Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#957 Arizona Diamondbacks 8.5 vs.
#958 Atlanta Braves -135
Tuesday, April 16, 2019 at 7:20pm EDT
Written by Chris Kubala

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A pair of National League foes open up an early week set down in Hotlanta. The Arizona Diamondbacks kick off a road trip with the first game of a three-game set with the Atlanta Braves Tuesday night. Arizona salvaged the finale of a four-game set with the Padres at home, winning 8-4 on Sunday afternoon. Atlanta ended up with a split of their four-game home set with the Mets, prevailing 7-3 on Sunday night to close that series. The Braves won the season series 4-3 last season though the Diamondbacks took two of three here July 13-15, 2018.

Arizona Diamondbacks Hoping to Regroup

Arizona dropped the first three games of their home set with the Padres before coming up with a win in the finale to avoid a sweep. The Diamondbacks entered Monday night third in the NL West, 3.5 games behind San Diego for the top spot in the division. Arizona got three hits from Christian Walker (run, RBI), while Ketel Marte (run, two RBI), Zack Greinke (two runs) and Tim Locastro (run) each added a pair in the win. Marte (his fourth), Walker (his fourth) and David Peralta (his second) each homered in the contest. The offensive barrage was enough support for Greinke (2-1) to earn the win on the mound. He threw seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits with a walk and six strikeouts.

Robbie Ray is expected to take the mound for his fourth start of the season for the Diamondbacks in this contest. He is 0-1 with a 3.52 ERA, a 1.174 WHIP, 11 walks and 22 strikeouts over 15.1 innings of work to date. Ray did not factor in the decision in his last start, which came at home against Texas Wednesday. He threw five innings, allowing a run on two hits with one walk and 10 strikeouts in a game the Diamondbacks dropped 5-2. Ray logs his fourth career start against Atlanta in this one. He is 0-2 with a 4.11 ERA, a 1.696 WHIP, 12 walks and 13 strikeouts over 15.1 innings of action in those outings. Ray, in his 120th major league appearance and 117th career start, pitches at SunTrust Park for the first time.

Atlanta Braves Looking for Third Straight Win

Atlanta bounced back from dropping the first two games of their four-game set with the Mets by taking the last two, earning a split in the process. The Braves entered Monday tied for second in the NL East with the Mets, half a game behind the Phillies. Atlanta got two hits each from Ozzie Albies (two runs) and Josh Donaldson (run, two RBI) in the win. Donaldson (his second), Charlie Culberson (his second) and Nick Markakis (his second) all went deep in the win. Julio Teheran (2-1) earned the win on the mound as he allowed one run on six hits with two walks and six strikeouts over six innings of work.

Max Fried gets the call for his fifth appearance and third start of the season for the Braves in this contest. He comes in 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA, a 0.659 WHIP, three walks and nine strikeouts over 13.2 innings of work this season. Fried picked up the win in his last start, which came on the road against the Rockies last Tuesday. He threw six innings, allowing one run (none earned) on five hits with a walk and four strikeouts in a 7-1 Atlanta victory. Fried, in his 28th major league appearance and 12th career start, faces the Diamondbacks for the first time. He is 1-1 with a 2.51 ERA, a 1.151 WHIP, 12 walks and 28 strikeouts over 28.2 innings in 10 career appearances, four starts, at SunTrust Park.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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The Diamondbacks struggled with three losses before getting in the win column on getaway day against the Padres. Arizona is still trying to patch the holes that were created in the offseason when guys like Paul Goldschmidt and Patrick Corbin left town. Atlanta has been solid if unspectacular in the early going and Fried has been terrific on the mound so far. The Braves are at home here and the Diamondbacks are 3-4 on the road. Atlanta is the better team right now and that helps them get the victory in the opener of this set.

Prediction: Atlanta Braves -147

Full-Game Total Pick

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Arizona has a tremendous starting pitcher in Ray but he has to be a bit more consistent with throwing strikes if he hopes to help the team get back in the win column. The Diamondbacks are struggling to be consistent as we saw with three losses to San Diego at home in their four-game set. Fried has been terrific in his early season outings and that has been a boost for the Braves. Atlanta placed Arodys Vizcaino on the injured list and sent Sean Newcomb to the minors after a rough outing Saturday. Will the Braves find a way to maintain momentum from winning the final two games against the Mets?

The under is 4-0-1 in the Diamondbacks’ last 5 after scoring 5 runs or more in their previous game, 3-0-1 in their last 4 games following a win and 13-5-3 in their last 21 on Tuesday. Atlanta has seen the under go 21-5 in their last 26 vs. a team with a losing record and 8-2 in their last 10 home games vs. a team with a losing record. The under is 4-0 in the last four meetings in Atlanta: look for this one to end up under the total as the pitching carries the day here.

Prediction: Under 8

First Five Innings Side Pick

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Atlanta managed to knock off Jacob deGrom in the finale of the series on Sunday night, which was impressive as they launched three homers in the contest. Fried is pitching well as he has yet to allow an earned run this season. Ray had a stellar outing against the Rangers in his last outing, fanning 10 hitters in the contest before the bullpen fell apart. Arizona doesn’t have a ton of pop in their lineup, which has to be cause for concern. The Braves take advantage and they have the advantage after five innings of play.

Prediction: Atlanta Braves -138

First Five Innings Total Bet

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Both starting pitchers have been solid in the run prevention department this season. Fried has allowed one unearned run this season while Ray has been pitching decent ball as well. He has to be better with his control as handing out 11 free passes in 15.1 innings of work is cause for concern. Arizona had their problems scoring runs, which is a major issue for the team. Facing a guy like Fried, who has been sharp in the early going, helps keep this one under the number after five innings.

Prediction: Under 4.5

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. He keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college, the NHL, the NBA and college basketball and MLB.