand have gotten off to a disappointing start thanks to lack of hitting as well as injuries to key players. Both teams have playoff potential, and with the Dodgers just five and a half games out of first place, they are looking to get hot and pull a few upsets in Atlanta this weekend to make up some of that ground.

Los Angeles Dodgers @ Atlanta Braves

Hyun-Jin Ryu (4-2 3.40 ERA) vs. Paul Maholm (4-4 3.94 ERA)

Friday May 17, 2013 – 7:30 PM ET

Although the pitching match-up appears to be a wash with two middle of the rotation guys with similar ERA's facing off with each other; Maholm has recently struggled on the mound and the only thing keeping his ERA respectable are the three shutouts he threw to start the year. Since starting the season hot Maholm has cooled off considerably and in his most recent two starts has been knocked out of the game before reaching the fifth inning. Ryu on the other hand is a sports bettors dream as he is consistent when on the mound so you need not worry about him, but instead on the Dodgers' offense. Although the Dodgers' offense as a whole has been struggling this year, players such as Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford are hitting the ball well and could very well carry them to victory with minimal help from others, which is exactly why I favor the Dodgers in game one of this series.

Los Angeles Dodgers @ Alanta Braves

Chris Capuano (1-2 6.60 ERA) vs. Kris Medlen (1-5 3.44 ERA)

Saturday May 18, 2013 – 7:10 PM ET

Kris Medlen has been designated the next great Atlanta Braves pitcher, and in his short time in the majors he has been living up to that hype. Discounting a so-so rookie campaign in 2009, Medlen came on strong out of the bullpen and as a starter last season, and this year as a full-fledged starter has looked to be a long term front of the line starter for the Braves. Although still young, Medlen can be relied on for a quality start almost every time out there, something opposing pitcher Capuano has only done once this season. Capuano's best days are behind him, and considering he is going up against Medlen, the Braves should be expected to win this Saturday match-up.

Los Angeles Dodgers @ Atlanta Braves

Matt Magill (0-0 6.92 ERA) vs. Mike Minor (5-2 2.75 ERA)

Sunday May 19, 2013 – 1:35 PM ET

The last game in this series features another pitching match-up that favors the Braves as Mike Minor has turned in an impressive season so far, appearing to solidify his spot in the Braves' rotation going forward. Minor had a few hiccups in his fourth and fifth starts of the year, but since then has been almost lights out again, and going up against the struggling Matt Magill, the Braves are once again my advised pick to gamblers looking for sports picks.



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