Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#907 Atlanta Braves -115 vs.
#908 San Francisco Giants 7.5
Thursday, May 23, 2019 at 3:45pm EDT
Written by Ricky Dimon

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The San Francisco Giants and Atlanta Braves will conclude a four-game series when they meet one more time at Oracle Park in San Francisco on Thursday afternoon. Atlanta won the opener but then melted down late on Tuesday for its second loss in the past three outings. The Giants’ victory was their third in the last four.

Bullpen blues

Four of the first five batters in Atlanta’s lineup delivered a pair of hits on Tuesday and the top six combined to go 10-for-25. Nonetheless, another collapse by the bullpen cost the Braves as they suffered their second loss in three games on the heels of a four-game winning streak. Freddie Freeman delivered an RBI single to extend his hitting streak to seven games.

Right-hander Kevin Gausman (2-3, 4.31 ERA) is taking the mound for Atlanta on Thursday. Gausman has hurled two consecutive quality starts, but his ERA had been at 5.00 prior to those outings so his sample size of success remains small. He has gone six straight starts without working more than 6.0 innings–something Atlanta will want to change given how bad its bullpen has been throughout this 2019 campaign.

Comeback kids

The Giants staged an unlikely late rally to even up their four-game set against the visiting Braves. San Francisco scored three runs with two outs in the ninth inning on Tuesday, with Joe Panik’s two-run single providing for a 4-3 victory over Atlanta. Kevin Pillar ignited the rally with an RBI single and Panik finished with two hits for the Giants, who have won three of their last four contests. Panik has been swinging a hot bat, as he has hit safely in seven of his last eight games and 17 of 19.

Madison Bumgarner (3-4, 4.21 ERA) will oppose Gausman on Thursday. The left-hander has been solid but unspectacular of late–good enough for the Giants to win each of his last four starts. Right now you know just about exactly what you are going to get from Bumgarner every time he takes the mound: around 6.0 innings worked with three or four runs allowed to go along with somewhere between six and eight strikeouts and one to two walks. He has struck out 64 batters compared to only 11 walks this season.

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Bumgarner may not be his World Series-winning best these days, but he is still getting along okay. Gausman isn’t the pitcher he was for the Braves during the second half of 2018–at least not right now. That does not bode well for Atlanta, whose bullpen is in shambles. This should be another good opportunity for San Francisco to get the job done at home. It is worth noting that the Giants are 5-2 in Bumgarner’s last seven starts against the National League East.

Prediction: San Francisco Giants

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Atlanta’s bats have slowed down a bit in recent weeks. A date with Bumgarner may not be what the doctor ordered to solve those problems. The under is 4-0 in the Braves’ last four overall, 5-1 in their last six on the road, 5-1 in their last six against the National League West, 27-12 in their last 39 against losing opponents, and 7-3 in Gausman’s last 10 starts against losing opponents. It is also 5-1 in the Giants’ last six overall, 27-13-3 in their last 43 at home, 5-1 in their last six against winning opponents, 9-2-1 in their last 12 against the National League East, and 20-8-3 in Bumgarner’s last 31 starts on four days of rest.

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.