Pitching Matchup Is As Good As It Gets

Braves vs. Diamondbacks, 9:40 ET

Braves vs. Diamondbacks, 9:40 ET

I take a look at every game on the baseball schedule, every single day. That probably seems like an obvious statement, but it is the truth. I look at each game, see what the lines are and if they matchup with my opinion on the game. The ones that I feel are most interesting or worth a bet are what I share with Outkick readers. There are other times when they may not be my favorite bet of the day (for example, I'm betting the Reds to beat the Rockies again on the run line today), but it might be a great pitching matchup or game in general. Today is one of those days where we get a great matchup between the Braves and the Diamondbacks. 

Let me just get this out of the way as quickly as possible: the Braves have been a great team for multiple seasons now, and this season was another expectation of a playoff and potentially World Series appearance. They've been dealt a tough hand with injuries to Spencer Strider and Ronald Acuna Jr. All teams suffer injuries but few lose their top pitcher and top position player. They have weathered that storm and are at 50-39 coming into tonight. While they aren't scoring runs or hitting the same way they did last season. However, they are still performing well offensively and finding ways to manufacture runs. It isn't like they are underperforming, more that last season was probably a bit of overperforming. The offense is going well currently with three consecutive wins and at least five runs scored in four consecutive games. Their pitching has done their part too, and a lot of that comes from their addition of tonight's starter, Chris Sale. For the season, Sale has turned back the clock and been great once again. This season, he is 11-3 with a 2.71 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, and 127 strikeouts. He's first in wins, eighth in ERA, second in WHIP, and sixth in strikeouts. That's a Cy Young-level performance from a guy that once routinely put up these numbers. He's only had two poor starts this season, with one where he allowed eight earned runs over four innings, and five earned runs over seven innings. Oddly enough it happened against the Athletics and the Marlins. He did face the Diamondbacks earlier in the season when he allowed two earned runs over 5.1 innings in a 5-2 win over them. 

The Diamondbacks are finally starting to make a move after last year's World Series appearance. The Diamondbacks need to win two more games in a row in order to climb above .500 for the first time since they were 4-3. They had a solid June with a 16-11 record. Still, they sit in third place of the NL West and have a lot of work to do if they want to find a way to make it back into the playoffs. This issue really hasn't been the offense. In fact, I think they have carried the team for the most part this season. The team being without Merrill Kelly is a big issue as it hurts the rotation. They also are missing Jordan Montgomery from the team as well. 40% of the rotation being injured is an issue for any squad, of course. Tonight they get their Ace to face off against Sale as Zac Gallen takes the mound. Overall, Gallen sits with a 6-4 record, 3.06 ERA, and a 1.11 WHIP. While his numbers aren't as strong as those of Sale, he is doing strong work for the club. He has been especially good at home with a 4-2 record and a 1.72 ERA. Looking at his past three home starts, he has allowed 16 hits, six earned runs, and 22 strikeouts over 19.2 innings. He didn't face the Braves earlier in the year but they are just 17-for-72 against him. Ozzie Albies is probably the best of the lineup against him.

If this was the Braves at home, I think the spread would be even more in favor of Atlanta. The Diamondbacks aren't really being disrespected though. Gallen on the mound always gives them a chance to win and it is boosted even further when he pitches at home. The Braves are playing very good baseball right now, and the Diamondbacks are also playing well. I'll back the under for the game as I expect both starters to be in control in this game. Take under 7.5 for this one. 

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