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The Los Angeles Angels (55-51) go on the road to take on the Atlanta Braves (67-36) in a new three-game series in an attempt to continue their impressive streak through the second half of the 2023 MLB Season. Both teams are among the most gifted teams at the plate due to the All-Star talent that leads their teams.
As a result, the Braves and the Angels are a team that starts early and continues to score at a consistent rate. Atlanta ranks first in the league in runs accounted for in the first inning (1.05), the only team that averages more than one run in the first inning.
While the Angels haven't been lucky through most of the season, they have been solid at the plate. The Angels are ranked 11th in the league in runs accounted for in the first inning (0.55).
The Braves are ranked second in the NL in runs accounted for (575), second in hits accounted for (940), first in home runs accounted for (195), first in batting average (.270), first in on-base percentage (.339) and first in slugging percentage (.494). The Angels are ranked third in the AL in runs accounted for (526), fourth in hits accounted for (917), first in home runs accounted for (162), first in walks accounted for (370), fourth in batting average (.257), second in on-base percentage (.333) and second in slugging percentage (.449).
There is a solid chance either the Braves or the Angels will find an opportunity to score in the first inning despite the great pitching lineup with the Braves' Charlie Morton (3.57 ERA in 113.1 innings pitched) and the Angels having Griffin Canning (4.46 ERA in 84.2 innings pitched).
Certain games look to be a high-scoring matchup of highly efficient batting teams. On Monday in the first of a four-game AL East Divisional matchup between the Baltimore Orioles (64-41) at the Toronto Blue Jays (59-47), the efficient batting teams won’t be as fast as sportsbooks believe.
The smart bet in the matchup between the Orioles and the Blue Jays will be to go under one run in the first inning. Both teams are coming into this game with a good batting team, but an even better pitching matchup.
The Blue Jays are ranked 22nd in the league in runs accounted for in the first inning (0.44). The Orioles are just a few slots behind the Jays as they rank 25th in runs accounted for in the first inning (0.42).
Toronto ranks seventh in the AL in runs accounted for (479), second in hits accounted for (947), eighth in home runs accounted for (123), sixth in walks accounted for (342), fourth in fewest strikeouts encountered (847), third in batting average (.262), third in on-base percentage (.332) and fifth in slugging percentage (.422). Baltimore ranks sixth in runs accounted for (502), eighth in hits accounted for (870), sixth in fewest strikeouts encountered (867), eighth in batting average (.248), seventh in on-base percentage (.317), and sixth in slugging percentage (.418).
Both teams are going into this game with their most experienced and reliable starting pitchers this season. The Orioles will have Kyle Gibson (4.68 ERA in 127 innings pitched), while the Blue Jays will have Chris Bassitt (3.91 ERA in 126.2 innings pitched) starting at the mound.
The combination of both teams' reputations of starting slow in games and the starting pitchers at the mound should make an easy case for going under one run in this matchup.
The San Diego Padres (52-54) and the Colorado Rockies (41-64) are set for another critical four-game series at Colorado. This will be a battle of the bottom two teams of the NL West Division. The Rockies are not playing for much hope other than to play spoiler, while the Padres are attempting one last push for an NL Wildcard spot with just a little over two months of the regular season left.
The Padres have not been a reliable team this season as they have been one of the MLB's biggest disappointments. They do, however, possess a solid case for the possibility of accounting for a run in the first inning.
San Diego has been underwhelming when it comes to the batting portion of the game, mostly due to the Padres' roster of All-Star talent this season. The Padres still rank seventh in runs accounted for this season (481), 12th in hits accounted for (834), fourth in home runs accounted for (134), fourth in stolen bases (85), first in walks accounted for (442), sixth in fewest strikeouts encountered (883), 12th in batting average (.238), sixth in on-base percentage (.327) and seventh in slugging percentage (.410).
The Padres are tied for fourth in the league in runs accounted for in the first inning (0.65). They have been an incredibly successful team in accounting for runs early in the game.
The Rockies are not going to give the Padres much of a threat at the plate, despite having their most experienced pitcher this season in Austin Gomber (5.83 ERA in 108 innings pitched). Colorado ranks last in the NL in ERA (5.48), runs allowed (605), and strikeouts (748). This gives the Padres a perfect chance to account for runs early in the game and gives bettors great opportunities to get some winnings.
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Michael Hanich is a sports journalist/analyst with a wide variety of experience in the newspaper and digital field. He has a love for all sports. The leagues that he covers are College Football, the NFL, the NBA, the NHL, College Basketball (men’s and women’s), the MLB, Lacrosse, Volleyball, and the WNBA.More info on Michael Hanich
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