Giants vs. Braves Odds, Preview & Prediction: Value on San Francisco as Underdogs (Friday, August 27)
Michael Owens/Getty Images. Pictured: Kevin Gausman.
- The San Francisco Giants take on the Atlanta Braves in MLB action on Friday night.
- Both teams have caught fire recently, but only San Francisco has done it all season, according to Tanner McGrath.
- Check out McGrath's full betting preview complete with updated odds and a pick below.
Giants vs. Braves Odds
|Time||7:20 p.m. ET|
When San Fransisco and Atlanta square off Friday evening, it'll be a matchup between two of the hottest teams in baseball.
However, the Giants have been that team all season long, while the Braves have only recently started playing to their full potential.
Either way, the Braves and Giants find themselves atop their respective divisions, although Atlanta is just 10 games over .500, while the Giants are 40.
But even though the Giants have been playing better baseball all season and are 8-2 over their last 10 games, the Braves are still short home favorites in this one.
Does Atlanta deserve that respect yet? Let's dig into the best bet for this game.
Giants Showing Their Depth
The Dodgers have added Max Scherzer and Trea Turner to one of the best rosters in baseball. They've recently ripped off nine straight wins, are 18-4 in August and 22-8 over their last 30.
Yet, the Giants have gone punch-for-punch with the defending World Series champions and are holding steady in the NL West with a 2.5 game lead. They're even working on a five-game win streak right now.
It almost doesn't make sense. Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, and Evan Longoria are all banged up right now, but the Giants have considerable depth in LaMonte Wade Jr. and Darin Ruf.
Meanwhile, today's starter, Kevin Gausman, has been in a downward spiral as of late, but the rest of the staff has picked up the slack as the Giants boast the second-lowest FIP in August (3.10) as a result.
Starting pitcher: Kevin Gausman (RHP)
I'm a little worried about what's happening with the Cy Young candidate. Gausman posted a 5.11 ERA and a 1.54 WHIP in July, while the Giants went 2-3 in his five starts that month.
Gausman has followed it up with a much more solid month of August, and the Giants have won all four of his starts this month. However, he only managed 3.2 innings in his last outing against Oakland, and he allowed three runs over five innings to the spiraling Mets.
While his splitter has remained quite consistent — and one of the best pitches in baseball — it seems like he had some trouble with his four-seam during July.
He needs to be spot on with this pitch for his four-seam and splitter combo to be effective. It seems like he's somewhat corrected the issue, although his 3.20 ERA in August is still much higher than his 2.47 this season.
Can Braves Keep Up Hot Streak?
When everyone in the world decided to hop on the Phillies bandwagon, the Braves arrived and shocked the world.
The Braves are 21-9 over their last 30 games and have opened up a whopping 5.5-game lead in the NL East. Barring a catastrophic September, Atlanta may have locked the division up.
Although Freddie Freeman has begun to heat up again (batting .329 with a .925 OPS in August), it's the pitching that has really come around for the Braves.
Guys like Charlie Morton and Max Fried (today's starter) have started to heat up, while Kyle Muller has shown promise as a young arm and Drew Smyly has eaten up enough innings. As a result, the Braves pitching staff has the fourth-lowest FIP this month (3.57) and the lowest xFIP (3.57).
What's even scarier: The Braves are inserting Huascar Ynoa and Ian Anderson back into the rotation. That creates a four-man rotation that can go toe-to-toe with most staffs in the majors.
That's why I actually think the Braves are worth a small World Series bet at +1100. Without Ronald Acuña Jr., the lineup is rallying around Freeman and Albies, and the pitching staff should be good enough to win games in October.
Starting Pitcher: Max Fried (LHP)
As mentioned, Fried is really starting to heat up.
He's made four starts this month and picked up four wins. He's pitched a whopping 27 innings this month, including three starts of six innings even and a complete game in his last outing.
Meanwhile, he's allowed just two earned runs and 20 hits in the process. Plus, he's posted a 23-to-2 strikeout-to-walk ratio during the month.
It's worth mentioning he's tossed against the Cardinals, Orioles and Nationals (twice) during this month, but I don't think that's all bad. Baltimore has been an effective left-handed hitting offense all season, while St. Louis and Washington have both posted a top 12 wRC+ against that side in August.
This game is going to be an absolute treat.
However, I think you have to give the benefit of the doubt to the team that's done it all season. I'm backing Gausman and the Giants in this spot, as San Francisco has been the second most profitable underdog team in MLB this season:
Moreover, the Giants have been hitting lefties well recently, posting the sixth-highest wRC+ vs. that side in August (114). And, they've hit fastballs well all season, posting the third-highest weighted fastball runs created in MLB (50.9).
Considering Fried is a fastball-heavy lefty, he should be scared of this lineup today — even if the Giants are a little banged up.
Gausman hasn't been his immaculate self lately, but he's always performed on the road. Aces are stoppers, and when the Giants have needed a clutch road performance, Gausman has come through. He's posted a 1.70 ERA and a 1.01 WHIP in road starts this season, and that includes away outings against the Mariners, Reds, Padres (twice) and Dodgers (three times).
While the Braves bats have tended to heat up at home, that hasn't been the case recently. Against righties at Truist Park this month, the Braves have posted the sixth-lowest OPS (.611) and the fifth-lowest wRC+ (63) in MLB.
So, look for the Giants lineup to attack Fried and for Gausman to have a big bounce-back start today. I'm willing to bet the Giants at plus-money every day and twice on Sundays.
Pick: Giants ML (+105 | Play to +100)