Atlanta Braves (45-33) vs St. Louis Cardinals (42-36)Date : 06/29/2018
Time : 8:15 pm EST
Location : Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Missouri
Pick, Prediction, & Preview:
Atlanta Braves vs St. Louis Cardinals
Game 1 of a 3-game set against the Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals will take place at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri, on Friday night at 8:15 pm EST. The Braes continue to occupy the top spot within the NL East division while the Cardinals are in 3rd place within the NL Central division. In their last outing, the Braves were 5-3 home losers to the Cincinnati Reds on 6-27-2018 behind a strong pitching performance from Matt Harvey who went 6.2 innings while allowing 1 run on 6 hits, 1 walk, and 2 strikeouts with an ERA of 5.28. The Reds got 10 hits off the Atlanta pitching staff as Jesse Winker remained hot from the plate going 3-4 with 2 RBI’s while Scooter Gennett (1-3 with 1 RBI) and Jose Paraza (1-4) each had hits in the victory. The losing pitcher in this matchup was Annibal Sanchez (3-2) who pitched 4.2 innings while allowing 2 runs on 5 hits, and 5 strikeouts with an ERA of 2.68. The Reds cashed in on the money line as slight under dogs (+125) while the under was the play in that the total was set at 9 runs for the game.
On the other hand, the Cardinals were 11-2 home winners over the Cleveland Indians on 6-26-2018. The Cards cashed in on the money line as huge underdogs (+150) while the over was the play in that the total was set at 8 runs for the game. Corey Kluber (11-4) took the loss as he was atrocious in pitching only 1.2 innings while allowing 6 runs on 6 hits, 2 homers, and only 2 strikeouts with an ERA of 2.54. The Indians’ offense could only muster 6 hits with 2 coming from Lonnie Chisenhall who also had an RBI in the loss. Carlos Martinez (4-4) picked up the victory for the Cardinals as he went 6 innings while surrendering only 2 runs on 6 hits, 1 walk, and 8 strikeouts with an ERA of 3.22. This will be the 1st meeting amongst these two teams for 2018, however, the Cardinals have taken 5 of the last 6 meetings while taking 2 of 3 in their last outing in Busch Field on 8-11-2017.
Atlanta Braves's Latest Performance :
The Braves come into this game losers of 3 of their last 5 games to where the O/U is 3-1-1. Recently, the Braves would tie a 2-game road set versus the Toronto Blue Jays on 6-20-2018 while following this up with a 3-game home series loss to the Baltimore Orioles on 6-24-2018. After winning game 1 of a 3-game home set to the Reds by a 5-4 score, the Braves fell in game two by a 5-3 final.
For the season, the Braves are averaging 4.95 runs per game (4th) with a team batting average of .260 (3rd), 89 homers (16th) along with 45 stolen bases (8th). Their pitching staff has an ERA of 3.68 (10th) with 694 strikeouts (11th) along with 32 quality starts on the season (16th).
Freddie Freeman (.321 BA on 302 AB), Nick Markakis (.326 BA on 310 AB), Ryan Flaherty (.252 BA on 131 AB), and Ozzie Albies (.271 BA on 339 AB) have been the offensive stars for the Braves all season. Dansby Swanson (.245 BA on 245 AB) and Ender Incarte (.252 BA on 310 AB) have also been consistent at the plate for the Braves.
Mike Foltynewicz (5-4, 84 IP, 24 R, 58 H, 6 HR, 37 BB, 98 SO, 2.14 ERA) and Brandon McCarthy (6-3, 78.2 IP, 45 R, 94 H, 15 HR, 21 BB, 65 SO, 4.92 ERA) have been bright spots on the mound for the Braves this year. Sean Newcomb (8-2, 87 IP, 28 R, 63 H, 6 HR, 38 BB, 84 SO, 2.59 ERA) and Julio Teheran (5-5, 81.2 IP, 41 R, 63 H, 15 HR, 39 BB, 73 SO, 4.52 ERA have also been solid for Atlanta in 2018.
St. Louis Cardinals's Latest Performance :
The Cardinals come into this matchup as winners of 4 of their last 5 games to where the O/U was 2-3. Recently, after the Cards would drop a 3-game road set versus the Phillies on 6-20-2018 while following this up with a tie in a 4-game road set versus the Milwaukee Brewers on 6-24-2018. This momentum would translate into their next series as they won the first 2 games of a 3-game home set against the Cleveland Indians with game 2 being an 11-2 blowout on 6-26-2018.
For the season, the Cardinals are averaging 4.35 runs per game (19th) with a team batting average of .243 (17th), 102 homers (9th), along with 28 stolen bases (25th). Their pitching staff has an ERA of 3.62 (8th) with 662 strikeouts (18th) and 34 quality starts on the year (12th).
Tommy Pham (.252 BA on 262 AB), Jose Martinez (.302 BA on 268 AB), Paul DeJong (.260 BA on 150 AB), and Yadier Molina (.265 BA on 181 AB) have been the most consistent batters at the plate for St. Louis this season. Marcell Ozuna (.289 BA on 287 AB) has also been solid at the plate for the Cardinals this year.
Miles Mikolas (8-2) has pitched 97.1 innings and allowing 32 runs on 82 hits, 8 homers, 12 walks, and 71 strikeouts with an ERA of 2.69. Michael Wacha (8-2) has 84.1 IP, 36 R, 68 H, 9 HR, 36 BB, and 71 SO along with an ERA of 3.20.
How Atlanta Braves & St. Louis Cardinals Matchup.
Vegas Odds, Offshore Odds, & Odds ATS:
For the season, the Braves are 42-36 ATS while the O/U is 38-36-4. On the other hand, the Cardinals are 35-43 ATS while the O/U is 31-43-5.
In-Depth Analysis of each team:
While the game 1 starter for the Braves have not been named, Cardinals ace Miles Mikolas (8-2) will get the start in the opener looking to correct some errors that have occurred in his pitching approach lately. After winning 3 of 4 games at one point to where the Cards were 4-0, Mikolas has since been credited with 14 earned runs on 29 hits in his last 6 games (versus 4 runs on 19 hits in previous 4). The under has been the play in 4 of his last 5 starts while the Cards are only 2-3 with Mikolas on the mound in his last 5 starts. In his last outing, he pitched 6.2 innings while allowing 2 runs on 3 hits, 2 walks, and 5 strikeouts in a 3-2 road win over the Brewers to which he got the win. This will be the right-hander’s first matchup against the Braves, however, Nick Markakis (0-2) and Ryan Flaherty (1-2) have face him before with mixed results.
For game 2, Brandon McCarthy (6-3) will come to the mound for Atlanta looking to win his 2nd start in a row. In his last outing, he pitched 5 innings while allowing 3 runs on 5 hits with 2 homers and 5 strikeouts in a 7-3 home win versus the Orioles on 6-24-2018. In his last outing versus the Cardinals, McCarthy pitched only 4 innings while allowing 2 runs on 7 hits in a 2-0 road loss on 6-1-2017. The right-hander has been credited with 17 runs on 31 hits in his last 5 starts while the over has been the result in 3-straight appearances for McCarthy. The Braves are 1-4 in McCarthy’s last 5 starts (1-2 in last 3 road starts).
Matt Carpenter (3-9), Dexter Fowler (.250 BA on 12 AB), Marcell Ozuna (.250 BA on 8 AB) have the most experience and success against McCarthy for the Cardinals; However, Jedd Gyorko (.118 BA on 17 AB), Yadier Molina (.200 BA on 10 AB), Tommy Pham (0-4), and Kolten Wong (0-5) have struggled against the righty in the past.
Luke Weaver (4-6) will take the mound for the Cardinals hoping to win his 2nd straight start after a 5.2 inning game to where he allowed 2 runs on 5 hits in an 8-2 road win versus the Milwaukee Brewers on 6-24-2018. This will be Weaver’s first look at this dangerous Atlanta Braves lineup, however, Peter Boujous is 1 for 2 against the right-hander in past matchups.
Game 3 starter for the Braves will be Mike Foltynewicz (5-4) who will be looking to end a mini-string of no decisions in his last 2 outings. He has been solid though only being credited with 5 earned runs in his last 7 appearances where the Braves are 4-3 during his last 7 starts. Finally, the under has been the play in 4 of his last 7 starts. In his last outing, the right-hander pitched 5 innings while allowing 1 run on 1 hit, 4 walks, 1 homer, and 4 strikeouts in a 5-4 home win versus the Reds on 6-25-2018. In his last outing versus the Cardinals, he went only 2.2 innings while allowing 6 runs on 7 hits and 4 walks in an 8-5 road loss on 8-11-2017.
The Cardinals have had all types of success against the righty in the past as Matt Carpenter (2-4), Dexter Fowler (1-4), Jedd Gyorko (.429 BA on 7 AB), Jose Martinez (1-3), Yadier Molina (.286 BA on 7 AB), Tommy Pham (.750 BA on 4 AB), and Kolten Wong (.750 BA on 4 AB) have all been marvelous at the plate when Foltynewicz is on the mound. He has dominated Marcell Ozuna in the past as he only has a batting average of .125 batting average on 16 at bats against the righty.
Jon Gant (2-2) will get the start for St. Louis in the finale looking to win his 2nd straight start. In his last outing on 6-25-2018, he pitched 7 innings while allowing no runs on 1 hit, 5 walks, and 4 strikeouts in a 4-0 home win versus Cleveland. He has only been credited with 1 earned run in last 3 appearances, yet, the team is 1-5 in his last 6 starts. The under has been the play in 2 of his last 3 games. This will be Gant’s first look at the Braves lineup as well, however, in his last 3 starts, he has gone 1-0 with a .82 ERA with 7 strikeouts and will be looking for the challenge that awaits him.
Against The Spread Selection: Pick: Game 1, Game 3: St. Louis Cardinals/Pick: Game 2: Atlanta Braves
My reason for the pick :
Mikolas has been less than stellar lately, however, he pitched up a win in his last outing and will certainly be looking to pick up yet another win on the season. With a Braves team that is struggling with inconsistencies at the mound are allowing teams to score points at this point while Mikolas will put the finishing touches on a reeling braves team in game 1 to set the tone for this series. In all, expect a low-scoring game on Friday to where the Cardinals will sneak out a huge victory.
As it relates to game 3, Foltynewicz has been owned by the St. Louis lineup in the past and I expect this trend to continue in the series finale on Sunday as the Cards will get the series win in grand fashion. In other words, Foltynewicz was bombed in his last outing versus the Cards as he only lasted 2.2 innings. With that being said, expect his to give up some runs to this lineup; Gant, on the other hand, will serve to neutralize the Braves lineup in getting yet another win to take the series. I would also consider taking the over in this matchup knowing how effective the Cardinals have been against Foltynewicz in the past.
Saturday will be the Braves best chance to pick up a win in this series as McCarthy comes to the mound. As stated, he has been solid lately and will be looking to win his 2nd straight start. With that being said, while there are some within the St. Louis lineup with success against him, most on the lineup has indeed struggled against McCarthy in the past. Though Weaver has pitched well, recently, I believe that the Braves will pull it together in which to get a slim victory on Saturday on the strength of their experience on the mound along with the Cardinals inexperience on the hill.
Betting trends for Atlanta Braves:
- Betting Trends for Atlanta Braves
- The Braves are 4-8 in last 12 road games
- The Over is 7-1 in Braves last 8 road games
- The Braves are 9-5 in last 14 games
Betting trends for St. Louis Cardinals:
- Betting Trends for St. Louis Cardinals
- The Cardinals are 2-4 in last 6 home games
- The Under is 5-2 in Cardinals last 7 home games
- The Cardinals are 5-8 in last 13 games