It’s a potential preview of October baseball on Thursday night as NL East-leading Atlanta makes its first visit of the season to NL Central first-place Milwaukee. Although this writer still is skeptical that either wins its division, they could meet in the wild-card game. Let’s see which team is offering the best value at the MLB Odds in MyBookie Sportsbook.
Atlanta at Milwaukee Game Preview, MLB Odds & Expert Pick
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) 4 de julio de 2018
- When: Thursday, 8:10 PM ET
- Where: Miller Park, Milwaukee
- Probable Pitchers: Max Fried/Jhoulys Chacin
- TV: MLB Network
- Stream: MLB.tv
- Radio: TuneIn
- MLB Odds: Milwaukee Brewers -125 / Atlanta Braves +105 (Over/Under at 8.5)
Recent Head to Head (Last 10 Games)
- Runs: Atlanta Braves 4.40 / Milwaukee Brewers 4.60
- Hits: Atlanta Braves 9.50 / Milwaukee Brewers 8.20
- Walks: Atlanta Braves 2.60 / Milwaukee Brewers 3.20
- Strikeouts: Atlanta Braves 6.60 / Milwaukee Brewers 8.60
Why Bet on Atlanta?
The Braves’ Nick Markakis, Freddie Freeman, and Ozzie Albies are the first threesome on the same team to each have triple-digit hits this season. Atlanta hadn’t had two players reach 100 hits prior to the All-Star break since 2012 when Martin Prado and Michael Bourn accomplished the feat. No trio of Braves teammates had ever done it.
Markakis has 10 homers and has reached double-digit home runs prior to the All-Star break for just the second time in his career. He had 14 in 2008. In his first three seasons with Atlanta, the outfielder hit a combined nine first-half home runs (zero in 2015, five in 2016, four in 2017).
Some potentially bad news, though, on Wednesday as Freeman, the MLB betting favorite currently at Mybookie.ag, left vs. the Yankees after getting hit on the elbow by a pitch. CC Sabathia caught him with an inside fastball in the top of the third inning. Freeman ran for himself and played first base in the bottom of the third, but he was lifted before the Braves batted in the fourth. Needless to say, if he were to miss any stretch of time that’s a big deal. It sounds as if Freeman has just a bruise, but he might miss a day or two.
It’s young fire-baller Max Fried (1-2, 2.55) on the mound here. His outing last Saturday against the Cardinals was only supposed to be a spot start, but the 24-year-old left-hander fanned 11 batters over 6 2/3 shutout innings to earn at least one more turn. Fried allowed four hits, no runs, and three walks in a career-high inning. He had allowed just one earned run three times in his previous five major league starts, but Saturday’s game was his first scoreless outing as a big-league starter, and his 101 pitches were 18 more than his previous high.
Fried was asked about being able to go through a normal routine between starts since Saturday, rather than moving from the bullpen or being brought from Triple-A for a spot start.
“I’ve gotten to the point where I kind of feel comfortable being uncomfortable,” the 24-year-old said. “No, but it’ll be nice to feel like I’ve had good preparation days in-between. I’m ready to go.”
Why Bet on Milwaukee?
The Brewers got some good news Wednesday in their series finale vs. Minnesota as Christian Yelich was starting in left field and batting second. Yelich had missed five consecutive starts due to a lower back issue. The 26-year-old is slashing .289/.364/.471 with 11 home runs, 34 RBI, 10 stolen bases, and 52 runs scored through 69 games this season with Milwaukee.
However, fellow outfielder Lorenzo Cain, who leads NL position players in WAR, wasn’t activated from the disabled list when on Wednesday. Cain was scheduled to run the bases on Tuesday, but he skipped it after his agility work on Monday “didn’t go as planned.” He’s now going to try agility drills again on Wednesday. If all goes well, he’ll run the bases on Thursday. This would seemingly set up a return this weekend.
Milwaukee was the first team to reach 50 wins in the National League this year. The 2018 Brewers are tied with the 1982 squad for the second-fastest team in franchise history to reach 50 wins, doing so in their 85th game. The 2014 Brewers recorded their 50th win in their 82nd game.
It’s Jhoulys Chacin (6-3, 3.71) on the mound. Chacin didn’t factor into the decision in Saturday’s 12-3 loss to the Reds, allowing one run on four hits and three walks over five innings while striking out five. The right-hander threw an inefficient 87 pitches (55 strikes) before making his exit with the score tied at 1-1. Chacin has given up one run or fewer in four of his last six starts but 12 runs in the other two.
Chacin has 5 quality starts this year. Opponents are batting .243 (87-for-358, 7hr) off him. Chacin is 1-4 with a 3.94 ERA in 6 career starts (32ip, 14er) against the Braves, including 0-2 with a 3.75 ERA in 2 starts last season (12ip, 5er).
Latest MLB Betting Trends
- Atlanta is 3-6 ATS in its last 9 games
- Atlanta is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games
- The total has gone OVER in 12 of Atlanta’s last 16 games on the road
- Milwaukee is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games
- Milwaukee is 5-2 SU in its last 7 games
- The total has gone UNDER in 12 of Milwaukee’s last 18 games when playing Atlanta
- Braves are 7-0 in their last 7 Thursday games
- Braves are 6-1 in their last 7 during game 1 of a series
- Brewers are 4-0 in their last 4 during game 1 of a series
- Brewers are 8-2 in their last 10 home games vs. a team with a winning road record
Tough call here because Fried is rather unknown, but the Brewers are stellar at home. Pick them.