Atlanta Braves (76-69) vs. San Francisco Giants (96-52)
The Atlanta Braves and San Francisco Giants close out their three-game series on Sunday. San Francisco won the opening game of the series on Friday, 6-5. These teams play on Saturday, but this preview was written prior to the conclusion of that contest.
With the victory on Friday, San Francisco has now split the four games these teams played against each other this season. However, the Braves hold a 6-4 edge in the last 10.
Braves Woes Continue with Loss on FridayThe Atlanta Braves battled back with three runs in the top of the ninth inning to take a one-run lead over San Francisco on Friday. However, the bullpen could not hold the advantage, as San Francisco tied the score in the bottom of the ninth and won in a walk-off fashion in the bottom of the 11th inning. That was the third straight loss for Atlanta, and they are 1-4 in their last five.
Atlanta is eighth in runs per game (4.86) and 12th in runs allowed per contest (4.21). The Braves are eighth in run differential at +0.66. They are 11th in team batting average (.242) and third in home runs per contest (1.49).
Atlanta will start left-hander Max Fried. Fried is 11-7 with a 3.47 ERA in 25 starts. The lefty has been solid in September, pitching six innings in each of his three starts. Fried has allowed six total runs for a 3.00 ERA. This comes after an impressive August that saw the lefty post a 4-0 record and a 1.36 ERA in five starts.
The power numbers for the Braves are impressive. They have five players with at least 24 homers led by Freddie Freeman with 30. Ozzie Albies is the team leader in RBI with 94, one of four players with at least 78 runs driven in. Atlanta is hitting .239 and averaging 5.01 runs per nine innings against right-handers.
Giants Return to Win Column with Late Game HeroicsThe victory on Friday snapped a two-game losing streak for San Francisco. However, the Giants have been hot of late as they had won their previous nine games and are now 12-4 in September. Kevin Gausman drove in the game-winner in the 11th on Friday with a sacrifice fly.
San Francisco is seventh in runs per game (4.96) and third in runs allowed per contest (3.73). They are also third in run differential at +1.23. This is an impressive offense, sixth in team batting average (.249) and second in home runs per game (1.53).
San Francisco will start right-hander Anthony DeSclafani. DeSclafani is 12-6 with a 3.24 ERA in 28 starts. The right-hander has pitched very well in September, posting a 2.12 ERA in his three September starts. Three of the four runs he allowed came against Colorado in Denver on September 8. He has allowed one run in his other 12.2 innings pitched this month.
While a little better in the power numbers than Atlanta, San Francisco does not have as many people with over 20 round-trippers this season, as Brandon Belt leads the team with 26. However, 10 different players have at least 10 home runs. The Giants are hitting .247 and averaging 4.90 runs per game against left-handers.
- 1-4 in their last five games.
- 2-6 in their last eight games on the road.
- 1-5 in their last six games against NL West teams.
San Francisco Giants:
- 7-1 in their last eight games on a Sunday.
- 20-8 in their last 28 games against NL East teams.
- 50-18 in their last 68 games as the favorite.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
I expected Atlanta to win on Saturday, giving them a split of the first two games in San Francisco. However, one victory is all they are earning in this series.
While Fried has pitched very well this month, DeSclafani has been very good at home, posting a 7-2 record with a 3.36 ERA in 12 starts. That includes allowing just three home runs in 61.2 innings pitched. If he is taking away the long ball, Atlanta is going to have a very hard time scoring in this contest.
Full-Game Total Pick
The total is set at 8.0 for this game. That looks like a solid number, as this should be a pitching affair. The Braves have gone under in nine of their last 11 games on the road, but San Francisco has gone over in six of their last seven games, including five of their last six at home. These teams did combine for 11 runs on Friday, but it took the collapse by both bullpens to make that happen. I do not look for the repeat here.
Take San Francisco to win, 4-2.