Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#909 St. Louis Cardinals Cardinals 9 vs.
#910 Atlanta Braves -135
Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at 7:20pm EDT
Written by Ricky Dimon

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#909 St. Louis Cardinals
#910 Atlanta
23-19
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The Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals will continue a three-game series when they clash at SunTrust Park in Atlanta on Wednesday night. St. Louis was a horrendous 2-9 in its last 11 contests heading into the opener on Tuesday. The Braves recently halted a four-game skid by winning three straight against Arizona.

Bats not rolling, Cardinals reeling

St. Louis manager Mike Shildt continues to preach patience, but he knows his team must play better starting with this current a six-game road trip that touches off in Atlanta. The Cardinals have lost nine of their past 11 games to sink to fourth place in the National League Central following Sunday’s 10-6 home loss to Pittsburgh. They are hitting .238 as a team during this stretch while scoring one run or fewer six times and have allowed at least 10 runs on three occasions. First baseman Paul Goldschmidt homered in the first inning on Sunday, snapping an 18-game drought and giving him his first dinger of the season against a left-handed pitcher.

“I can confidently tell this is a group that I have zero doubt about,” Shildt said following Sunday’s setback, which dropped his team to 22-19 on the season. “It is an ebb and flow of the season. Don’t want to overreact, and don’t want to under-react.”

Right-hander Michael Wacha (3-0, 5.35 ERA) is taking the mound for St. Louis on Wednesday. As the numbers suggest, Wacha is getting a ton of run support and is thus sporting a perfect record despite a bloated ERA. The 27-year-old has not pitched more than 6.0 innings in any start this season and he has reached the 6.0 mark only twice. He allowed four runs in 5.0 innings against the Cubs in his first May outing and then surrendered the same number to Pittsburgh in 5.2 innings of work last Thursday.

Pitchers packing a punch

The Braves faced a difficult 10-game road swing that featured a four-game losing streak, but they rallied with three victories in a row to close out a four-game series at Arizona. Atlanta was off Monday–its first off day after 20 games in 20 days–and its starting pitchers finished the road trip with a 3.80 ERA with five quality starts.

“We limited damage, guys made pitches, made plays,” manager Brian Snitker said following Sunday’s 5-3 victory that raised his team’s record to 21-20. “It just shows, the whole series, they were a hit or two away each game from just blowing the game open and, fortunately, our guys made pitches and plays.”

Mike Soroka (3-1, 1.21 ERA) will oppose Wacha on Wednesday. The right-hander’s rookie season is off to an incredible start, with no more than one run allowed in at least 5.0 innings of work in all five of his appearances. Soroka most recently went up against Arizona last Thursday, when he tossed 6.0 innings of one-run baseball on four hits and three walks to go along with four strikeouts during a 3-2 setback.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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Atlanta outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. is 6-for-21 with two homers during his current five-game hitting streak, and in 151 career games has 34 homers, 87 RBIs and a .901 OPS. Shortstop Dansby Swanson has reached base in 15 consecutive games, hitting .298 with four RBIs, three doubles and a .761 OPS in that span. The Cardinals are 1-4 in their last five games against starters with WHIPs under 1.15, 1-6 in their last seven road games against teams with winning home records, and 2-5 in the last seven meetings between the two teams. Atlanta is 5-2 in its last seven against the National League Central and 6-2 in Soroka’s last eight starts.

Prediction: Atlanta Braves

Full-Game Total Pick

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Wacha hasn’t been great, but he also hasn’t been terrible. St. Louis will need him to be serviceable–if not spectacular–to have any chance on Wednesday, because the team’s bats have been silent and Soroka is in amazing form for Atlanta. The under is 5-1 in the Cardinals’ last six against the National League East, 9-3-1 in their last 13 against right-handed starters, 5-1 in their last six on the road against right-handed starters. It is also 4-1-1 in the Braves’ last six against right-handed starters, 4-1 in Soroka’s last five starts, 4-0 in their last four starts. Look for this one to stay under the total.

Prediction: Under

Written By Ricky Dimon

A 2006 graduate of Davidson College, Ricky is a freelance sports writer based in Atlanta, Georgia. He has previously worked with various websites in the sports handicapping industry and is generally a fan of going with the hot hand while in most cases showing a willingness to take favorites and give the points. Beyond the four major sports, Ricky is an avid tennis fan—and writer—and covers the ATP Tour on a daily basis.