MLB Odds & Picks for Red Sox vs. Braves: How to Bet Tuesday’s Battle of Budding Starters

MLB Odds & Picks for Red Sox vs. Braves: How to Bet Tuesday’s Battle of Budding Starters article feature image

Jim Davis/The Boston Globe via Getty Images. Pictured: Christian Vazquez (left) and Garrett Whitlock (right).

  • The Boston Red Sox take on the Atlanta Braves in Tuesday night MLB action.
  • Both teams will send budding starters to the mound, as Boston sends Garrett Whitlock while Atlanta counters with Kyle Wright.
  • Doug Ziefel breaks down which starter has the advantage with his top betting pick below.

Red Sox vs. Braves Odds

Red Sox Odds+124
Braves Odds-146
Over/Under7.5 (-102 / -120)
Time7:20 p.m. ET
Odds via FanDuel. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds here.

The Battle of Boston is renewed.

Up until 1952, Boston had two teams — the Braves and Red Sox. The Boston Braves were very successful, although it was more toward the early part of the 20th century as the popularity of Ted Williams made Boston a Red Sox city.

After that, the Braves would move to Milwaukee and then Atlanta, which brings us all the way to this matchup.

We're in for a treat as two young budding starters will be toeing the slab. Garrett Whitlock will make his fourth start of the year for the Red Sox, once again showing his ability to swing back and forth from the bullpen to the rotation.

Whitlock will be opposed by Kyle Wright, who appears to be in the midst of a breakout season. Wright has looked better than ever in his first five starts this season, but can he overcome the Braves' struggling offense one more time?

Red Sox Lefties to Give Wright Trouble

It's hard to find any fundamental weakness in Wright's game right now. His stuff is on another level, and his mistakes are few and far between. However, if you look at his career numbers, you'll see the area — or in this case, a particular opponent — in which he'll regress.

Wright has struggled mightily in his career against left-handed hitters. Yes, he's done a tremendous job against them this season, holding them to just a .164 BAA. But even with that factored in, lefties are still hitting .271 against him overall.

The Red Sox have two lefties in particular who could be trouble for Wright.

The first man is Rafael Devers. Devers has been hitting everything in sight this season. He'll enter tonight's game in the top 10% of the league in average exit velocity and hard-hit rate.

Alex Verdugo is the other half of Boston's left-handed one-two punch. Verdugo is a very different type of hitter than Devers, as the pop really isn't there, but his .212 average is bound to come up given what we know about him.

First off, Verdugo is a career .283 hitter with a career .773 OPS. He's also making a ton of contact, sitting in the top 5% of the league in strikeout and whiff rate.

In addition, the quality of his contact has been good for the most part. That combination of quantity and quality has put him in the top 25% of the league in expected batting average and expected slugging percentage.

Look for Verdugo and Devers to carry the offense tonight.

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Braves Bats Won't Threaten Whitlock

The defending World Series champions have not gotten off to the best of starts on their quest to defend their title.

Atlanta will enter this contest under .500, and it's in large part due to its offense. When you look at the names in the lineup, it's surprising. However, the Braves haven't been able to put it all together quite yet, and now they'll be up against a tough righty in Whitlock.

Let's give Whitlock his credit because he's shown a ton of potential thus far. He enters this start with a 1.25 ERA, 12.09 K/9 and .143 BAA. This may be just his fourth start of the season, but he proved in his last outing that he can be a capable starter as he tossed five dominant innings against the Angels.

He also has an advantage against this underperforming Braves lineup. As a whole, the Atlanta is hitting just .226, which is good for 21st in the majors.

Although, when diving deeper, it's apparent Austin Riley and Matt Olson have carried this offense. They've both been hitting exceedingly well, but if the Braves want to get going, they'll need contributions from players like Ozzie Albies and Adam Duvall to complement the middle of their order.

However, even Riley and Olson have concerns around them. Strikeouts are an issue for both. Riley is currently sporting a 26.3% strikeout rate, and Olson — while he's cut down on them — has a career strikeout rate that is 4% higher than his current one.

With how good Whitlock's stuff has been of late, he's one of the last guys the Braves want to see right now. He should keep them very quiet.

Red Sox-Braves Pick

Each of these clubs is certainly not at its best. However, for this matchup's sake, the value lies with the Red Sox. Wright's first month has been magnificent to watch, but he's due to regress, and the Sox have just the bats to capitalize on it.

On the side, Whitlock only seems to be getting better, and with this being his second consecutive start, he should be even more comfortable in the role.

Boston may build an early lead that the Braves won't be able to climb out of. So, take the road dogs here.

Pick: Red Sox +110

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