This Tuesday, the (84-51) Atlanta Braves and the (50-85) Oakland Athletics will play game one of this short two-game series. The first pitch will be thrown out at 9:40 PM EST inside the Oakland Coliseum. The last time these two teams matched up, the Atlanta Braves were able to sweep the A's.
The Atlanta Braves are coming into this one after another impressive series win. They swept the Marlins, as they had it working on the mound and at the plate. This was also their fifth straight win.
The Oakland Athletics are entering this one after losing their previous series to the Baltimore Orioles. The A's struggled at the plate in the first two games of that series, as they only scored three combined runs. They will have to wake up at the plate in this one if they want to have any chance of taking down the Braves.
Yesterday's MLB Best Bet was rained out, as we are still 10-2 in our last 12 Best Bet Picks. Luckily, we cashed in on our NCAAF Best Bet to make up for it! Now, I have my eyes on the Houston Astros vs. Texas Rangers game, as one of these teams is set to explode at the plate. This is my favorite game on today's slate, as I am looking to continue to attack. I've kept my head down and I'm going to continue to grind out these winners for all of you! Buy my Best Bet and allow me to carry you to the GREEN!
This game was written/published before last night's results.
Can the Braves Stay Hot?The Atlanta Braves are currently in second place in the AL East, as they still trail the New York Mets by a game. They are also 7-3 in their last 10 games played, as their strong play has launched them into the top NL Wild Card spot. They will need to stay hot if they want to continue making a push toward the postseason.
At the plate, the Braves are scoring 4.96 runs per game and they are hitting .253 as a team. This is the ninth-highest overall team batting average and the third most runs scored per game. They have one of the deepest batting lineups in the MLB and they can score multiple different ways. They are also hitting 1.51 bombs per game, which is the second most. They have multiple players that can step up to the plate and change the game with one swing. Watch for Austin Riley at the plate in this one, as he has continued to stay hot over the second half of this season. He has already hit 35 home runs and he is hitting .287, which leads his team. I also expect the Braves to stay aggressive once they have reached base safely. They have already stolen 76 bases, which is the 13th most in the league.
According to MLB.com, the Braves will be stating Kyle Wright on the mound in this one. He has been great all season, as he is 17-5 with a 2.85 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP. Reaching base safely has been a struggle for his opponents and he has also been a road warrior this season. He is currently 6-3 with a 2.90 ERA on the road. The Atlanta bullpen has also been solid this season, as they are allowing 3.22 runs per game, which is the sixth lowest bullpen ERA in the MLB. As a team, they are allowing 3.80 runs per game, which is the seventh least.
Can the A's Wake Up?The Oakland Athletics are now 4-6 in their last 10, as their poor play has allowed them to continue to slide in the wrong direction. They are also in last place in the AL West, as they are still 36.5 games back from the Houston Astros for first place. The A's are 24.5 games back from the Toronto Blue Jays for the third and final AL Wild Card spot, as well.
At the plate, the A's are scoring 3.46 runs per game and they are hitting .217 as a team. This is the second least amount of runs scored per game and the lowest overall team batting average. They have struggled to consistently reach base this season, as they aren't giving themselves enough opportunities to score. They have also stayed one-dimensional at the plate, as they don't have much power inside of their batting lineup. Oakland is only hitting .84 bombs per game, which is the third lowest average in the MLB. The A's have also been unaggressive once they have reached base safely. They have only taken 67 bases this season, which is the 17th least.
According to MLB.com, the A's will be starting Cole Irvin on the mound. He is currently 7-11 on the season with a 3.35 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP. In his last start, he pitched for 5.1 innings and gave up nine hits and five earned runs, as the Nationals got to him early. His team has also lost three of his last five starts. The Oakland bullpen has had issues this regular season, as well. They are allowing 4.17 runs per game, which is the 22nd highest bullpen ERA in the league. They have continued to give up runs late in these games. As a team, the A's are allowing 4.65 runs per game, which is the 23rd most.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
I'm riding with the Braves -1.5 in this matchup with the A's. The Braves dominated them the last time they matched up and I don't see the Athletics scoring enough runs to cover this spread. The Braves will be starting Kyle Wright on the mound and he has been a beast all season. He is currently 17-5 with a 2.85 ERA, as this Oakland team isn't strong enough at the plate to challenge him. The A's are currently scoring the second least amount of runs per game and they are only hitting the .217 as a team. This is the lowest team batting average in the league, as they have continued to struggle as of late. Atlanta is also very solid in the field, as they won't make many mistakes. The Atlanta bullpen is also great, as they are allowing the sixth least amount of runs per game. The A's will be kept off the scoreboard for the majority of this game and the Braves will slowly pull away. I have no trust in Cole Irvin and I see the Braves teeing off on him early. He struggled in his last start and the Braves are currently scoring the third most runs per game. They can score multiple different ways and they will have plenty of opportunities to score in this one.
The Braves are the better team. Hammer Atlanta and lay the run line spread (-1.5).
Full-Game Total Pick
This total is simply too high, as I see the Braves teeing off on Cole Irvin in this one. Irvin was lit up by the Nationals in his last start and he will continue to struggle in this one. The Braves will score the majority of the runs that we need, as they are scoring 4.96 runs per game and they have the ninth-highest overall team batting average. I also expect the Braves to hit a few home runs in this one, as they are averaging 1.51 bombs per game. Irvin hasn't impressed me this season and he hasn't been much better at home. The Braves will tee off on him early and carry this total over 8.0. The A's should also be able to add a few runs to this total. I don't see them scoring a ton in this game, but I don't see them getting shut out. They are scoring 3.46 runs per game and they will score just enough runs to push this total over. I understand that Wright is a beast and the A's are going to struggle, but they just need one or two decent innings to push this total over 8.0. Oakland is allowing the 23rd most runs per game and the Braves are no joke at the plate. They will tee off on Irvin and the Athletic's bullpen, as this score isn't going to remain low.
Hammer the over and trust the Braves in this one.