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Red Sox vs. Braves, 7:20 ET
Boston and Atlanta take each other on in the opening game of a two-game set. They only play each other four times this season, both series are just two games apiece. Both teams come in pretty hot with winning four of their past five games. Let’s see if we can take a bit of money out of the series right from the start.
There aren’t too many teams that have surprised me in a positive way this season, but one of them has been the Red Sox. To start the year they looked like they would be a pretty awful team. Now, they are playing solid enough baseball and if they were in pretty much any other division, they’d be fighting for one of the top spots. They currently sit in fourth even though they are six games over. They are sending out Nick Pivetta to the mound today. He’s one of the few pitchers on the Red Sox I actually like a lot. He hasn’t pitched extremely well this season but has allowed three or fewer earned runs in four of his six starts. Braves hitters have been solid enough against Pivetta over the years, but no one has been ridiculously amazing. He does have a 2.53 road ERA in two games compared to a 6.30 ERA at home in four starts.
The Braves are off to a hot start, but that was significantly more expected than what the Red Sox have been doing this season. Somehow, though, the Braves are struggling in Atlanta more than they are on the road. For whatever reason, they are just 9-8 at home so far this season. Not only are they pitching better on the road, but they are hitting better away too. Charlie Morton is taking the ball for them tonight. He’s been pretty solid at home though posting just three earned runs over 12 innings. There has been more success against him from Boston hitters than there has been against Pivetta. Tonight should be interesting to see which trend comes through more – Red Sox hitters with success against Morton, or his strong home pitching. He has only two home starts on the year, so it isn’t quite a trend yet.
The total in this game is a bit too high for these pitchers. I think both are probably in their most optimal spot and I am going to back the under-10 runs in this one. I do understand that both teams have strong enough offenses, but I think the pitchers should be able to limit the damage.
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