As teams make their first turn through their starting rotation we get everyone’s season debut, but for Dylan Dodd, left-handed starter for Atlanta, it’s his MLB debut today. He’ll do it in St. Louis against the Cardinals after his Braves got an 8-4 win in Game 1 of this three-game series. It is the season debut for Steven Matz in his second season as a Cardinal.
The Cardinals are 2-2 as they host the 3-1 Braves. These two teams expect to contend for their division titles after winning the crown last year. If that’s the case they’ll need to build up some wins early in the year and they’ll need strong performances from their backend starters, Dodd and Matz.
Here are the odds for Atlanta and St. Louis tonight.
Braves vs. Cardinals odds, run line and total
Braves vs. Cardinals prediction and pick
Steven Matz has had an up and down career and last year was more of a down. He had a 5-3 record in 10 starts with five bullpen appearances out of the bullpen. He was thrown into the bullpen because of his struggles. He had a 5.25 ERA in 48.0 innings last season, but that came with a 3.78 FIP. There’s a chance that this season becomes another up in his MLB journey.
This is going to be a tough matchup for Dodd in his debut. He’ll have to navigate his way around Paul Goldscmidt and Nolan Arenado. The corner infielders for St. Louis both had great season’s last year, especially against left-handers like Dodd. Goldy had a 1.328 OPS vs. left-handers a year ago with 11 home runs in 112 at-bats. Arenado had a .939 OPS, also with 11 long balls and also in 112 at-bats.
The Braves have done an incredible job developing young pitchers, so Dodd could be the next guy after Kyle Wright and Spencer Strider to have huge success early in his career, but let’s wait and see before we back a lefty in a tough matchup vs. St. Louis.
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