MLB Betting Odds, Picks and Predictions (Tuesday, July 28): Braves vs. Rays

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Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images. Pictured: Dansby Swanson

Atlanta Braves vs. Tampa Bay Rays Odds & Picks

Braves Odds +120 [BET NOW]
Rays Odds -140 [BET NOW]
Over/Under 9 (+100/-121)
[BET NOW]
First Pitch 6:40 p.m. ET

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I love the beginning of baseball season, it’s overreaction city everywhere you look. Sunday night the Braves were the best team in baseball. Now they absolutely stink after giving up 12 runs to the Rays last night.

Let’s all just take a deep breath and remember, we are only four games into the season.

Braves Preview

Projected Lineup (via Fantasy Labs

Atlanta’s offense is starting to come alive after being shut down for the first seventeen innings of its season. The Sunday night game showed exactly why this team will be so dangerous come October. The Braves have one of the best lineups including the best 1- through 4-hitters in the National League.

Another interesting note is that Rick Porcello (who they shelled on Sunday night), is primarily a sinker ball pitcher, which just so happens to be Yonny Chirinos’ main pitch. We’ll see if facing Porcello’s sinker will have the Braves prepared for Tuesday night.

Braves Probable Starter

Kyle Wright, RHP

Projected Stats (ZIPS) (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Kyle Wright has pitched only 25.2 innings in the big leagues so far in his career, so take his pitch arsenal numbers with a grain of salt. Wright was the 5th overall pick in 2017 and has been highly touted by the Braves organization for the past few years. He doesn’t project out very well in his first full season with a FIP well over 4 and a BB/9 of 3.75.

Since he’s a young prospect, I went to the film room to see why he’s so highly touted. Wright’s best two pitches are clearly his fastball and slider because his changeup and sinker don’t have a lot of movement. His fastball has good velocity, sitting around 96-98 mph, but it’s straight as an arrow.

His slider is pretty sick though, with good late-breaking action and good velocity, so it can be disguised well with his fastball. If he sticks to his fastball/slider combination and gradually works in his other pitches, I think he can have a successful first full season in the show.

 

Rays Preview

Projected Lineup (via Fantasy Labs

The Rays may have the best starting pitching staff and bullpen in the AL, but their offense stinks out loud! Going through their lineup, there is not one guy that an opposing pitcher should be scared of.

In their first series of the season, the Rays were solid offensively, plating 14 runs on 18 hits against the Blue Jays. But over the course of last season the Rays were in the bottom half of MLB against fastballs and sliders, so Kyle Wright may be a struggle for their lineup.

Rays Projected Starter 

Yonny Chirinos, RHP

Projected Stats (ZIPS) (via Fangraphs)

Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)

Yonny Chirinos primarily uses a sinker/split-finger combination. His sinker is fine, yielding a .332 wOBA and a 13.1% whiff rate on it in 2019. His split-finger is absolutely nasty and is almost untouchable. In 2019, he produced a 42.1% whiff rate in 2019.

However, the Braves were eighth in the majors last season against sinkers and splitters. They also just tagged Rick Porcello on Sunday night, who is predominantly a sinker ball guy. I think Chirinos is going to have a tough time navigating Atlanta’s lineup.

Braves and Rays Bullpens

Despite giving up 14 runs last night, the Braves used only three of their bullpen guys. So their main horses in the pen should be ready to go for this game. But as you can see the Rays rate out as one of the best bullpens in baseball and have the clear advantage in this matchup.

Projections and Pick

I think the Rays are wildly overpriced in this game. I understand that Chirinos and Rays bullpen rate out better than Wright and the Braves bullpen. But, the Braves offense is significantly better than the Rays’.

So, I am going to back the Braves on the road at +120 and I would play them all the way up to -108.

Pick: Braves +120

[Bet now at PointsBet and Win $100 if the Braves get at least one hit]

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