Monday MLB Odds, Picks, Predictions for Cardinals vs. Braves: Kyle Wright Gives Atlanta the Pitching Edge (July 4)
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images. Pictured: Kyle Wright
- The Braves are strong home favorites in tonight's game against the Cardinals.
- Atlanta will send Kyle Wright to the mound, while St. Louis will counter with Dakota Hudson.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of this matchup, including a betting pick.
Cardinals vs. Braves Odds
|Over/Under||9.5 (+100 / -120)|
|Time||7:20 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.|
Two playoff hopefuls will begin an important, four-game set at Truist Park on Monday, as the Atlanta Braves host the St. Louis Cardinals in what should be an excellent Independence Day showdown.
Vanderbilt product Kyle Wright will draw the start for the Braves, and he is in the midst of a career year with a 9-4 record and 3.03 ERA in 92 innings.
The Cardinals will have Dakota Hudson on the mound, who contrarily has regressed significantly this season to an ERA of 3.83 in 80 innings.
Is Atlanta worthy of being a heavy favorite at -170 against a strong Cardinals side?
Cardinals' Hudson on Shaky Ground
Hudson's ERA is solid, but it appears his surface-level stats could turn out even worse before the season ends.
Hudson owns an xERA of 4.90, and has seen opponents xWOBA rise significantly over the last 250 PAs.
Over Hudson's last four starts, he has allowed an ERA of 6.75, with an alarmingly high WHIP of 1.73.
Hudson has walked 36 batters this season, which is tied for the third-highest mark this season. Combine that with a lot of hard contact, and it's not overly surprising that teams have broken through with a heavier offensive outputs of late from Hudson.
Hudson has also fared significantly worse on the road this season, with an ERA of 4.57 with a WHIP of 1.45.
St. Louis has also been the league's 12th-most-potent team against right-handed pitching this season, with a 112 wRC+ and .314 wOB.
The Cardinals have struggled to a 23rd-worst run value of -3.7 against the curveball this season, which could be a concern heading into a matchup against Wright.
Braves' Offense Has Been On Fire
Part of Wright's development this season has been due to how effective his curveball has been, which he has thrown 31% of the time to a spectacular QOPA of 5.01. He has used it to generate 43 of his 96 strikeouts and it has been a big part of his 25.7 % K-rate.
Opponents own a 55% ground ball rate against Wright's curve and slider, and altogether he has held opponents to a very solid xERA of 3.47 this season.
Atlanta has hit to a 126 wRC+ with a .349 wOBA over the last month, and has the best barrel rate in the league over that span at 13.3%, with a top-ranked slug-rate of .500.
With the Braves playing against an opponent as formidable as the Cardinals, a price of -170 might not look so here, but Wright is surely offering a significant pitching edge over Dakota Hudson and is backed by what has been a red-hot Braves lineup.
In particular, I like the way the Braves match up offensively against Hudson, and I feel backing the Braves on the run line to win the first five innings at -130 is a very solid play, and would back that down to -140.
This line is a loser on a push so we get a little more value, as opposed to the regular five innings line which sits at -170 and would play to a similar EV should you prefer that option.
Although it's not the type of trend I would typically put blind faith in, favorites have gone 42-15 with a 24% ROI on July 4 since 2016. Perhaps that trend is due to larger, more raucous home crowds being at the ballpark, or possibly the number has been simply randomness throughout a small sample, but it's an interesting note for today's games nonetheless.
Pick: Atlanta Braves -0.5 First 5 Innings -130 (Play to -140)