The Boston Red Sox and Atlanta Braves delivered an entertaining game on Tuesday night with the Red Sox escaping with a 10-8 win on the road. The two teams meet again on Wednesday for the second game of a two-game set. At home, Atlanta is favored with a moneyline of -160 while Boston’s moneyline is set at +135.
With Tuesday’s loss, the Braves have now lost five of their last six games. Oddly enough, they appeared to be turning things around right before this stretch started. Nevertheless, the preseason favorites in the NL East are now third in the division, 6.5 games out of first place.
As for the Red Sox, Tuesday’s win brought them within two games of the first-place Rays. Boston won five straight games earlier this month and the Red Sox have now won four of six. With a head-to-head series against the Rays next week, the Red Sox would love nothing more than to keep up their momentum.
The Enigmatic Mr. Richards
Garrett Richards is set to get the start for the Red Sox on Wednesday. He’s occasionally brilliant but can also get himself into trouble at times, which explains his solid 4.09 ERA despite a concerning 1.59 WHIP. Things are also trending in the wrong direction for Richards, who has yielded seven runs on 19 hits over his last 10.1 innings.
For what it’s worth, Richards has been able to contain most of the hitters in Atlanta’s lineup during his career, albeit in limited meetings. Of course, the Braves have churned out 14 runs in their last two games, so things are looking up. The Atlanta lineup also has difference-makers like Ronald Acuna and Austin Riley while Freddie Freeman has started to heat up again.
Ian Anderson gets the start for the Braves on Wednesday. The 23-year-old has been Atlanta’s ace this season, going 4-3 with a 3.26 ERA over 12 starts. In four of those 12 starters, Anderson has pitched at least six innings without giving up a run, including his last start when he tossed seven scoreless frames against the Phillies.
Of course, the Boston lineup is a different animal entirely. The Red Sox are one of the most potent offensive teams in baseball, proving that again on Tuesday by scoring 10 runs. The trio of Rafael Devers, J.D. Martinez, and Xander Bogaerts can do damage against any team while the likes of Bobby Dalbec, Christian Vazquez, and Hunter Renfroe add quality depth to the lineup.
Value in the Sox
There’s no question that Anderson is the more reliable starting pitcher in this matchup compared to Richards starting for Boston. But that means that the better team is the underdog in this matchup. In other words, the red-hot Red Sox have a ton of value and offer a lucrative payout.
Of course, the Braves have a good chance to win if Anderson throws a gem and the likes of Acuna and Freeman can deliver some offense for Atlanta. But that scenario is far from a sure thing with Richards also capable of tossing a gem and Boston’s lineup being so deep. Take a chance on the Red Sox beating the Braves on Wednesday.
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