Atlanta Braves (51-62; 58-51-4 O/U) vs. St. Louis Cardinals (60-56; 58-51-7 O/U)
MLB: Sunday, August 13, 2017 at 2:15pm EST
Line: St. Louis -170/Atlanta +160
The Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals will conclude a three game series Sunday afternoon from Busch Stadium. The Braves will give the start to 42-year old right-hander R.A. Dickey, and the Cardinals will counter with 26-year old right-hander Michael Wacha. The Cardinals lead the season series 4-0.
Dickey Seeks Third Straight Quality Start
R.A. Dickey will get the nod for the 23rd time of the season, aiming for his second straight victory. Dickey notched the Quality Start in his previous outing, allowing three runs in six innings to the Marlins and picked up the win to bring his record to 7-7. The veteran knuckleballer is having an outstanding second half, and is now carrying a 4.03 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP in 134 innings logged. He faced the Cardinals in May and conceded four runs in six innings and now owns a 3-1 record with a 4.38 ERA in 39 career innings. Matt Carpenter is 1 for 5 with one homer against Dickey, while Yadier Molina is 2 for 9 with two RBI’s, and Dexter Fowler is 4 for 10. Freddie Freeman is starting to heat up after a slow stretch, collecting five RBI’s over his last five games. The 27-year old first baseman is having an outstanding season, sporting a .313 average with 21 home runs and 46 RBI’s. Freeman has recorded a hit in 2 of 13 at bats with two RBI’s against the Cardinals this season.
The Braves have slowed down offensively and are now averaging 4.54 runs per game, ranking them 20th in the Majors, and are hitting .260 as a team. The Atlanta pitching has not been good, posting a 4.70 team ERA, positioning them 25th in the Major Leagues.
Wacha Targets Sixth Win in Last Eight Starts
Michael Wacha will get the nod for the 22nd time of the season, hunting for win number ten. Wacha recorded the Quality Start in his previous outing, conceding three runs in six innings to the Royals, and collected the win to boost his record to 9-4. The young right-hander continues to excel on the mound, now featuring a 3.70 ERA and a 1.30 WHIP in 116.2 innings pitched on the season. He limited the Braves to two runs in six innings in the lone meeting this season, and has now held Atlanta to five runs in 14.2 career innings. Matt Kemp is 4 for 10 against Wacha, while Nick Markakis is 0 for 6, and Freddie Freeman is 2 for 4 with one RBI. Matt Carpenter has come alive at the plate, driving in eight runs over his last six games. The career .280 hitter has been inconsistent at times, and is now hitting .253 with 15 home runs and 56 RBI’s. Carpenter has been productive against the Braves this season, smashing three homers along with six RBI’s.
The Cardinals are currently averaging 4.66 runs per game, ranking them 17th in the Majors, and own a .258 team batting average. The St. Louis pitching has been their greatest strength, sporting a 3.79 team ERA, good for fifth in the Major Leagues.
The Atlanta Braves are:
- under is 5-1-1 in their last 7 games against a right-handed starter.
- under is 4-1-1 in their 6 games overall.
The St. Louis Cardinals are:
- under is 5-1-1 in Wacha’s last 7 starts.
- under is 9-3-1 in their last 12 games against a team with a losing record.
- under is 4-1 in Wacha’s last 5 starts against the NL East.
I am taking the under in this matchup. Dickey has been outstanding after a rough start to the season, sporting a dazzling 2.22 ERA over his last nine starts, so I am confident he can contain the Cardinals offense. Furthermore, Wacha held the Braves to two runs in the latest meeting and he has only allowed a total of three runs over his last four home starts, and now features a stifling 2.67 ERA at Busch Stadium on the season.