Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#957 St. Louis Cardinals Cardinals 9.5 vs.
#958 Atlanta Braves -115
Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 7:20pm EDT
Written by Nick Raffoul

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#957 St. Louis Cardinals
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The St. Louis Cardinals will travel to SunTrust Park on Thursday evening as they get set for the third and final game of their National League showdown against the Atlanta Braves.

St. Louis is 3.5-games back of the NL Central-leading Chicago Cubs despite starting out the season with a 23-20 overall record. The Cardinals are just 3-7 in their last 10 games and 9-11 on the road, so they will have to pick things up if they want to compete in what has turned out to be the best division in baseball. Four teams in the NL Central are over the .500-mark and within four games of the top spot. Can the Cardinals close their series in Atlanta with a win on Thursday?

Wainwright turning the corner for Cards

At 37-years-old, Wainwright is still finding a way to eat up innings and hitters in a Cardinals uniform. Following a slow start to the season, he’s posted three quality starts in his last four outings and is fresh off of his best start of the season. Wainwright tossed seven innings of one-run ball with eight strikeouts and no walks in a tough-luck no-decision versus the Pittsburgh Pirates. He enters with a 3-3 overall record to go along with a  4.15 ERA, but he’s shown signs of life as over his last four starts, striking out 18 batters and walking just five in 24 ⅓ frames.

Over the past three seasons, The Cardinals veteran is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA in three starts versus the Braves. However, he is 4-1 with a career 3.00 ERA in nine appearances (six starts) on the road in Atlanta. Wainwright won his last start versus the Braves in 2017, limiting them to one run in five innings of work.

According to Baseball Savant, the current Braves’ roster is batting .282 in 88 plate appearances versus Wainwright. StatCast projects Atlanta hitters for an expected batting average of .349 and an expected slugging percentage of .604 heading into Thursday’s matchup.

Teheran fresh off back-to-back quality outings

The Braves will counter with staff ace Julio Teheran, who at age 28 is now the veteran in a very young starting rotation. Teheran has had an up-and-down year, but he’s managed to eat innings and give the Braves a chance to win nearly every time he steps on the mound. He has completed at least five innings in eight of his nine starts and he’s fresh off of back-to-back quality outings. While he is 2-4 with a 4.26 ERA for the season, Teheran owns a 2.88 ERA over his last four outings. The 28-year-old right-hander gave up just one run and three hits to lead the Braves to a 2-1 victory on the road against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Teheran made one start versus the Cardinals last season, shutting them out in six innings of two-hit ball to earn the win. He is 2-3 with a 3.18 ERA in six career starts versus the Red Birds. According to Baseball Savant, the current Cardinals’ roster is batting .273 in 137 plate appearances against St. Louis. StatCast data projects St. Louis for an expected slugging percentage of .472 heading into this matchup, so there could be plenty of runs put up on the board for both sides.

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Full-Game Side Bet

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Both starters come into this game riding quality start streaks and they both won their previous start versus the opposition. However, St. Louis has the more explosive offense and Wainwright seems to have turned back the clock by posting quality outings in five of his last seven starts. He’s pitched well in Atlanta throughout his long career, so I’ll take my chances with him at plus-money on Thursday.

Prediction: St. Louis Cardinals +102

Full-Game Total Pick

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The StatCast projections for both of these pitchers aren’t exactly pretty, so there is a good chance that both teams will be seeing the ball well here. The over is 5-0 in the last five meetings in Atlanta and 5-0 in Wainwright’s last four starts versus the Braves. These two teams have gone over the projected total in 16 of their last 21 games, so take the over with confidence in this matchup at SunTrust Park.

Prediction: Over 9.5

Written By Nick Raffoul

Shortly after graduating with an Honors in Business Administration, Nick turned his attention from traditional stocks and bonds to investing in the performance of sports teams. He uses a combination of advanced stats and historical data to create sports investment models to identify value and generate consistent profits.