Los Angeles Dodgers’ Chris Taylor drives in a run with a single during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the San Francisco Giants Friday, May 28, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)
- The Los Angeles Dodgers are -143 road favorites over the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night at Truist Park
- The Dodgers will start left-hander Clayton Kershaw (7-4, 3.33) against Charlie Morton (4-2, 4.26)
- Analysis of Dodgers-Braves along with betting advice can be found below
The two teams with the best records in the National League since the start of the 2018 season square off when the Los Angeles Dodgers visit the Atlanta Braves at 7:15 p.m. ET Saturday at Truist Park.
The Dodgers are 275-167 over the last four years while the Braves are 248-191. This year, the Dodgers are 34-23 while the three-time defending National League East champion Braves are a disappointing 26-29.
The Dodgers have won back-to-back games, including beating the Braves 9-5 on Friday night in the opener of a three-game series. The Braves have lost three of their last four games and five of their last seven.
Left-hander Clayton Kershaw (7-4, 3.33) gets the ball for the favored Dodgers and will face fellow veteran Charlie Morton (4-2, 4.26).
Dodgers vs Braves Odds
|Los Angeles Dodgers||-143||-1.5 (+112)||Over 8.5 (-104)|
|Atlanta Braves||+123||+1.5 (-132)||Under 8.5 (-118)|
Odds as of June 5th at DraftKings
Kershaw Comfortable Anywhere
Though the splits are not very wide, Kershaw has pitched better on the road this season than at Dodger Stadium. In six starts away from Los Angeles, he is 4-2 with a 3.06 ERA. In six home starts, he has a 3-2 record and 3.55 ERA.
Kershaw lost at home to the San Francisco Giants last Sunday at home in his previous outing to snap a three-start winning streak. He allowed five runs on seven hits in six innings while striking out six and walking three.
The Giants are all over Clayton Kershaw early 💣 pic.twitter.com/3dmgVAMq7b
— SF Giants on NBCS (@NBCSGiants) May 30, 2021
Kershaw has had quality starts in seven of his 12 games this season. However, just two of those QS came during six outings in May.
At 33, Kershaw is still durable. He has pitched at least seven innings four times this season and has gone at least six innings in nine starts.
In 11 regular season starts, Kershaw has never lost to the Braves as he has a 5-0 record and a 1.78 ERA. He is also 2-1 with a 1.73 ERA versus Atlanta in four postseason starts, though he did lose in last year’s National League Championship Series.
Clayton Kershaw’s night is done as the Braves take a 2-run lead in the 6th inning. He is in line to receive the loss. pic.twitter.com/tmA6x7CMB4
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) October 16, 2020
Kershaw won his lone career start at Truist Park in 2018, allowing only one run in 7.1 innings.
Braves Career Stats vs Kershaw
|Ronald Acuna Jr.||13||4||1||2||2||.308|
Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies is on a tear at the plate. In his last 11 games, he has a .395 batting average (17 for 43) with 12 runs scored, five doubles, a triple, three home runs and 16 RBIs.
Ozzie Albies cues up Off The Wall on the playlist. pic.twitter.com/iUVP5wXc1c
— Bally Sports South (@BallySportsSO) June 5, 2021
Atlanta, though, has scored five runs or fewer in seven of their past eight games.
Morton Salting Away Wins
The Braves have won each of Morton’s last three starts and he has gone 2-0 with a 2.50 ERA during that stretch. He beat the Washington Nationals on Monday in Atlanta, going five innings and allowed three runs, six hits and three walks to go with six strikeouts.
Morton has notched four quality starts in 11 turns through the rotation after being signed as a free agent in the offseason. He has pitched seven innings once, at least six innings five times and at least five innings nine times.
7 strong innings for Charlie Morton at Fenway. pic.twitter.com/BbxaAi7ln0
— Bally Sports South (@BallySportsSO) May 26, 2021
Morton has only faced the Dodgers twice in the regular season – back in 2010 and 2015 – during his 14-year career, going 0-1 with a 6.55 ERA.
However, Morton has pitched against Los Angeles in two World Series with mixed results. He worked the final four innings to get the win in Game 7 in 2017 for the Houston Astros but got tagged for five runs in 4.1 innings last October for a loss while pitching for the Tampa Bay Rays.
Dodgers Career Stats vs Morton
Dodgers first baseman Max Muncy left Friday’s game with right ankle soreness after trying to beat out a double play in the fourth inning. He is questionable for Saturday.
Here’s Max Muncy’s last AB before he was taken out of the game. Nothing looks out of the ordinary here. pic.twitter.com/O9LJKwBi8V
— Blake Harris (@BlakeHarrisTBLA) June 5, 2021
Los Angeles has scored at least nine runs in three of its last four games.
Taylor Clears the Bases
Chris Taylor hit a bases-loaded double in the eight-run fifth inning Friday night as the Dodgers won the first meeting between the teams since the NLCS.
This is your reminder to vote CT3 for the @AllStarGame.
🗳: https://t.co/BXKr9ILkke pic.twitter.com/oJVJns606x
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) June 5, 2021
Braves starter Ian Anderson (4-3) retired the first nine batters he faced, five by strikeout, before allowing two walks in the fourth. He began the unravel in the fifth.
Julio Urías (8-2) allowed four hits and two walks with five strikeouts in five innings.
Dodgers Hold Upper Hand
The Dodgers are now 19-9 against the Braves in the regular season since 2016. In addition to winning last year’s NLCS, Los Angeles also beat Atlanta in an NL Division Series in 2018.
That dominance along with Kershaw’s outstanding career numbers against the Braves makes the Dodgers the way to go in this one.
The Pick: Dodgers (-143)
John Perrotto has been covering and writing about sports for various outlets for over 40 years. His work has appeared in the likes of USA TODAY, ESPN.com, SI.com, Forbes.com, The Associated Press, Baseball Digest, and more. John is based out of Beaver Falls, PA.