Braves vs. Pirates Updated MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Expect Offensive Fireworks From Atlanta

Braves vs. Pirates Updated MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions: Expect Offensive Fireworks From Atlanta article feature image

Photo by Adam Hagy/Getty Images. Pictured: Vaughn Grissom, Michael Harris II (Braves)

  • The Braves and Pirates wrap up their three-game set on Wednesday afternoon.
  • Atlanta sends Kyle Wright to the hill while Pittsburgh will counter with Mitch Keller.
  • D.J. James breaks down the matchup and explains what bet he's targeting.

Braves vs. Pirates Odds

Braves Odds-240
Pirates Odds+194
Over/Under8.5 (-106 / -114)
Time12:35 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The Pittsburgh Pirates will play host to the Atlanta Braves in a pitching duel between Mitch Keller and Kyle Wright.

Keller has been just fine for the Pirates. He has somewhat stabilized — as his advanced metrics had predicted earlier this season — but that is about it. He still owns a below average Exit Velocity and Hard Hit Rate.

This does not bode well going up against a torrid hitting team like the Braves, who own the sixth-best wRC+ (115) off of right-handers in the month of August.

Unfortunately for the Braves, Wright has had more average outings in the second half of this season. He has a 3.82 ERA since the All-Star break, which is still solid, but is a fall from grace considering his first-half ERA was sub-3.00.

The deal-breaker for backing the Braves in this game is Wright's 3.13 ERA overall against his 4.03 xERA. Wright is a lucky pitcher.

Instead of backing the significantly high moneyline, bettors should target the Atlanta offense for the team total over. The Braves should at least have a productive day at the dish.

Braves' Wright to Be Tested

Wright has a comparable Average Exit Velocity and Hard Hit Rate to Keller. He ranks in the 38th percentile in Exit Velocity and the 31st percentile in Hard Hit Rate. Keller ranks in the 38th percentile in both.

In contrast, and this is a testament to his stuff, Wright is above average in strikeout and walk rates.

Meanwhile, the Pirates carry a team 79 wRC+, which is abysmal. Roberto Pérez and Canaan Smith-Njigba are on the 60-day injured list, but the rest of this team has faltered at the plate.

They do have three batters with a .340+ xwOBA off of righties, though. This should at least give Wright a test at the top of the batting order. The Pirates have a few others hovering around .300, so the bottom of the order can piece together decent plate appearances here and there, as well.

The Braves have a bullpen 4.03 xFIP in August. This ranks 18th in baseball, so they will not hold a lead steadily all the time. A.J. Minter is the only active reliever with a sub-2.00 xFIP, so the rest of the ‘pen is not necessarily lockdown.

Can Pirates' Keller Keep Up With Opposing Lineup?

Keller has probably capped out on potential for the year. He walks 8.4% of batters and still posts a below average strikeout mark. His issue in this one: he will be facing one of the best lineups against righties in the National League.

Adam Duvall, Ozzie Albies, Manny Piña, Chadwick Tromp and Orlando Arcia are on the IL for Atlanta. That said, the Braves have four batters above a .385 xwOBA in August off of righties.

This means that Keller will have to face hitters who are well above average for almost half of his outing.

The Braves have four other hitters above .300. This should be more than enough artillery to throw at Keller in this matchup.

Building off of that, the Pirates have by far the worst bullpen xFIP in August (4.95). Manny Bañuelos and Cam Vieaux are their most formidable options, but the unit falls off immensely from there.

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Braves-Pirates Pick

The Braves are the better of these two teams by a landslide, but their opening -220 moneyline is too steep to back.

They can hit the ball, especially with a righty on the mound. Thus, expect them to eclipse their team total of 5 (-105), and play it to 5.5 (-125).

The Braves will score early, late and often.

Pick: Atlanta Braves o5 (-105) | Play to 5.5 (-125)

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