Atlanta Braves vs New York Yankees

Atlanta Braves vs New York Yankees | 2021 MLB Expert Analysis

Written by on April 21, 2021

The Braves and Yankees wrap up a quick two-game interleague series and potential World Series preview on Wednesday night from Yankee Stadium. Will Atlanta have superstar Ronald Acuna in the lineup? That will help determine the MLB odds.

How to Bet Braves at Yankees MLB Odds & TV Info

Series History

In a scheduling rarity, this is the first time the Yankees will see the Braves in consecutive years since 2001. The teams split four games last year, with each club winning both its home games.

Why Bet on Atlanta? | 2021 MLB Expert Analysis 

Will superstar Ronald Acuna play? He left Sunday’s game in Chicago in the fourth inning due to an abdominal strain and didn’t play in Tuesday’s opener. It seems unlikely that Acuna will go here. Acuna has been the Braves’ best hitter in the early going, having reached base in his past 13 games, including on Sunday. He is hitting .419 so far this season with seven homers and 16 RBIs.

He’s the NL MVP right now. Acuna has scored or knocked in 43% of the Braves runs (68) this season. With runners on base, Acuna is hitting .529 (9-for-17) with four home runs and just two strikeouts.   On Tuesday, Ehire Adrianza started in the outfield and hit leadoff in Acuna’s spot.

It’s young right-hander Ian Anderson (0-0, 4.70) on the mound for Atlanta. Anderson pitched five innings and allowed three runs Thursday against the Marlins. Anderson wasn’t great in his first two starts, but at least he walked only three batters total in those. Against Miami, he walked four and gave up six hits against one of the NL’s weaker lineups. Anderson didn’t allow a long ball, which prevented the outing from becoming a disaster. However, he consistently fought his control — only 57 of his 98 pitches were strikes — and allowed 10 baserunners while recording only 15 outs.

Anderson allowed three homers in his final spring start, and he’s surrendered a .448 slugging percentage through his first three starts of the regular season. He allowed just one home run over 51 innings and surrendered a .230 slugging percentage over 10 starts (includes the playoffs) last year.

Added to the rotation in late August last year, Anderson finished seventh in the NL Rookie of the Year voting despite making just six starts. He put up a 1.95 ERA in those outings. Anderson maintained his rookie eligibility entering 2021 and earned the No. 2 ranking in Atlanta’s system. He looked like the cornerstone of a young Braves rotation. Not so far this year, though.

Why Bet on NY Yankees? | 2021 MLB Expert Analysis 

The 2021 Yankees are off to their worst start since 1997, a season that followed the team’s triumphant 1996 World Series victory over Atlanta. The Bombers dropped at least 10 of their first 15 games of a season for the eighth time in franchise history and first since 1997 (also 5-10). However, they have finished with a winning record in each of the last three such seasons (96-66 in 1997; 79-76 in 1972 and 93-69 in 1970).

GM Brian Cashman held a press conference on Monday, talking to reporters about the state of the team recently and acknowledging that they aren’t off to the start expected of them. Still, Cashman stressed that he has trust in the players and the coaching staff and that Manager Aaron Boone isn’t in trouble.

Principal owner Hal Steinbrenner has been in contact with Cashman and is also practicing patience, though he too is displeased with the current standings. Steinbrenner has “a lot invested in this situation,” according to Cashman — specifically, just shy of $210 million currently.

What’s ailing the Yankees, who at the outset of the season were projected for an AL-best 95.4 wins? First, they’re in the midst of a power outage and are scoring just 3.67 runs per game, second-to-last in the AL. Their .346 slugging percentage is in a virtual tie for the major league’s lowest, and while some of that is a function of their .210 batting average, their .136 isolated power is 13th, and their 16 homers are 10th.

It’s two-time AL Cy Young winner Corey Kluber (0-1, 6.10) on the mound here.  Corey Kluber was lifted after allowing three runs in four innings last Wednesday against the Blue Jays. The good news is that Kluber showed his best velocity of the season, averaging about 91.5 mph with his fastballs. The veteran pounded the zone with 50 of his 77 pitches for strikes and generated 15 swinging strikes, but he had trouble keeping Toronto off the basepaths. He allowed multiple baserunners in each inning before being removed before the fifth.

“I thought his stuff was fine,’’ Boone said of the 35-year-old Kluber, who signed a one-year, $11 million after missing most of the last two seasons with a fractured forearm and then a shoulder strain. “I feel he continues to get close to where he needs to be.”

Kluber has given up 10 runs (seven earned) on 16 hits with a 12:7 K:BB across 10.1 innings through three starts.

Game Trends

  • Braves are 9-3 in their last 12 Wednesday games.
  • Braves are 16-6 in their last 22 interleague games vs. a right-handed starter.
  • Braves are 8-18 in their last 26 games as a road underdog.
  • Yankees are 1-4 in their last 5 Wednesday games.
  • Yankees are 2-5 in their last 7 interleague games as a favorite.

Expert Prediction

  • Yankees 5, Braves 4

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