Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#913 St. Louis Cardinals -100 vs.
#914 Atlanta Braves 8
Wednesday, October 9, 2019 at 5:02pm EDT
Written by Chris Kubala

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#913 St. Louis Cardinals
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It’s a winner take all situation as the NL Division Series returns to Hotlanta. The St. Louis Cardinals are on the road as they battle the Atlanta Braves in Game 5 of their best of five-set Wednesday afternoon. St. Louis won Game 1 of the series 7-6 Thursday to open the set before Atlanta took Game 2 3-0 at home Friday afternoon. The Braves followed that up with a 3-1 win in Game 3 on the road Sunday afternoon to take a 2-1 series lead. With their backs to the wall, the Cardinals earned a 5-4 walk-off victory in Game 4 Monday afternoon to square the series and set up this contest. Which team prevails and moves on to the NL Championship Series?

St. Louis Cardinals Hope to Earn Second Road Win of Series

St. Louis battled back from what could have been a knockout punch in Game 3 and rallied to win Game 4 in walk-off fashion to keep their season alive. The Cardinals now hope that they can muster a second road win to punch their tickets to the NL Championship Series. Paul Goldschmidt (two runs, RBI) had three hits for St. Louis while Marcell Ozuna (two runs, two RBI) and Tommy Edman each had two. Yadier Molina tied the game with an RBI single in the eighth inning and won it for the Cardinals with a sacrifice fly in the 10th inning. Dakota Hudson didn’t factor in the decision as he allowed four runs (one earned) on five hits with two walks and two strikeouts over 4.2 innings of work. Miles Mikolas (1-0), who started Game 1 and was the seventh Cardinals reliever, earned the win with a scoreless 10th inning.

Jack Flaherty gets the ball for the Cardinals for his second postseason start in this contest after making 33 regular season starts. He finished the regular season 11-8 with a 2.75 ERA, a 0.968 WHIP, 55 walks and 231 strikeouts over 1946.1 innings of work on the season. Flaherty took the loss in his last start, which came Friday on the road against the Braves in Game 2 of this series. He threw seven innings, allowing three runs on eight hits with one walk and eight strikeouts in a game the Cardinals lost 3-0. Flaherty has a 1-1 record with a 1.29 ERA, a 0.71 WHIP, four walks and 25 strikeouts over 21 innings in his last three starts. He is 1-2 with a 4.18 ERA, a 1.141 WHIP, eight walks and 27 strikeouts over 23.2 innings in four career starts against the Braves. Flaherty is 1-2 with a 5.60 ERA, a 1.358 WHIP, eight walks and 20 strikeouts over 17.2 innings in three career starts at SunTrust Park.

Atlanta Braves Seeking First Postseason Series Win Since 2001

Atlanta’s bullpen let them down again, letting a one-run lead disappear in the eighth inning before losing in the 10th in walk-off fashion. That means the Braves have to prevail here at home in order to earn their first postseason series win since 2001. Atlanta got four hits from Ronald Acuna while Dansby Swanson (two runs) had two: the rest of the team was a combined two for 28 in the contest. Dallas Keuchel didn’t factor in the decision on short rest: he allowed three runs on four hits with a walk and four strikeouts over 3.1 innings. Julio Teheran (0-1) took the loss as he allowed one run on one hit with one walk and no strikeouts in two-thirds of an inning.

Mike Foltynewicz gets the ball for his second start of the postseason after logging 21 starts in the regular season for the Braves. He finished the year 8-6 with a 4.54 ERA, a 1.248 WHIP, 37 walks and 105 strikeouts over 117 innings of work. Foltynewicz earned the win in Game 2 of this series at home on Friday afternoon. He threw seven innings, allowing no runs on three hits with no walks and seven strikeouts in a 3-0 Atlanta victory. Foltynewicz is 2-1 with a 1.42 ERA, a 0.58 WHIP, two walks and 19 strikeouts over 19 innings of work in his last three starts. He is 4-4 with a 6.30 ERA, a 1.525 WHIP, 18 walks and 38 strikeouts over 40 innings in eight career starts against the Cardinals. Foltynewicz is 14-12 with a 3.66 ERA, a 1.228 WHIP, 83 walks and 224 strikeouts over 226.1 innings in 39 career starts at SunTrust Park.

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When these two pitchers locked up in Game 2 of the series here, it was Foltynewicz getting the upper hand as the Cardinals bats were silenced. That went against the script a bit given how he had struggled against St. Louis in his career coming into that start. Still, that’s been the trademark for the Cardinals all season: have a string of games where they can’t miss squaring up the ball and piling up the runs followed by a stretch where they look like a bunch of Little Leaguers trying to hit against Nolan Ryan. This is the worst time of year to be an inconsistent team and that’s where St. Louis finds themselves. This one is a pitchers’ duel all the way but in the end, you have to give the edge to the guy that had success already in the series. Home field advantage proves to be critical as the Braves win and take the series.

Prediction: Atlanta Braves -109

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The trend of runs being scored against the bullpens continued in Game 4 of the series. While the Braves did own a 4-3 lead by the time the starters left in the contest, the final two runs, which proved to be the most important in the game, came against the relief corps. That means, in the four games of the series, there have been more runs given up by the bullpens (16) than the starters (13): 11 of the 13 runs in Game 1 were given up by the bullpens. In Game 2 when these teams locked up, there was a grand total of three runs on the board: can we expect much more given the way both starters have pitched down the stretch?

The under is 7-2 in the Cardinals' last 9 Wednesday games, 16-5 in their last 21 road games vs. a right-handed starter, 8-1-2 in Flaherty's last 11 road starts, 5-1 in Flaherty's last 6 starts when their opponent allows 5 runs or more in their previous game and 13-3-2 in Flaherty's last 18 starts on grass. Atlanta has seen the under go 10-2 in their last 12 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15, 4-1 in their last 5 during game 5 of a series and 9-3-1 in their last 13 Wednesday games. The under is 5-2 in the last seven meetings between the teams: look for this one to stay under the total in another pitchers' duel.

Prediction: Under 8
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Written By Chris Kubala

Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in-depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. Now he is writing for our team here at Winners @ Whiners. Chris keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college. He is also very knowledgeable in the NHL, the NBA, college basketball and MLB. If you want consistency, then be sure and check out Chris’ content daily.