MLB Thursday best bets: Can the Braves put the Dodgers away?

Mitchell Layton / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The powerhouse Los Angeles Dodgers are on the ropes. They surprisingly find themselves in a 3-1 hole against the Atlanta Braves despite finishing the regular season with nearly 20 more wins.

Can the Dodgers stave off elimination on home soil, or will the Braves punch their ticket to the World Series?

Let's dive into that as we find the best way to approach MLB's lone Thursday night game.

Braves (+125) at Dodgers (-140)

Things are quickly going from bad to worse for the Dodgers.

Though Justin Turner has slumped of late, he's generally one of Los Angeles' best hitters - especially in the playoffs - and won't be available due to a hamstring injury.

The Dodgers are also expected to rely heavily on their bullpen in absence of an available top-tier starter, which is certainly not ideal with their season on the line versus Max Fried.

Fried ranked 18th among all starters in fWAR (3.8) during the regular season and has been lights out in the playoffs. Through 12 innings, Fried owns a 1.50 ERA and 0.92 WHIP to go with 14 strikeouts.

He's on top of his game - bad news for L.A. - and his pitch mix helps his chances of that continuing.

Fried's go-to is his four-seam fastball, which the Dodgers hit well. But he also throws a lot of curveballs and sliders, which his opponents struggle mightily against.

With Turner sidelined, Mookie Betts is the only projected starter who posted a wOBA above .315 against curveballs this season.

The picture doesn't look much brighter against sliders. Corey Seager and A.J. Pollock are the lone Dodgers regulars to finish the regular season with a wOBA above .325 against the pitch.

If Fried sticks to his off-speed stuff and doesn't try to beat the Dodgers with fastballs, he should be able to limit their offense for a handful of innings.

Bet: Braves F5 pk (+110)

Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.

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MLB Thursday best bets: Can the Braves put the Dodgers away?
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