Arguably the most intriguing series in baseball to start this week will come to a close tonight, with the Dodgers looking for a sweep. We’ll preview tonight’s game before going over my best prop play for the action.
The Braves ran their ace, Spencer Strider, out to the mound last night, and despite striking out 11 over six innings, Strider and Atlanta fell 8-1. Bobby Miller was on the other side as he made his Major League debut for the Dodgers and struck out five while allowing just one run in his first career win. The Dodgers' offense also made their impact, with both J.D Martinez and Jayson Heyward leaving the yard for two of the team's nine hits.
For tonight’s game, the Dodgers will send Tony Gonsolin to the mound for his sixth start. In 24 innings, the right-hander has pitched to a 1.13 ERA with 19 strikeouts and nine walks. Gonsolin has picked up a win in his last two starts, as he went five scoreless against the Cardinals with three strikeouts his last time on the mound.
Gonsolin will face a Braves lineup that struck out 11 times last night while only managing five hits. Aside from Austin Riley’s RBI double, the Braves' offense was held entirely at bay. With the loss yesterday, the Braves' struggles against right-handed pitching continue to be a topic of conversation, as their average against righties now sits at .234 on the year.
Bryce Elder will be on the mound for Atlanta as he is set to make his 10th start. The righty has been having a successful start to his second year in the Majors, pitching to a 2.06 ERA with 45 strikeouts and 15 walks in 52.3 innings. Elder struck out six over six innings while allowing two earned runs in his most recent outing but walked away with the no decision.
Tony Gonsolin’s hits allowed prop is currently set at 5.5, and I’ll be taking the under, which is priced at (-135). Across his five starts, the right-hander is averaging 2.6 hits allowed per game, and he has an ideal matchup tonight with a Braves team that is struggling a bit with righties and has not been as strong in their home ballpark as they are on the road.
Since the start of May, the Braves have been hitting .239 against right-handed pitching in home games, and they also rank 26th in wRC+, 16th in BAbip, and 23rd in wOBA. These numbers should be music to Gonsolin's backer's ears, especially since he is in the 83rd percentile in barrel percentage, 67th percentile in hard hit percentage, and 69th percentile in expected batting average.
Gonsolin has thrown 14.1 innings on the road up to this point and has allowed just six hits in that span. Not only can he consistently produce weak contact, but Gonsolin also has the chance to rack up some strikeouts. The righty is in the 86th percentile in chase rate, which could cause problems for a Braves team with the 9th-highest strikeout percentage against righties at home this month.
Tony Gonsolin Under 5.5 Hits (-135)