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The Braves will make the trip to PNC Park in Pittsburgh for the first of a four-game series against the Pirates. Atlanta has been MLB’s most superior team through the first 110 games of the season. There aren't many categories that the Braves struggle in, and they haven’t shown any signs of slowing down as we enter the final stretch of the regular season.
Pittsburgh will look to beat the Braves at home as a consolation prize to a disappointing regular season campaign. The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. ET and it will be streamed nationally on ESPN+.
The Braves are coming off a three-game series at the Cubs,, where they lost two of the three games. Before that, they hosted the Angels, where they managed to win two of three in that series.
Right-Handed ace Spencer Strider is expected to make his 23rd start of the season. He is pitching with a lot of momentum as he is fresh off another masterpiece last Tuesday against the Angels. Strider pitched 6.2 innings, giving up five hits, one run, with nine strikeouts.
The Pirates have really struggled to get going in the second portion of the season. However, they have split their past two series with the Brewers and Tigers. The Dominican Republic's own Osvaldo Bido is set to make his eighth start of the regular season and hasn't been too impressive, to say the least. Bido typically does not stay on the mound too long. He is meant to close the gap for the bullpen, but he isn’t a true starter.
In his last outing against the Tigers, he pitched three innings, giving up three hits, and four runs with just three strikeouts.
It doesn't take a die-hard baseball fan to understand that this is a lopsided matchup. With Strider pitching absolutely lights out and Bido doing the opposite, the best opportunity to make some money on this game would be taking Atlanta -1.5.
Atlanta has been tremendous this season and hard to stop everywhere on the diamond. Strider's ability on the mound is a big part of their success.
The right-hander is 12-3 with a 3.61 ERA in 129.2 innings. The most impressive thing about Strider is his consistent ability to find swing and misses. In his 22 starts thus far, he has accumulated 208 strikeouts, averaging 1.6 strikeouts per inning.
If the Braves can stay consistent with their bats when Strider throws, Atlanta has the team to win every time the Cy Young candidate takes the mound.
Bido looks to be in for a rough night based on the matchup. He has a 2-2 record this season, with a 5.18 ERA through just 33 innings. In this short span, Bido has managed to walk 14 batters, which is a high number for the number of innings on the hill.
Bido will more than likely only pitch around two to four innings before getting pulled from this one. Expect a short day and a bad result for the Pirates pitcher.
Atlanta is not only the best team in the NL East, but also the best team in MLB. They are currently 11 games ahead of the Phillies in the NL East. The Braves would have to massively implode to not hoist the NL East crown.
Strider and the Braves' amazing season also comes with many impressive stats. They are currently sixth in the league in ERA with 3.83, giving up the fourth least home runs per game They also lead the MLB in starting pitcher wins.
While their pitching has been impressive, this lineup has been just as productive and consistent. Atlanta is third in the league in runs scored with 615, fourth in the league in hits with 993, and lead the league in home runs with 211. The Dodgers are the closest team to the Braves in the home run category, but Atlanta still has them by 35, so it’s not close at all.
As of now, the Pirates sit in fourth place in the NL Central standings. They’re nine games back from the first-place Brewers team. While they are not eliminated from playoff contention, a nine-game deficit in the division is a tough road to come back from at this point in the season.
Pittsburgh’s tough season comes with some low rankings in many critical stats. They currently sit 24th in home runs with just 105, 26th in total runs with only 453, and 25th in team batting average at .236.
While the Pirates lack a lot of success with the bats, they are 22nd in their team pitching ERA, giving up the tenth most runs with 534 on the year. They are also 20th in strikeouts with only 922. This team has a long way to go and will need more improvements from their young talent before they become competitive.
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Tanner Kern has been working in the betting industry since 2020. He currently is a social media content creator at DraftKings and contributes to multiple sites in addition to WSN, including Forbes and VSiN. He is also the cohost of the podcast Ride the Line at WSN.More info on Tanner Kern
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