The Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals are set to play the rubber match of their three-game series on Sunday night. At home, the Cardinals are slight favorites with a -125 moneyline compared to Atlanta’s moneyline of +105. There is also a moneyline of eight runs for Sunday’s game.
The Cardinals have had a somewhat uneven week, going 3-3 over their last six games. Nevertheless, they have continued to extend their lead atop the NL Central, now sitting six games over the Brewers.
Also, St. Louis is 12-2 at home during the month of August after rallying to beat the Braves in the bottom of the ninth of Saturday’s game.
For the Braves, Saturday’s loss dropped them three games back of the Mets in the NL East. Of course, despite that loss, the Braves are still 15-3 over their last 18 games.
They also hold a large lead atop the Wild Card standings, so Atlanta looks playoff-bound, even if the Braves aren’t able to catch up to the Mets.
What’s That Odor?
The Braves will have new acquisition Jake Odorizzi on the mound for Sunday’s game. In 16 starts this year, Odorizzi is 5-5 with a 3.95 ERA and a 1.27 WHIP, although he’s 1-2 with a 4.58 ERA since joining the Braves.
The good news is that Odorizzi is coming off his best start since joining the Braves, allowing just one run over six innings in a win against the Pirates.
Meanwhile, the Atlanta lineup is raking, scoring 30 total runs over the team’s last three games. In fact, the Braves have now scored at least five runs in nine of their last 12 games.
Oddly enough, Dansby Swanson and Austin Riley have both cooled off over the past week, although Matt Olson and the catching duo of Travis d’Arnaud and William Contreras are all scorching hot at the moment.
The Wright Man
The Cardinals will send 40-year-old Adam Wainwright to the mound in Sunday’s rubber match. In 25 starts this season, the veteran is 9-9 with a 3.11 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP.
Wainwright continues to perform far better than anyone could ask, posting a 2.45 ERA over his five starts in August while helping the Cardinals win four of the last six games he’s started.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals appear to be waking up offensively after scoring one run or less three times in a four-game span earlier this week.
St. Louis has scored 18 total runs over the last three games, with Nolan Arenado and MVP frontrunner Paul Goldschmidt taking center stage. But the Cardinals are also getting production lately from Brendan Donovan and Corey Dickerson, who are both heating up as well.
Against the Grain
Despite both starting pitchers having good seasons, taking the over on eight runs might be the best bet in this game. Both teams have been heating up offensively lately, and both should be able to scratch out at least a few runs, even against quality pitchers.
Meanwhile, the Cardinals deserve the benefit of the doubt as the home team in a big game in which both teams have been red hot lately.
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