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Today’s play of the day is a battle between two playoff hopefuls. The visiting team has one of the best road records while the hosts have looked dominant at home. Contests like these often come down to starting pitching. Despite the names involved, the pitching bout is tighter than one may expect. Let’s see if my analysis can provide us with a definitive lean.
Atlanta Braves vs. Milwaukee Brewers
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The Atlanta Braves face the Milwaukee Brewers in an afternoon affair. The Braves have caught fire and now lead the NL East by 6.5 games. They’re ninth in run differential, and only two NL clubs (Dodgers and Rockies) have scored more runs. Atlanta also ties Minnesota and Tampa Bay with an MLB-best 30 road wins. It has won eight of its last ten games and is 23-22 against teams at or above the .500 mark.
The Brewers have had an up-and-down season. They have a winning record and a healthy run tally, but shaky pitching has led to a negative run differential. They have been excellent at home, where they hold a 29-21 record. Trending in the opposite direction as Atlanta, Milwaukee has lost eight of its last 11 and is 22-23 against teams with a .500 record or better.
The Braves will send the talented Dallas Keuchel to the mound. Milwaukee will counter with Chase Anderson. Since joining the Braves last month, Keuchel has paired a strong 3.09 ERA with a rather unsightly 1.31 WHIP. He has gotten stronger in each turn, allowing just one run over seven innings in his last appearance. The Braves have won three of his five starts this season.
Anderson has had a solid season. His 4.27 ERA and 1.26 WHIP are nothing to write home about, but they are still starter-worthy numbers in a season of enhanced scoring. Impressively, Anderson has allowed two runs or fewer in all but four of his 13 starts. However, he has only made it through six full innings once this season. Anderson has been better at home this season, where he holds a sparkling 1.01 WHIP. Milwaukee has lost four of his last five starts. Atlanta holds the overall edge in the form department.
Edge: Atlanta Braves
There are some intriguing trends for this contest. Atlanta has won its last four Wednesday games and four of its last five road games. The Braves have won eight of their last nine following a loss and 11 of their last 14 road games against right-handed starting pitchers. They have claimed eight of their last 11 road games against teams with winning records. In addition, they are an impressive 7-3 in their last 10 contests against the NL Central. Finally, they have won 50 of their last 72 third games of a series.
Milwaukee has won an impressive 11 of its last 13 home games against teams with a road winning percentage higher than .600. It has triumphed in seven of its last nine home games against left-handed starting pitchers. Finally, the Brewers have won 10 of their last 14 Game 3s. On the other side of things, they have lost seven of their last 10 games against left-handed starting pitchers. They have dropped eight of their last 11 games following a win. Finally, they have lost four of their last five Wednesday games.
With Keuchel joining the Braves mid-season, there are no pitching trends for him as a member of the Braves. The Brewers, meanwhile, have been up and down in Anderson’s recent starts. They have won six of his last seven starts in game three of a series. They have won nine of his last 13 Wednesday starts. On the other side of the coin, they have lost four of his last five outings this season. They have lost his last four starts on four days’ rest. Finally, they have dropped seven of his last eight turns against the NL East. Atlanta holds the edge in the trends department.
Edge: Atlanta Braves
The line for this contest has already started to move. Despite the Brewers’ 13-run explosion last night, the early money has come in on the Braves. Both teams opened even, and Atlanta currently sits at -110 at PointsBet. Atlanta has the pitcher advantage with Keuchel on the mound. He seems to have rounded back into form and will get a chance to prove just that against the Brewers this afternoon.
Currently 20 games over .500, the Braves have been the superior team this season. They have won three of five against the Brewers this season. However, the Brewers have won five of the last seven meetings in Milwaukee (1-1 this season). This contest is as tight as the odds suggest, but Atlanta holds an edge in both form and trends. Roll with Atlanta as a one-unit play.
Pick: Atlanta Braves (-110)