Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#909 Atlanta Braves -110 vs.
#910 St. Louis Cardinals Cardinals 9.5
Saturday, May 25, 2019 at 7:15pm EDT
Written by Chris Altruda

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Arizona Diamondbacks at St. Louis Cardinals

When and Where: Saturday, May 25, Busch Stadium, St. Louis, Mo., 7:15 p.m. EDT.

Mike Soroka looks to pick up where he left off against the St. Louis Cardinals as the major league leader in earned run average goes after his sixth straight victory for the Atlanta Braves on Saturday night.

Soroka stifling and silencing opposing hitters for Braves

An early front-runner to be Atlanta’s second consecutive National League Rookie of the Year, Soroka (5-1, 1.01 ERA) has not lost since his season debut April 18 and has not allowed more than two runs in any of his seven starts.

The three-plus months he spent last season rehabbing a shoulder injury has proven well worth the wait for the Braves as the right-hander has limited opponents to a .159 batting average while striking out 41 in 44 2-3 innings. He allowed a solo homer and one other hit over eight innings in a 5-2 win at San Francisco on Monday night, which actually pushed his ERA over the 1.00 mark.

“I think he’s got a real good understanding of what he needs to do, what positions he needs to get into to throw pitches how he wants — to be behind them, to get on top of them, those kind of things,” catcher Tyler Flowers told The Athletic about Soroka.

“I think he has a good understanding of himself and his tendencies, what’s important within his delivery and everything to kind of affect how he’s throwing it.”

His best outing of the season came against the Cardinals on May 15, scattering three singles and three walks in seven innings of a 4-0 home victory.

Soroka is 3-0 with a 1.01 ERA in four road starts this year, with opposing hitters batting just .147, and 4-0 with a 1.93 ERA in seven career starts outside Atlanta.

Hudson looks to build on last outing for Cards

In his first full season in the rotation, Dakota Hudson (3-3, 4.40) has had his ups and downs. The right-hander avoided a fourth straight start without a loss, beating Texas 8-2 last Saturday after giving up two runs and five hits in six innings.

“Dakota did a really nice job,” Cardinals manager Mike Shildt told the team’s official website. “The first inning was big, able to wiggle out of a jam right there. Carp(enter) makes a nice play, good decision to come home, execute the rundown. … [Hudson] gets out of the inning, he settles in, we score, add on and he righted the ship after a couple of runs, got through the sixth and did a nice job.”

Hudson’s rotation spot did not come up in the previous series versus the Braves, and this will be his first start against them. The righty was reached for one run and three hits in 1 2-3 innings of relief in an 11-6 Cardinals victory Sept. 17.

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Everything about this start points to Soroka continuing his roll through the early part of the season. The 21-year-old has yielded just five extra-base hits in 44 2-3 innings while posting a 0.87 WHIP. Atlanta has also been consistent in run support, providing him more than four runs per start, and that should be enough for a sixth straight victory.

Prediction: Braves -1.5 runs (+135)

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This line feels somewhat high considering Soroka has not been effective both at home and on the road, and the under has gone 6-1 in Soroka’s last seven starts. The Cardinals have struggled against top-tier pitching, with the under going 6-2 in their last eight games versus starters with a sub-1.15 WHIP.

Prediction: UNDER 9 runs (+100)
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Written By Chris Altruda

A 1994 graduate of Marquette University when they were known as the Warriors and Brooklyn native, Chris Altruda is based in Chicago. Prior to joining our team here at Winners & Whiner, he worked at three major U.S. wire services and also has prior experience in sports handicapping and daily fantasy roster building. Now that the Cubs have won a World Series, he holds out hope the Jets will win a Super Bowl before he dies. Follow Chris daily right here at W&W and on Twitter at @AlTruda73. You won’t be disappointed.