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MLB Odds & Picks For Braves vs. Diamondbacks: Will Atlanta’s Offense Show Up?

MLB Odds & Picks For Braves vs. Diamondbacks: Will Atlanta’s Offense Show Up? article feature image
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Brett Davis/Getty Images. Pictured: Matt Olson

  • The Braves are significant road favorites tonight against the Diamondbacks.
  • Charlie Morton takes the mound for Atlanta, and he'll be opposed by Humberto Castellanos.
  • Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.

Braves vs. Diamondbacks Odds

Braves Odds -160
Diamondbacks Odds +140
Over/Under 9.5
Time 9:40 p.m. ET
TV MLB.TV
Odds via Caesars. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The Atlanta Braves’ slow start to their World Series defense continued Monday, as they fell in the series opener against the Diamondbacks, 6-2. At 23-26, the Braves actually have a worse record than their hosts in Arizona entering this content.

One of several concerns for the Braves has been the early play of Charlie Morton, who has struggled to an ERA of 5.28 this season. Morton will be opposed by Humberto Castellanos, who owns a 3-2 record and 5.22 ERA.

Are the Braves still worthy of a -155 price tag based upon the early struggles of Morton and the team as a whole?

Braves’ Bats Looking To Wake Up

Morton’s has struggled altogether this season to an xERA of 4.90, and it’s starting to feel like the 38-year-old’s best days are behind him.

However, he has trended upwards of late, with a 3.48 ERA over his last four outings, and his xWOBA has trended downwards considerably over the last 100 PAs.

Morton’s QOPA remains solid at 4.50, including a 4.77 average on his curveball. The D’backs have been the 27th-least productive team in the league against the curveball, with a -6.4 pitch value.

Atlanta may be underachieving its lofty expectations based upon last season, but the Braves still hold a 10th-best slugging percentage in the league, and its sixth-best xSLG rate of .471 actually suggests the lineup could be even more productive moving forward.

The Braves’ xWOBA of .338 is also 10th and another positive note toward this batting order performing better going forward. So while Atlanta has produced more runs than just four teams in the National League so far, it is reasonable to think that this batting order is due to find better results.

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Diamondbacks Due For Regression Against Righties

One of the four teams which Atlanta has outperformed with regards to run production has been the D’backs, and Arizona does not appear likely for much of an uptick.

Against right-handed pitching, the Diamondbacks have managed solid marks, as evidenced by a  98 wRC+ and a .312 wOBA.

However, all of the Diamondbacks’ expected rates suggest regression to their overall success at the plate is coming, including a fifth-worst xSLG rate of .409, as well as a fifth-worst xWOBA of .315.

Castellanos may be one of the most direct benefactors of that offensive overachievement, as despite a 5.22 ERA he has managed a 3-2 record.

Castellanos has pitched to an xERA of 4.50 altogether this season; however, his xWOBA has trended upward significantly over the last 100 PAs.

Braves-Diamondbacks Pick:

I can see the arguments as to why -155 for the Braves may seem a little juiced considering Atlanta’s early play. However, at some point I think factoring in what you actually expect to happen is very reasonable, and I think the Braves are going to break through with a big performance Tuesday.

Atlanta is offering several indications that better results are coming at the plate, even if the lineup is offering some easy outs for the time being.

Contrarily, the Diamondbacks have overachieved their expected marks offensively, and are sitting about five spots higher than expected in most major batting categories.

The Diamondbacks’ greatest success at the plate  has come from roasting the fastball, but they have struggled mightily against breaking stuff, in particular the curveball, which could help Morton today.

The over and Braves team totals look like a reasonable plays, but I’m going to make a scary decision and put some faith in Morton to find a solid start today and back the Braves run line at -105, which I would play down to -115.

Pick: Atlanta Braves -1.5 -105 (Play to -115)

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