Today’s Bet: Atlanta Braves ML @ (1.83/-120)
The Braves and Cardinals will meet in an important game 3 of the NLDS. It is a best of five series with the series currently being tied at 1-1. The Cardinals took game one after a dramatic comeback victory fueled by 6 runs over the 8th and 9th innings. Game 2 belonged to a Braves, a much-needed win home win to tie up the series. Now they travel to St. Louis for the all-important Game 3.
Mike Soroka vs. Adam Wainwright
Soroka vs. Cardinals
Looking at Mike Soroka, his matchup appears to be good. He is outstanding against right-handed batters and will face 5 in the Cardinals lineup. He does have some vulnerability against lefties but players like Fowler, Edman, and Wong don’t quite have the same pop in their bat as some of the right-handed batters in their lineup.
Wainwright vs. Braves
For the Braves hitters, a lot makes sense for them here. You can see in the chart above that Wainwright struggles significantly more against left-handed batters. Unfortunately for him, he will face 5 of them in the Braves lineup, many in the middle of the order. Overall, we are seeing a good spot for the Braves to potentially do well against Wainwright. History may also play a role
Additionally, we look at the past history between the two pitchers and their opponents. For St. Louis, Wainwright will get another chance at the Braves after getting lit up back in May allowing 5 runs and 5 hits over 4 innings. We look at his recent form and a few things stand out:
Wainwright is one of those pitchers that you roll with while he’s on and avoids when he’s off. Considering the advanced stats we discussed above and how he finished this season, this bet is more of a fade of Wainwright than anything else. He has given up at least 8 hits in 8 out of his last 10 starts and could find himself in trouble if the Braves lineup can get going. He leaves the game early, we like the Braves bullpen to have the edge late.
Over last month (bullpen performance)
St. Louis Cardinals
Here you will find a huge difference in bullpen performance over the last 30 days. Yes, we understand the Braves bullpen blew it the other day, but we look at the big picture here. It is not just ERA where the Braves bullpen has been great but also solid numbers in terms of advanced statistics such as xFIP where they rank 4th in the last month. Here we are accounting for “expected” performance taking away marginal things like fielding independent to pitching. Overall, the Braves bullpen has been better in virtually every statistic compared to the Cardinals. This may very well be another one of those tight, close games we are so accustomed to seeing in playoff baseball.
Considering the two phases of this game: the starters and the bullpen, we like the Atlanta Braves. They had their backs against the wall their last game, an absolute must-win type of game. They rose to the occasion and got the job done. Not only do we like their momentum in this game, but we also like the matchups. The Braves are a decent-sized road favorite here, but we’ll pay the price to bet on them in what we believe is a good spot for them to win and take control of this best of five-game series.