Braves vs Red Sox Odds, Prediction: The Player Prop to Bet

Braves vs Red Sox Odds, Prediction: The Player Prop to Bet article feature image

Brandon Sloter/Image Of Sport/Getty Images. Pictured: Spencer Strider

Braves vs Red Sox Odds

Wednesday, July 26
7:10 p.m. ET
Braves Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-110 / -110
Red Sox Odds
MoneylineTotalRun Line
-110 / -110
Odds via bet365. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.
Check out our MLB Betting Hub for more previews from today's slate.

The Braves have the best record in all of baseball, but they have hit a rough patch post All-Star break with just four wins in their last 10 games.

There's no real threat to their division title or the top seed in the National League playoffs, but Atlanta lost series to the White Sox and Diamondbacks and might lose this one in Boston.

Spencer Strider takes the ball for the third time in the second half of the season after an inconsistent two starts by his own standards. He's opposed by Brayan Bello, fresh off his worst start of the season when he allowed six runs in four innings against Oakland last Wednesday.

The warm temperatures and wind blowing out to right field on Wednesday contribute to the total sitting at 10 at FanDuel and between 9.5 and 10 at other sportsbooks, despite the good pitching matchup on paper.

As dominant as Strider has been with the strikeouts, he's been hit hard and given up plenty of barrels this season.

Atlanta Braves

Strider had a legitimate drop in his velocity in June that led to a few subpar starts against the Diamondbacks, Mets and Tigers. He had four walks against Arizona, allowed eight runs to New York and then five to Detroit.

There were questions about whether or not Strider was potentially battling an injury or if the issue was mechanical. Whatever it was, Strider's velocity returned back to peak form by his start in Philadelphia in late June and it has remained back at 2022 and early 2023 levels.

It's impossible to ignore the aggregates with Strider in a large sample now. Among qualified starters, Strider has a 32.4% K-BB%, which is first by a full 5.4% over Kevin Gausman. Strider's Stuff+ is top five among starters and he has the lowest rest-of-season ERA projection by The BAT and other projection models.

You can nitpick Strider, but his 3.78 ERA is much higher than his 3.05 xERA and 2.88 FIP.

Atlanta had Monday off and lost in a blowout on Tuesday, which also means that the bullpen's top arms should all be well rested. Six or seven innings of Strider followed by some combination of a well-rested Raisel Iglesias, Nick Anderson and Kirby Yates is the best group of pitchers you'll find for any Braves game this season

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Boston Red Sox

I wrote about Bello in my piece that highlighted pitchers to look to bet on in the second half of the season.

The homers have returned for Bello in the two-game sample post All-Star break, but there's nothing in the underlying stuff to cause much concern. He allowed three runs in six innings against the Cubs but didn't walk any batters, and he then allowed three homers to Oakland last week.

Bello's improved command has been the key driver of his success in 2023, and his underlying stuff is still excellent despite the mediocre strikeout rates.

He's maintained the same swinging strike rate from last year, but he's improved his first-pitch strike rate by 2% and his zone rate by 2.6%. That's led to him pitching from ahead a lot more often and enabled him to generate more weak contact from chasing hitters. He cut the walk rate from 10.1% last year to 6.1% this season.

The BAT is quite bearish on his rest-of-season outlook with a 4.80 ERA, but it's much different from the consensus of the other projection systems that have him around a 4.10 ERA.

Braves vs Red Sox Betting Pick

If the market moves the total back to 10 at -115 or better, I'd bet the under with Strider and Bello, even despite the favorable weather for offense on Wednesday.

I think the moneyline price and total is mostly right at the current moment, but I do see value in Strider going under his strikeout total. The heart of Boston's lineup is really difficult to strike out, as The BAT X projects Rafael Devers, Justin Turner, Masataka Yoshida and Alex Verdugo for strikeout rates below 18.5% for the rest of the season.

Strider will have some plus matchups in this lineup — Connor Wong and Adam Duvall, especially — but he may only see Wong twice depending on how the game progresses.

The main difference between me and the market is that both Jarren Duran and Triston Casas have improved their strikeout rates as the season progressed and I'm more bullish on them rest of season. As dominant as Strider is, you're selling at the peak of his market value after he's gone over 8.5 in the last six starts.

The Red Sox are top five in swinging-strike rate and top five in zone-contact rate. In my view, they'll put enough in play to keep Strider under 8.5 strikeouts more often than not.

Pick: Spencer Strider Under 8.5 Strikeouts (-115)

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