Atlanta Braves (87-52) vs. San Francisco Giants (66-73)
The Atlanta Braves and San Francisco Giants open a three-game series at Oracle Park in San Francisco on Monday night with the first pitch at 9:45 PM ET. The reigning champs open as -170 money line favorites with a total of 7.5 runs, while the Giants are listed as +157 home underdogs.
The Braves meet the Giants for the second time this season. Back in June, the Braves beat San Francisco 3-1 in a four-game set at Truist Park in Atlanta. The Giants are only 6-14 in their last 20 encounters with the Braves, while the under is 12-7-1 in that stretch.
Atlanta continues to chase the MetsAt the time of writing, the Atlanta Braves played the Seattle Mariners, looking to clinch their three-game set at T-Mobile Park in Seattle. After outlasting the M’s 6-4 in Friday’s opener, the Braves suffered a 3-1 defeat this past Saturday to put an end to their eight-game winning streak. Atlanta has been outstanding as of late, and the reigning champions were just half a game behind the NL East-leading New York Mets on Sunday.
Kyle Wright will get the starting call Monday and meet the Giants for the second time in 2022. The 26-year-old right-hander emerged victorious in a 7-6 victory to San Francisco on June 23, allowing four earned runs on ten hits across 5.1 innings of work.
Wright was outstanding in August, going 4-1 with a 2.53 ERA in five starts (32 innings pitched). However, he struggled mightily in Atlanta’s 10-9 victory at the Oakland Athletics this past Tuesday, surrendering a whopping eight earned runs in four frames of work. Wright is now 17-5 with a 3.23 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, and 154/46 K/BB ratio in 26 starts (158.2 IP) this season. His sinker and curveball have an excellent minus-18 run value combined.
The Giants finally broke out of their slumpThe San Francisco Giants played the Cubs on Sunday afternoon, deciding the winner of a three-game series at Wrigley Field in Chicago. The Giants outlasted the Cubbies 5-2 in Saturday’s middle contest to snap their five-game skid. During that stretch, the Giants have scored just 11 runs in total and yielded 23 in a return. San Francisco was sitting at the third spot in the NL West on Sunday, trailing the bottom wild card in the National League by 10.5 games.
Villar. V far. pic.twitter.com/d2MxLJlFda— SFGiants (@SFGiants) September 10, 2022
Alex Cobb will toe the slab Monday and face the Braves for the first time since 2018. The 34-year-old righty is 5-6 with a 3.68 ERA, 1.29 WHIP, and 126/37 K/BB ratio in 23 starts (122.1 IP) in 2022. Cobb has had a couple of rough outings in the last few weeks, but he’s done a good job for the Giants since August 3, posting a 2.90 ERA and 3.17 FIP across seven starts and 40.1 innings of work.
San Francisco’s bullpen has struggled all year long and sits at 4.24 ERA for the season. Through the first ten days of September, the Giants’ relievers have recorded an underwhelming 4.46 ERA and 4.28 FIP.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Braves’ bullpen holds a sharp 1.88 ERA and 2.16 FIP in September. Atlanta’s offense is doing a great job, too, slashing .258/.328/.477 with 16 home runs and ten doubles in its last eight games and 264 at-bats. Austin Riley has homered three times in his previous eight games; Dansby Swanson has nine hits and a couple of home runs in his last 33 at-bats, while Marcell Ozuna is 7-for-19 in his last six games.
On the other side, the Giants have posted a .228/.310/.408 slash line with 14 dingers in their last ten contests and 333 at-bats. Their bullpen is a big issue, so I’m backing the Braves to take the first blood in this series.
Full-Game Total Pick
Kyle Wright can only pitch better than he did last week in Oakland. The Braves ‘pen looks ready for the postseason action, so I’m not expecting a high-scoring affair in San Francisco. However, the line has been set pretty low, making the totals a tricky wager.
I would lean on the Braves’ pitching staff and take the under. Atlanta has allowed more than three runs only twice in its previous 11 outings. On the other side, Alex Cobb will try his best to slow down the Braves, who are more dangerous when hitting the lefties. Atlanta holds a 110 OPS+ against the lefties and 125 OPS+ versus the right-handed pitchers in 2022.