Atlanta Braves vs. Los Angeles Dodgers

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Atlanta (1-0) –120, 7 at Los Angeles (0-1), 10:10 p.m. Eastern
by Staff

The Atlanta Braves shoot for two wins a row as they take on the Los Angeles Dodgers in the second game of this season-opening three-game series in L.A.

In Monday’s season opener, Atlanta jumped out to leads of 4-0 and 8-1 before having to hold on for an 11-10 victory over the Dodgers. The Braves pounded L.A. starter Derek Lowe for seven earned runs in five innings.

After the initial shock, the Dodgers touched Atlanta starter Tim Hudson for five runs in four-plus innings. L.A. later tallied five times in the last two innings, but fell one run short.

The teams combined for 21 runs, 29 hits and four errors Monday, and the Braves hit three home runs.

Atlanta, which won 90 games last season, is in search of its 15th consecutive division title. The Dodgers, on the other hand, posted their second-worst record last season since moving from Brooklyn, going 71-91.

The former division rivals split six games last season. Four of the six games went over the posted total.

Atlanta’s Tuesday starter, John Smoltz, went 14-7 with a 3.06 ERA last year in his first season as a starter since 1999. He made one start vs. L.A. in 2005, allowing two earned runs in seven innings. The Braves went 23-11 in Smoltz’s starts last season; the over was 15-18.

Dodger starter Brad Penny went 7-9 with a 3.90 ERA last year. He didn’t pitch against Atlanta in ’05. In ’04, Penny allowed nine earned runs in 22 2/3 innings pitched for Florida against Atlanta. L.A. went 13-16 in Penny starts last season; the over went 14-11.

Atlanta’s bullpen compiled an unimpressive 4.80 ERA in 2005; L.A.’s relievers combined for a 4.42 ERA last season.

The over was a somewhat surprising 40-38 in games played at Dodger Stadium in ’05.

Umpire Tom Hallion called 34 games behind the plate in 2005. Those games averaged 9.3 runs per game, and the under went 17-12 in Hallion-called games.

The over went 79-77 in Atlanta games last season, 79-73 in Los Angeles games.

Dodger shortstop Rafael Furcal, in his first game with his new team, had three hits and scored three runs Monday against his former employers. He has never faced Smoltz in a game situation.

Another Dodger off-season acquisition, Nomar Garciaparra, missed Monday’s games with a rib injury, and is doubtful for Tuesday.

Conditions could be a little damp at Dodger Stadium Tuesday; forecasts call for a good chance of rain.

The Ultimatecapper Pick: It’s too early in the season for us to have a good feel. The bookies think the Dodgers win here. We don’t have an opinion today.

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Jay has been watching and following sports since he could walk and turned to betting in his late teens. His favorite sport is MLB and has been producing winners on UltimateCapper for over 15 years. Follow Jay's free sports picks and enjoy the winners.