MLB Odds, Picks and Predictions: Atlanta Braves vs. Baltimore Orioles (Monday, Sept. 14)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images. Pictured: Jorge Lopez.
Braves vs. Orioles Odds
|Braves Odds||-165 [Bet Now]|
|Orioles Odds||+140 [Bet Now]|
|Over/Under||10.5 (-114/-107) [Bet Now]|
|First Pitch||7:35 p.m. ET|
The Atlanta Braves will look to remain red hot as they head to Baltimore to take on Jorge Lopez and Orioles. Atlanta took three of four from the defending champion Washington Nationals over the weekend and now has a four-game lead atop the National League East. Meanwhile, Baltimore is surprisingly in the American League playoff race, only 4.5 games out of eighth place, so the team needs to go on a run soon to have a shot at making the playoffs.
Advanced Stats Glossary
FIP or Fielding Independent Pitching measures what a pitcher’s ERA would look like if the pitcher experienced league-average defense and luck. xFIP is a regressed version of FIP that adjusts or “normalizes’ the home run component based on park factors.
wRC+ or Weighted Runs Created Plus takes the statistic Runs Created and adjusts that number to account for critical external factors — like ballpark or era. It’s adjusted, so a wRC+ of 100 is league average, and 150 would be 50 percent above league average.
wOBA or Weighted On-Base Average is a catch-all hitting metric with more predictive value than on-base percentage. An average MLB hitter can be expected to post a .320 wOBA. xwOBA is a regressed version of wOBA that accounts for variables like park factors.
BaseRuns is a formula designed to estimate how many runs a team would be expected to score (or allow) given their underlying offensive (or defensive) performance. In other words, BaseRuns is a context-neutral run estimator used to evaluate teams. Major League average for an individual batter per game is 0.50 BaseRuns and a for a pitcher it’s 0.52 BaseRuns per inning.
Braves Projected Lineup
Atlanta’s offense has been on fire as of late, checking in with a .405 wOBA and 152 wRC+. Ronald Acuna, Freddie Freeman, and Marcell Ozuna have all been fantastic at the top of the team’s lineup this year. The trio has combined for 35 home runs and 107 RBIs, and each of them has a wOBA over .425.
The Braves have done most of their damage versus right-handed pitching this year (.366 wOBA), so they should have no trouble against a below-average righty like Jorge Lopez of the Orioles.
Orioles Probable Starter
Jorge Lopez, RHP
Projected Stats (ZIPS) (via Fangraphs)
Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)
Lopez has been floating between the bullpen and the starting rotation for the entire length of his career. He’s a below-average righty in this league (4.74 career xFIP), who mainly goes with a curveball-fastball combination. None of his pitches were really that effective last season, as he allowed a wOBA above .340 on all but his curveball.
Lopez was also terrible in his last start against the Mets, giving up five runs on six hits in only 4.2 innings of work. It’s hard to imagine he’ll be able to improve against the best offense in baseball.
The Orioles traded away their best two relievers at the trade deadline, and ever since then, things have gone downhill. Baltimore’s relievers now have 5.15 xFIP over the past two weeks, which is the fifth highest in MLB.
Projections and Pick
Although I see some value on the Braves moneyline, I do not trust their starting pitcher Touki Toussaint at that high of a price. Instead I am going to back Atlanta’s team total over 5.5 runs at -124 odds. I think the Braves will have no issues keeping their red-hot bats going against Lopez and the Orioles’ bullpen.
Pick: Braves Team Total Over 5.5 runs (-124)