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The Atlanta Braves (78-48) send out one of the hottest pitchers in baseball in their series opener against the NL Central-leading St. Louis Cardinals (72-53). Atlanta leads the season series 3-1 and has outscored St. Louis 18-7 in those contests.
The Cardinals have built a 6-game lead in their division. The Braves are still two games behind the New York Mets in the NL East. But, both teams are piping hot entering Friday and would be in the playoffs if it started today.
It’s becoming a habit, however, I’m BETTING the ATLANTA BRAVES (-155) at DraftKings Sportsbook with Strider on the bump.
Betting Deets (DraftKings)
- Moneyline (ML): Braves (-155), Cardinals (+135)
- Run Line (RL): Braves -1.5 (+110), Cardinals +1.5 (-130)
- Total: 7 — Over (-115), Under (-105)
Atlanta: RHP Spencer Strider, 7-4 with a 2.95 ERA in 100 2/3 innings pitched (IP) over 15 starts and 11 relief appearances.
- 2.50 expected ERA (xERA), 37.3% K-rate, 9.1% BB-rate (28.1% K-BB%) and 0.54 home runs per nine (HR/9).
- Last start vs. Cardinals: No-decision in Atlanta’s 3-2 home loss July 7 with 6-scoreless IP, 2 H, 2 BB and 12 K.
St. Louis: LHP Jose Quintana, 4-5 with a 3.45 ERA in 122 2/3 IP across 24 starts while pitching for the Cardinals and Pittsburgh Pirates.
- 4.12 xERA, 20.3% K-rate, 7.8% BB-rate (12.6% K-BB%) and 0.59 HR/9.
- Last start vs. Braves: Loss, 5-3, in Atlanta June 12 with 5 IP, 4 earned runs, 3 HR, 1 BB and 4 K while pitching for the Pirates.
If it’s not broke, don’t fix it is the motto here with my Braves ML wager.
Strider is a cash cow for me this season. He’s overpowering hitters with a gnarly fastball averaging 98.0 mph. Strider’s K-rate ranks in the 99th percentile of MLB and his xERA over expected wOBA is in the 95th percentile, per Statcast.
Also, Strider diced up St. Louis’s lineup earlier this season and he should have an easier time in this meeting. Cardinals All-Star 3B Nolan Arenado missed Thursday’s game vs. the Chicago Cubs and isn’t in the projected starting lineup Friday.
Also, Atlanta’s lineup rakes lefties. The Braves are 10-3 as road favorites vs. left-handed starters with a plus-21.4% ROI and an a. Atlanta’s lineup is 4th in wRC+, 3rd in wOBA, 5th in ISO, 6th in BB/K rate and 1st in hard-hit rate against left-handed pitching, per FanGraphs.
Finally, Atlanta’s bullpen is a lot more reliable. The Braves relievers rank higher in WAR, FIP, HR/9, K/BB rate and chase rate than the Cardinals. Quintana has been rock-solid since going to St. Louis but will get raked vs. the Braves.
BET ATLANTA BRAVES (-155) all the way up to -165 at DraftKings Sportsbook.
- A $155 bet on the Braves (-155) returns a $100 profit.
Listen to the ‘OutKick Bets with Geoff Clark’ podcast HERE.
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