The best pitcher in all of baseball since the All-Star break was young St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Jack Flaherty. On Friday in Game 2 of the National League Division Series, he makes his playoff debut and will be a short betting favorite on the MLB odds against the Atlanta Braves. The Cardinals lead the series 1-0 after a 7-6 victory in Game 1.
Cardinals vs Braves 2019 NLDS Game 2 Odds, Preview & Prediction
- When: Friday, 4:37 p.m. ET
- Where: SunTrust Park
- Probable pitchers (away/home): Jack Flaherty/Mike Foltynewicz
- TV: TBS
- Radio: SiriusXM
- NLDS Game Odds: St. Louis Cardinals -125 (Total 8.5)
- Sunny: 35°C/95°F
- Humidity: 32%
- Precipitation: 0%
- Cloud Cover: 14%
- Wind: 6 mph NNW
- Stadium Type: Open
Why Bet on St. Louis?
It’s young Cardinals ace Jack Flaherty (11-8, 2.75). Flaherty allowed two hits over seven scoreless innings, leading the Cardinals to a 9-0 victory last Sunday. Needing a win or a Brewers loss to secure the National League Central, the Cardinals turned to Flaherty to bring home a win Sunday. He answered the bell as he has the entire second half, keeping the Cubs to two hits and a walk over his seven innings. Flaherty struck out six before exiting.
The brilliant showing was a fitting end to the year for the 23-year-old, who posted a 0.91 ERA and 0.71 WHIP over the season’s second half and finished the year with a 0.97 WHIP and 231/55 K/BB ratio over 196 1/3 innings. He became the third-youngest pitcher in baseball history to strike out at least 230 and walk 55 or fewer with a 2.75 ERA or lower.
“What we saw the second half is unlike anything I’ve ever seen,’’ said Cardinals veteran Adam Wainwright, 38, who made his first pro start when Flaherty was four years old. “It’s incredible what he’s done. We’re not in the playoffs without him.’’
Flaherty Wonder for Cardinals vs Braves Game 2
Flaherty became the 8th different Cardinal (19th instance) and youngest in franchise history to strike out 200+ batters in a season. His 10.70 strikeouts/9 IP this season ranks 1st all-time in franchise single-season history. Flaherty limited opposing right-handed batters to a .182 average this year, ranking 3rd in the NL this season and currently 2nd all-time in Cardinals history (Jose DeLeon, .148).
He also put up a 2.25 ERA in two starts against the Braves, both of which came in May. Flaherty will walk to the SunTrust Park mound Friday with the “TS” initials on his cleats and draw those initials on the dirt. He’ll be pitching in memory of Tyler Skaggs of the Los Angeles Angels, his close friend and workout partner the last four years, sharing dinner and laughs together in St. Louis on June 22. Nine days later, Skaggs was found dead in his hotel room from a drug overdose.
- Runs: 4.72
- Hits: 8.26
- Walks: 3.46
- Strike Outs: 8.77
- Runs: 4.09
- Hits: 7.93
- Walks: 3.36
- Strike Outs: 8.64
Why Bet on Atlanta?
The Braves are 11-4 in series when they win Game 1 and 3-16 when they drop the opener. Ender Inciarte is dealing with a right quad strain and is likely done for the rest of the season. Inciarte had already been ruled out through at least the NLDS, but it turns out that the outfielder’s injury is a bit more serious than believed.
The Braves led MLB with 308 runs scored and 94 home runs hit in the seventh inning or later during the regular season. The bullpen produced the NL’s second-best bullpen ERA (3.53) from Aug. 15 through the end of the season.
It’s Mike Foltynewicz on the mound. Foltynewicz (8-6, 4.54) struggled early, posting a 6.37 ERA in his first 11 starts before being sent to the minors in June. He seemingly rediscovered his 2018 All-Star form upon his return, going 6-1 with a 2.65 ERA in 10 starts after returning on Aug. 5.
In his final start of the regular season, Foltynewicz yielded three runs in four innings in a loss to the Mets on Saturday. Foltynewicz put himself on the losing side by giving up homers to Pete Alonso and Rene Rivera in the third inning. He fanned five and walked one. This was a step back for Folty after he allowed two runs combined over his previous four starts. He finished with 105/37 K/BB ratio over 117 innings in the regular season.
It’s supposed to be 95 degrees on Friday at the first pitch. Back on September 3, Foltynewicz was pulled after five scoreless innings because he became overheated. So that could be an issue.
Bag of Surprises
In a bit of a surprise, the Braves left Opening Day starter Julio Teheran off the NLDS roster. He had a bit of a bounce-back year in 2019, looking like the dominant pitcher he has been at times in the past, finishing the year with 10 wins, a 3.81 ERA and 162 Ks, but he did falter down the stretch. Over the last 36 innings, he gave up 17 runs. He’s only thrown four postseason innings in his career and was rocked in those, surrendering six earned runs.
The Braves have lost nine consecutive playoff rounds, dating to the 2001 League Championship Series against Arizona. That streak is the second longest in MLB history. The Braves last won a playoff round in 2001, sweeping Houston in the NLDS. Only the Chicago Cubs own a longer such skid, losing 10 consecutive rounds from 1910 through 1998.
- Runs: 5.28
- Hits: 8.82
- Walks: 3.82
- Strike Outs: 9.06
- Runs: 4.59
- Hits: 8.78
- Walks: 3.38
- Strike Outs: 8.60
Cardinals vs Braves NLDS Game 2 Betting Trends
- Cardinals are 7-2 in Flaherty’s last 9 starts with 4 days of rest
- Braves are 4-1 in Foltynewicz’s last 5 Friday starts
- Cardinals are 8-4 SU in their last 12 games against an opponent in the National League
- The total has gone OVER in 7 of St. Louis’ last 8 games when playing on the road against Atlanta
- Braves are 15-5 SU in their last 20 games at home
- The total has gone UNDER in 8 of Atlanta’s last 12 games played in October
Expert Final Score Prediction for Cardinals vs Braves
St. Louis Cardinals 3 – Atlanta Braves 2
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