Dodgers latest acquisition could put MLB on notice for the stretch run.

Authored by Major League Baseball Expert Analyst Bobby Wallace.

MLB Predictions are winning at a remarkable rate and will continue through the 2018 World Series. The Los Angeles Dodgers have a one and a half game lead over second-place Arizona in the National League West division after Thursday’s 8-2 road win over Atlanta. Los Angeles ends their ten game road trip Sunday; it’s back home to entertain Milwaukee and Houston in a rematch of the 2017 World Series. Former Orioles slugger Manny Machado was acquired for minor league prospects hit his first home run in a Dodgers uniform the first game against in the Peach State. Atlanta is two and a half games behind first-place Philadelphia in the NL East with loses in their of their last four games, they’ll face Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw for the first time this season tonight. Game time is 7:35 PM EST at the reasonably new SunTrust Park in bustling downtown Atlanta, Georgia. Local Television Networks in both cities are broadcasting. The Opening Betting Line has Los Angeles as a -150 road favorite. The betting odds total is Eight, And A Half Runs for Friday’s contest.

Dave Roberts is in his third season in the dugout as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and despite getting into the World Series in 2017, theirs still a considerable amount of pressure to win it all this year. Despite having to move pitchers off the injury list constantly, they have played competitively when it counts most. Starting hurlers Kenta Maeda, Ross Stripling, and Alex Wood who has been consistent lead the third-ranked rotation in Major League Baseball with a 3.54 team earned run average. As expected reliever Kenley Jansen is at the top of his game with twenty-nine saves under his belt. The real surprise this season is the resurgence of All-Star Matt Kemp who’s the second stint in Southern California is the talk of baseball, a .313 batting average, sixty-four runs batted in and one hundred hits is a team best. Adding Manny Machado into the mix and the Los Angeles Dodgers are putting their card on the table. Los Angeles will try to continue the domination over Atlanta; they’re 23-9 with fourteen net wins which could be enticing for MLB bettors, especially with Kershaw just -150 tonight. Bovada.Lv list the Los Angeles at +500 to win the 2018 World Series.

The Atlanta Braves surpassed all expectations form April until the 2018 MLB All-Star break. Manager Brian Snitkers team has been kind to the betting community with their performances as underdogs especially. Atlanta is four games over .500 at SunTrust this season but 2-6 their last eight baseball contests. Right-hander Mike Foltynewicz who leads the staff with a .285 era along with one hundred and twenty-five strikeout will be on the mound for game two. The Illinois native threw five and two-thirds innings his last outing allowing nine hits resulting in four runs in a 6-2 loss at Washington on July 22nd. First Baseman Freddie Freeman is consistent in the batter’s box, leading the lineup in four of five broad categories. Rookie Ozzie Albies has cooled off from his great beginning to the 2018 season but has a team-best twenty home runs. Atlanta must find a way to put the ball in play against Kershaw who’s had his problems recently. Bovada.Lv, list the Atlanta Braves at +160 to win the 2018 National League East Division Crown.

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Free MLB Betting Predictions, News, Notes and Odds for Wednesday, June 27, 2018: Chicago Cubs at Los Angeles Dodgers.

Authored by Major League Baseball Expert Analyst Bobby Wallace.

2018 Baseball Picks are winning at a remarkable rate and will continue through the 2018 World Series. Cubs President of Baseball Operations Theo Epstein made good on a promise to bring a World Series title to Wrigleyville, but how soon loyalist forgets, they want another parade. Manager Joe Maddon is in his fourth season with expectation at an all-time high. The (43-34), Second place Chicago Cubs, National League Central division beat Los Angeles 9-4 on Tuesday, June, 26th. Los Angeles is (42-36), second place in the NL West and after losing game seven at home to Houston in the 2017 World Series, they are finally rounding into form after a rocky start in 2018. Wednesday’s contest is at 10:10 PM EST at Dodgers Stadium in the Chavez Ravine section of Los Angeles, California. ESPN Television Network is broadcasting. The Opening Betting Line has Los Angeles as a -140 home favorite, the betting odds total is Seven, And A Half Runs for Wednesday’s contest.

Don’t tell Chicago Cubs fans that a four-game series against the Dodgers in June isn’t essential! They remember their 2017 NLCS debacle losing to Los Angeles in five games. Chicago is 3-2 vs. Los Angeles this season and both teams could square off in the playoff again in 2018. However a 3-7 record their last ten isn’t going to do the job, and Maddon understands, at sixty-four year old he’s a master motivator. First Place Milwaukee is just two and a half games in front of Chicago at the halfway point. Chicago is top five baseball team in hitting and pitching, with Jon Lester leading the pitching staff with ten victories. Second Baseman Javier Baez leads the batting order in three of five broad categories. Anthony Rizzo is still looking to find his groove at the plate and when he does they are virtually unbeatable. Chicago needs to back on track before the All-Star break, keeping pace with Milwaukee. Bovada.Lv, list the Chicago Cubs at +450 to win the 2018 NL Central Division crown.

The Los Angeles Dodgers are finally getting healthy, and it’s showing in their performance they have lost just six games in June. Los Angeles has a winning record at home as well as on the road but is only 4-8 vs. NL Central opponents. Left Hander Alex Wood who has won his last two will be on the hill for game three. Shortstop Corey Seager is out for the remainder of the season, and his will is felt. The resurgence of Matt Kemp in the batting order could keep Los Angeles in striking distance of Arizona in the division race. Outfielder Yasiel Puig will eventually round into form an begin hitting the baseball with authority. Starting Pitcher Clayton Kershaw pitched his first game in nearly a month on the 23rd of this month in New York. Los Angeles will host Colorado and Pittsburgh before hitting the road on Friday, July 6th. Pitching must get better for Los Angeles to keep pace with an outstanding Arizona team. Bovada. Lv, list the Los Angeles Dodgers at +100 to win the 2018 NL West.

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Blue Jays and Dodgers both face lost seasons but only one is desperate for a rescue

Blue Jays and Dodgers both face lost seasons but only one is desperate for a rescue

Toronto and Los Angeles are just over 2,700 miles apart. That’s not the farthest distance between Major League cities. Seattle is baseball’s most isolated franchise. It’s over 3,000 miles away from every East Coast club, and 2,750 miles from Toronto, but I mentioned LA for a reason. The distance between Canada’s most populous city and America’s second-most is emblematic of the dichotomy between the Blue Jays and Dodgers’ respective approaches to their most prized assets.

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Two months and one-third of the way into the 2018 Major League Baseball season both teams are struggling. Toronto’s 25-31 record projects to a 72-win season. The Dodgers are a game better and on pace for 75. The Jays are two seasons removed from an ALCS series against the eventual World Series Champion Kansas City Royals. The Dodgers are the defending National League Champions.

The Dodgers pitching staff has been hit hard with injuries. Rich Hill and Kenta Maeda are on the 10-Day disabled list; Tom Koehler is on the 60. Clayton Kershaw was just activated, which I’ll get to in a minute. Corey Seager [60] and Chase Utley [10] are also on the DL.

The Blue Jays have also lost players. Troy Tulowitzki is on the 60-day DL after surgery to remove bone spurs in both heels. Josh Donaldson has been day-to-day with a calf problem. Marcus Stroman’s shoulder fatigue has him on the 10-day DL and closer Roberto Osuna’s temper has run him afoul of the league’s domestic violence policy. He is indefinitely suspended.

There are still more than a 100 games remaining for both clubs but the Dodgers, with their massive payroll, are feeling the pressure to salvage their campaign far more than the Blue Jays. For one thing, despite similar records, LA is only four games off the pace in the NL West.The Dodgers brought Clayton Kershaw back from injury too quickly.

Clayton Kershaw had missed all but the first and last days of May with a shoulder problem. when he was medically cleared this week, the club put him back on the mound. No rehab stint to shake off the rust, test all the moving parts, or build up lost strength. Just give him the ball and hope he can turn the season around.

Instead, Kershaw may turn around and head back to the DL, this time with stiffness in his back. In his return against the Phillies, manager Dave Roberts limited him to 60+ pitches in five innings. The lefty gave up just one run but ESPN’s Dave Schoenfeld highlighted a disturbing statistic.

Kershaw threw 20 four-seam fastballs. Not one reached 90 mph. Compare that to the 1100 or so he threw in 2017, of which not a one went under 90, and there is reason to be concerned. Even at 88 or 89, the Dodger ace was an effective pitcher, but he’s not Greg Maddux. Over several starts, hitters will catch up to him. He needs that dominant fastball.

If he goes on the DL again this weekend, Los Angeles should consider taking their time bringing him back to the rotation.

For their part, the Blue Jays have been resisting pressure from all sides to get a sensational player into the lineup yesterday if not sooner. For one thing, they are 13.5 games behind Boston in the AL East. For another, their potential hero is not a veteran Cy Young winning left-hander. It’s a 19-year-old third-baseman whose father will be enshrined in the Hall of Fame this summer.

Vladimir Guerrero is rated the Blue Jays' top prospect by MLB and Baseball America.

Vladimir Guerrero Jr is rated as the Jays’ top prospect by MLB’s scouting bureau and Baseball America. This season, he’s living free while opposing pitchers die as a third baseman for the New Hampshire Fishercats in the AA Eastern League.

In 49 games, Baby Vlad has 11 HRs, 53 RBI and 44 runs scored. His line reads .414/.464/.691. He has been so consistent at the plate that his OPS (1.155) is over 1 in every meaningful split, be it by the month, vs lefties or righties, or in various critical pitch counts and out situations. Unlike his heralded dad, who would swing at anything from ankles to eyebrows that was thrown between first and third base, Junior has some plate discipline. He’s walked 19 times while striking out just 21.

Comparing Josh Donaldson's numbers with Vladimir Guerrero Jr through May 31st 2018

Slowed by injury, Josh Donaldson’s big league numbers pale in comparison. He’s hitting 180 points lower, with 40% of the hits, half the homers and runs scored, a third as many driven in.

There’s a school of thought that advises trading the 32-year-old while his value is still high and letting Vlad show what he can do at the big league level. In a throwaway year, there would be less pressure on the teenager.

On the other hand, he’s doing fine in AA. Not only would he have to adjust to big league pitching in Toronto, he’d be exposed to a negative culture. It’s no fun coming to work when you’re 11 games under .500 going into June.

More importantly, Donaldson is a much better fielder. Toronto GM Ross Atkins has already stated he wants Guerrero to stay on the farm to improve his defence. If he can’t, he’d still have to stay down to learn a new position. Right field, like dear old Dad?

Either way, it’s a sound decision. It’s never a good sign for your major league career if you’re a DH before you can legally drink.

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Martin Palazzotto is a freelance writer and author of strange bOUnce, a collection of sport fiction.