MLB LA Dodgers at Atlanta



2007-05-07

Two National League teams in first place in their respective divisions collided this weekend in Hotlanta. Each team has started the season nicely, combining a number of attributes which has them playing very solid baseball. They'll wrap up a three-game set with a 1:05 PM ET start on Sunday afternoon, all part of a full 15 game bettable baseball board!

After winning 14 straight NL East titles, Atlanta fell from its lofty perch last season. Venerable manager Bobby Cox has coaxed strong efforts out of his team in the early going. Los Angeles has jettisoned into first place with typical Dodger pitching and enough hitting to take a lead in the NL West heading into the first weekend of May.

This has been Los Angeles' first notable road trip of the season, only going as far as Milwaukee previously. This is part of a seven game sojourn which continues next at Florida. The Los Angeles offense relies on manufacturing runs, since they lack the big bopper in the middle of the line-up. The Dodgers are 14th in home runs in the National League and are forced to do all the little things. Manager Grady Little's club is second in stolen bases and first in the senior circuit combining sacrifice flies and hits.

Atlanta's offense has been in fine form to start the 2007 season, averaging 5.3 runs a game, third in the National League. They have had a balanced attack, with Edgar Renteria the leading hitter, Jeff Francoeur tops in runs batted in and Chipper Jones in home runs. Speaking of the long ball, chicks have to be digging these Braves, as they lead the majors with 38 dingers heading into weekend series.

This final game of the set has a pair of pitchers who have been less than effective. Randy Wolf was placed in tough spot in last outing, not having his good stuff and being forced to work thru it, as the L.A. bullpen was spent having pitched in the 17-inning marathon the night before. After a good 3-1 start, Wolf has been pounded for 11 runs and 16 hits in lost two losing efforts. Atlanta's Kyle Davies has been no better having been bailed out by the Braves bats. In his last three starts he has pitched a grand total of 13.3 innings, surrendering 13 runs, 17 hits and handing out 13 free passes to boot. While the Braves bullpen has been exemplary, Los Angeles has been even better, saving 8 of 10 and 2.65 ERA.

Game 3 StatFox Edge goes to the Dodgers.

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