Braves vs. Cardinals MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Tail the Redbirds in a Fun Sunday Night Game
Braves vs. Cardinals Odds
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Over the last two weeks, the Braves have posted a 127 wRC+, putting up a .818 OPS in the process. But the Cardinals are a whole different story. Paul Goldschmidt is running away with the MVP, Nolan Arenado has picked up the pace and Albert Pujols is having a renaissance. During the same two-week stretch, the Cardinals are slashing .300/.372/.506 as a team for a whopping 149 wRC+.
There are stars all over the field on Sunday Night, and this is shaping up to be a very fun primetime baseball game. What are we betting?
The Braves are 17-7 in August, and five of those losses have come against the Mets. While they continue to put ground between themselves and the rest of the NL Wild Card field, Atlanta has been haunted by New York all season.
That should be a fun storyline come playoff time.
To annoy Braves fans even more — the Braves are 7-9 against the Mets this season with a +9 run differential. Braves fans can only be frustrated with these Mets series.
The good news is: The Braves beat up every other team. If you did the math above, the Braves are 4-5 against the Mets in August and 13-2 against every other team.
They’ve ripped apart the Cardinals so far, too, having beaten the Redbirds in four of five contests by a total score of 29-11.
That’s because the Braves are a really good baseball team. The middle of the order is immense, with Austin Riley turning into an MVP candidate (147 wRC+) while Matt Olson approaches 30 dingers for the year (27 HRs so far).
Don’t forget about rookie CF Michael Harris, who has posted a 130 OPS+ while anchoring MLB’s 12th-best defensive team by Outs Above Average.
And, finally, don’t forget about the bullpen. Reinforced by Kenley Jansen, the Braves have coasted to the seventh-best reliever xFIP in baseball. Jansen has converted 29 of 33 save opportunities himself.
However, the Braves did dip into their reliever depth to get their starting pitcher today.
Starting pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (RHP)
It’s still a small mystery why the Braves decided to deal Will Smith for Jake Odorizzi. Smith was having a down year, but was this one-for-one move really worth it?
In my opinion, yes.
The Braves have the bullpen depth. They don’t have the starting pitching depth. Max Fried is amazing, but Charlie Morton has taken a massive step back and Ian Anderson is a complete mess. Plus, depending on two rookies (Spencer Strider, Kyle Wright) to carry the rotation might not be the best Postseason strategy.
Odorizzi is not a dominant pitcher. But he’s a one-to-two fWAR guy who can provide consistent innings and give you a chance to win. He’ll depend on a mix of fastballs (four-seam, cutter, splitter) and try to hold off hard contact.
The results are mixed, but Odorizzi is exactly what Atlanta needs.
St. Louis Cardinals
Two hitters in baseball have smacked six home runs over the last two weeks. Those two are Ian Happ and Albert Pujols.
I have no idea what has gotten into Big Al. Maybe he knows this is the last few games of baseball he’ll play, and he’s turning on whatever 42-year-old burners he has left. Or he’s just mashing left-handed pitching.
Either way, he’s putting together something special:
Albert Pujols is slugging 1.300 over his last 10 games.
It’s his highest SLG in a 10 game span in his entire career.
— Jeremy Frank (@MLBRandomStats) August 23, 2022
But lost in that storyline is Paul Goldschmidt, who has hit five home runs over the last 14 days. Goldschmidt is worth a look every night in the prop market, whether it’s hits, doubles, RBIs, total bases, or home runs.
Since his OPS dropped below 1.000 on July 15th, Goldschmidt is slashing .362/.433/.776 for a whopping 1.209 OPS. It’s been a masterclass in hitting from a guy who’s going to turn 35 in less than three weeks.
Either way, the Cardinals are putting together a run of offensive dominance that’s catapulted them into a six-game lead in the NL Central. Plus, adding Jordan Montgomery to the rotation has been more than a plus.
The pitching rotation is still anchored around this guy, however.
Starting pitcher: Adam Wainwright (RHP)
Uncle Charlie might never stop pitching. He’s eaten up over 155 innings across 25 starts this season, being the lynchpin for a Cardinals lineup that hasn’t been overwhelming.
Waino is due for plenty of regression. He pairs his 3.11 ERA with a 4.18 xERA. But he doesn’t work in the same way as he used to, and his statistics should be read differently as a result.
Wainwright will not try and miss bats. But, he throws his curveball about a third of the time with one of the highest spin rates in the league. He uses that pitch to either force weak contact or back-door a called strike.
He’s been effective at doing both those things.
Adam Wainwright, Pretty 75mph Curveball. 🌈 pic.twitter.com/Z3zdvn5Rbt
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 28, 2022
His batted-ball statistics aren’t great, but Wainwright is such an experienced and clutch pitcher, I actually don’t expect too much regression.
But if that regression comes, the Cardinals could be in trouble come Octboer.
The Braves may be 4-1 against St. Louis this season, but they have yet to face a Redbirds offense this hot with their ace on the mound.
The Cardinals are too hot right now, and the line is moving their way for a reason. After opening at -120, Cardinals ML is up to -130 at most sportsbooks.
I trust the line movement, I trust the Cardinals offense, and I trust Adam Wainwright. I also found a stranded -120 price for the Cardinals ML at Caesars, which I bet immediately and will look to bet until around -128.
Pick: St. Louis Cardinals ML (-120 at Caesars Sportsbook) | Play to -128