Giants vs Braves Prediction Today | MLB Odds, Picks for Friday, August 18
Eric Espada/Getty Images. Pictured: Matt Olson
Giants vs. Braves Odds
Alex Cobb will look to snap out of a dreadful run of results Friday versus a red-hot Braves offense (3.63 ERA, 121 and 2/3 IP). To make matters worse, he will take on one of the league's best in Spencer Strider, who has pitched to a surprisingly modest 4.16 ERA at home this season.
The Braves are priced at -225 to build upon their record of 40-20 at Truist Park tonight.
In 32 innings of work since returning from the All-Star Game, Alex Cobb has struggled mightily to a 5.63 ERA and 1.47 WHIP. His xwOBA has taken a considerable downswing over his last 100 batters faced. His K% has trended downward over the last seven outings, while his xFIP has been on the rise.
On the season Cobb now owns an xERA of 4.68 and an xFIP of 3.43. He has pitched to a Stuff+ rating of 92 with a Location+ of 101.
Left-handed batters have hit .285 versus Cobb this season, with an OBP of .356. He has also been drastically worse away from the pitcher-friendly confines of Oracle Park, as he has allowed a 4.96 ERA on the road with a WHIP of 1.56. He finished last season with an ERA of 5.20 on the road, which was more than two runs greater than his mark at home.
Atlanta will look at home Friday to build on one of the more impressive offensive seasons in recent history. The Braves have put up a wRC+ of 137 over the last 30 days and a wRC+ of 125 at home this season. Their 5.85 runs per game currently paces the league.
Matt Olson's push for 60 home runs has become an interesting part of the story, and his stellar second half has him loosely in the MVP conversation. In 138 PA's since the All-Star break, Olson owns a ridiculous 1.225 OPS while slugging .761.
Highest xwOBA – Last 2 Weeks
Ty France: 0.527 xwOBA
Bryce Harper: 0.485 xwOBA
Corey Seager: 0.484 xwOBA
Wander Franco: 0.484 xwOBA
Max Kepler: 0.481 xwOBA
Stone Garrett: 0.475 xwOBA
Matt Olson: 0.444 xwOBA
Aaron Judge: 0.436 xwOBA
Kyle Tucker: 0.436 xwOBA
— Jon Anderson (@JonPgh) August 18, 2023
Olson's expected rates have remained excellent over the last two weeks of baseball, and his actual OBP of of .492 during that time is the best in baseball.
He has hit to significantly better splits versus right-handed pitching, and Alex Cobb could be a particularly strong target for Olson to hit well. Olson has slugged .632 versus righties this season, with an OPS of 1.037, which are the best marks in baseball.
Olson has a hard-hit rate of 69% versus any variety of fastball from right-handed pitchers this season, which is also the best mark in MLB. He's hit to a .547 xSLG versus off-speed pitches, and Cobb has thrown the changeup 39% of the time since last season.
Giants vs. Braves
Betting Pick & Prediction
The Braves' offense continues to work at a level beyond any other side in the league, and there are numerous candidates to do some damage against Cobb and the Giants at home.
A matchup versus a middling right-handed pitcher in Cobb is ideal for Matt Olson to continue his recent dominance. He is priced at +100 to record over 1.5 total bases, and I think there is value with the square play here. Cobb does not walk a lot of batters, and Olson should be well insulated as always.