Braves vs. Pirates Odds, Picks: Betting Value on Over/Under
Via Todd Kirkland/Getty Images. Pictured: Ronald Acuna Jr. #13 of the Atlanta Braves races to third base during the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Truist Park on July 31, 2023 in Atlanta, Georgia.
Braves vs. Pirates Odds
The Pittsburgh Pirates have given the Atlanta Braves all they can handle in this series. The Pirates rocked Spencer Strider in Game 1 on their way to an upset victory, and then they fought back late last night and almost stole another game. It all comes down to this afternoon's matchup, which has a good chance of looking like the first three games of this series.
Bryce Elder will get the ball for the Braves, and the regression monster finally got him in his last start. Elder was shelled for seven runs and couldn't make it out of the fifth inning. We'll dig deeper to see if he's in line to bounce back this afternoon.
The Pirates will counter with Bailey Falter, who made a great first impression in his first start for the Bucs. He allowed just one run over four innings of work against the division-leading Brewers. However, he's in for a much taller task today.
Let's dive in and uncover the best bet for this afternoon matinee.
We know by now that the Atlanta Braves are the most fearsome lineup in baseball. They lead the majors in xBA as they make consistent loud contact. To put it in perspective, their team Barrel Rate is 2% higher than the next team, their Hard-hit Rate is 4% higher, and they are 25 points higher than the second-best team in xwOBACON.
Bailey Falter will have to contend with this lineup on Thursday. As I mentioned in the open, he impressed in his first start since coming over from Philly, but he profiles as someone who could be in trouble against this Braves lineup.
Falter is a fly-ball pitcher who has not been missing bats at all this season. His 15.6 Strikeout Rate sits in the seventh percentile of all qualified pitchers. He's going to give up a great deal of contact, and with the way the Braves can swing it, it is bound to impact the scoreboard.
However, the scoring may not stop once Falter departs as the Pirates' pen is 21st in bullpen ERA. Their pen is also due for a bit of regression, as their collective FIP is a tad higher than their ERA.
The Pirates' lineup has surprisingly exploded in this series, as they've scored five or more runs in each game. While their issue has been that they've also allowed more than five runs in each game, the bats coming to life is a nice sight to see.
Pittsburgh doesn't have a lineup that will typically strike fear in any team, but the Pirates have eight guys with above-average Hard-Hit Rates and will have another opportunity to do damage this afternoon.
We went over how regression finally hit Bryce Elder in his last start. Well, I have good news because the regression is coming again today. Elder's xERA is over a full run higher than his season ERA, and while he can typically outperform expected stats as a sinkerballer, his mistakes are beginning to catch up with him.
Braves vs. Pirates
Betting Pick & Prediction
We have seen loads of offense in this series, and there are no signs of it stopping in this finale. The conditions at PNC Park will be prime for scoring, as it will be humid and the wind will be blowing out toward left-center field.
Each lineup should have few issues using the elements to their advantage, as the starters in this matchup are bound for trouble. Consequently, take the over and enjoy the fireworks this Thursday afternoon.