MLB Odds, Picks and Predictions: Yankees vs. Braves Game 2 (Wednesday, Aug. 26)

Credit:

Carmen Mandato/Getty Images. Pictured: Dansby Swanson

New York Yankees vs. Atlanta Braves Betting Odds

Yankees Odds +116 [Bet Now]
Braves Odds -136 [Bet Now]
Over/Under 6.5 (-103/-120) [Bet Now]
First Pitch 7:10 p.m. ET

Odds as of Wednesday at 2:30 p.m. ET and via DraftKings. Get up to a $1,000 sign-up bonus at DraftKings today or see more offers and reviews for the best online sportsbooks.


It’s been an extended break for both the Yankees and Braves. The Yankees haven’t played a baseball game in six days while it’s been three days for the Braves.

For the Yankees, their entire three-game Subway Series was postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak in the Mets clubhouse, followed by a scheduled day off on Monday and a rain-out in the opening game with Atlanta yesterday. As for the Braves, they last played on Sunday and also had a scheduled day off on Monday before the rainout.

This season, teams that have had extended layoffs have come out the gates swinging: the Marlins won five-straight after a nine-day layoff, the Cardinals won their first two games after an 18 day lay-off, and even the Pirates who had just one win in their last 11 games won in their first game back, scoring nine runs in the first two innings.

There is, of course, one outlier in any data set, and it almost fittingly is my beloved Mets, who returned after a four-day layoff and couldn’t scratch a run in 14 innings of baseball against the Miami Marlins. Now, I don’t expect either the Yankees or the Braves to replicate the Mets performance. I’m just not sure which side to turn to given that both teams are coming off an extended break.

This leaves an opening to try something different for once: a prop bet. And I’m finding value on one in the second game of tonight’s doubleheader.

New York Yankees

It’s been an uneventful 2020 restart for Masahiro Tanaka thus far. Who can forget in early July when Tanaka was hit in the head by a line drive off the bat of his teammate Giancarlo Stanton? Why they weren’t using a screen during live BP is beyond me.

Tanaka didn’t make his debut until about a week after the season started, and he went 2.2 innings against the Red Sox while on a 50-pitch limit.

In his three starts since, he appears to still be on a restriction as he hasn’t thrown over 71 pitches in any of them. He’s gone five innings in only one of those starts and his record sits at 0-1 with a 4.60 ERA.

I’m starting to wonder if there’s something else that’s wrong with Tanaka and maybe the Yankees just aren’t sharing it at this time.

Based on what I’ve seen thus far, I won’t be running to the window to back the Japanese hurler just yet.

Atlanta Braves

Tanaka will be opposed by Braves left-hander, Max Fried, who is off to a flying start this season. Fried is 4-0 on the year with a 1.32 ERA and 0.97 WHIP and Atlanta is a perfect 6-0 in each one of his starts.

Fried went 17-6 last year so I guess this start to the season is just par for the course. In 30 starts last season, Fried closed as an underdog four times while this season he’s closed as the favorite each time.

Despite his stellar start I was still surprised to see him as a favorite over the big, bad Yankees.

DraftKings currently has Fried and the Braves as -136 favorites, and as much as I hate the Yankees I still think that’s a bit disrespectful to the them. But fading Fried who’s been nothing short of perfect this season would be like betting into Phil Ivey at the final table of the World Series of Poker on a paired board and he’s got your stack covered 3:1.

I already mentioned how Tanaka is still a question mark for me so I’m close to running out of outs here.

Betting Analysis

I haven’t been that thrilled with these seven-inning games but I understand why the MLB has to do it. The reality is that we don’t have a representative sample set of data for these games and it just feels like it affects too many elements of the game. As a result, I generally would look to pass on this game, but when life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, and that’s what I plan to do in this spot, particularly since I can’t decide between either side.

I’m doing something I rarely do which is to take a player prop. I like Dansby Swanson to be able to get at least a hit in the ballgame.

Swanson is 1 for 3 in three at-bats against Tanaka and he’s hit safely in each of his last nine games.

What I like even more is that Swanson generally bats second for the Braves. He should get pitches to hit because he’s got a perennial All-Star in Freddie Freeman behind him.

DraftKings is offering his prop to get a hit at -118. This is an entertaining prop, and if it goes well, it could be something that I add to my toolkit moving forward.

The PICK: Dansby Swanson Hit Total over 0.5 -118 (play up to -125)

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