This Tuesday the (87-53) Atlanta Braves and the (67-73) San Francisco Giants will play game two of this three-game series. The first pitch will be thrown out at 9:45 PM EST inside Oracle Park. The last time these two teams matched up, the Braves ended up taking three of four games at home.
The Atlanta Braves are coming into this one after losing their previous series to the Seattle Mariners. The Braves struggled at the plate in game two and they were even worse on the mound in game three. They will have to be better on both sides of the field if they want to challenge the Giants in this one.
The San Francisco Giants are entering this one after winning their previous series against the Chicago Cubs. The Giants looked great on the mound in their final two games of that series, as they only allowed four combined runs.
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Can the Braves Continue to Win?The Atlanta Braves are currently sitting at the top of the NL Wild Card standings, as they have a 10.5-game lead over the Phillies. They are also 8-2 in their last 10 games played, as their strong play has allowed them to create some space between them and their opponents. Atlanta is also in second place in the NL East, as they are still 1.5 games back from the New York Mets. The Braves could avoid the Wild Card altogether if they could pass New York.
At the plate, Atlanta is scoring 5.01 runs per game and they are hitting .253 as a team. This is the second most runs scored per game and the ninth highest overall team batting average, as they have been consistently reaching base and driving in men when they are in scoring position all season. They also have multiple guys that can crank the ball out of the park, as they are hitting 1.54 bombs per game. This is the second most in the league. The Braves will also stay conservative once they have reached base safely. They have only stolen 80 bases this season, which is the 14th most in the league. I would also watch for Austin Riley at the plate in this one. He has already hit 36 home runs, which leads his team.
According to MLB.com, the Braves will be starting Kyle Wright on the mound. He is currently 17-5 this season, with a 3.23 ERA and a 1.15 WHIP. In his last start, he pitched for 4.0 innings and gave up five hits and eight earned runs, as the A's lit him up. He has been decent on the road this season, though. He is 6-3 with a 3.82 ERA outside of his home ballpark, as he will be looking to bounce back in this one. The Braves bullpen has been great this season, though. They have the fifth lowest ERA in the league, as they are only allowing 3.23 runs per game. As a team, the Braves are along 3.86 runs per game, which is the seventh least in the MLB.
Can the Giants Rally?The San Francisco Giants are currently 9.5 games back from the San Diego Padres for the third and final NL Wild Card spot. They are also 5-5 in their last 10 games, as their average play hasn't gotten them any closer to the postseason. San Francisco is also still in third place in the NL West, as they trail the first-place Dodgers by 29.5 games.
At the plate, the Giants are scoring 4.50 runs per game and they are hitting .232 as a team. This is the 14th most runs scored per game, but the 24th lowest overall team batting average. They have failed to consistently reach base this season, which has made it much harder to score. Luckily, the Giants have realized that they do have some power hidden throughout their lineup. They are hitting 1.12 home runs per game, which is the 12th most in the league. Watch for Joc Pederson at the plate, as he has already hit 22 home runs the season. I also expect the Giants to stay conservative on the bases once they have reached safely. They have only stolen 59 bases this season, which is the 21st least. They have allowed their bats to move their base runners into scoring position.
According to MLB.com, the Giants will be starting Jakob Junis on the mound in this one. He is currently 4-5 with a 3.98 ERA and a 1.18 WHIP. In his last start, he pitched for 6.0 innings but gave up two earned runs to the Brewers. He was solid in that game, but his team couldn't give him enough runs support. Junis has also been solid at home this season, as he is 2-1 with a 3.56 ERA. The Giant's bullpen hasn't been great, though. They have the 22nd highest overall bullpen ERA, as they are giving up 4.21 runs per game. As a team, the Giants are allowing 4.46 runs per game, which is the 18th most.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
I will be hammering the Braves run line (-1.5) in this one against the Giants. Atlanta has been incredible at the plate all season and they have one of their best pitchers on the mound in this one. The Giants will fail to consistently reach base safely and they won't give themselves enough scoring opportunities to keep this score within the spread. The Braves are currently scoring 5.01 runs per game and they are hitting .253 as a team, as they have been extremely tough to stop. They are also hitting the second most home runs per game, as they are very hard to keep up with on the scoreboard. I see this offense teeing off on Jakob Junis, as he has struggled at different points this season. He also has a 3.98 ERA, as I see the Braves hitting him early and often in this one. This will force the Giants to turn to their bullpen, where they have continued to struggle this season. This will allow the Braves to consistently score throughout this game, as they will slowly pull away. I also see the Giants struggling at the plate, as they have the 24th lowest overall team batting average. Wright will keep them off the bases and the Braves will slowly leave the Giants in the dust. San Francisco hasn't been anything special this season and that will continue in this one.
Hammer the Atlanta Braves run line (-1.5) in this one.
Full-Game Total Pick
I will be taking the over 7.5 runs in this matchup, as I see the Braves teeing off on Jakob Junis. He looked solid in his last start, but he hasn't done enough to prove that he can shut down one of the best-hitting teams in the league. The Braves are currently scoring the second most runs per game and they have the ninth-highest overall team batting average. They will score multiple times throughout this game, as they will do their part in pushing this total over 7.5. The Braves are also hitting the second most home runs, as they are averaging 1.54 per game. They will hit a few in this one, as this will push the total over the number. The Giants are allowing the 18th most runs per game as a team and I see their bullpen struggling in this one. They currently have the 22nd highest overall bullpen ERA in the league, as they have continued to get shelled late in these games. The Braves will score throughout this entire game, as they will score the majority of the runs that we need to hit the over. Now, I also see the Giants scoring a few insurance runs in this one, as Wright did struggle against the Athletics in his last start. The Giants are scoring 4.50 runs per game, as they will eventually cash in at the plate. They won't score many runs, but they will do just enough to push this total over 7.5.
Hammer, the over 7.5 runs, and expect the Braves to do the majority of the scoring in this one.