Yankees vs. Braves Odds, Preview, Prediction: New York Has Value to Continue Win Streak (Monday, August 23)
Eric Espada/Getty Images. Pictured: Jordan Montgomery.
- New York and Atlanta meet for a two-game inter-league matchup beginning Monday night.
- Both teams are red hot and enter on nine-game winning streaks.
- BJ Cunningham explains below why he thinks there's value on betting the Yankees to keep winning.
Yankees vs. Braves Odds
|Time||7:20 p.m. ET|
The Yankees and Braves continue their push for the playoffs on Monday when they square off in Atlanta.
New York has been on fire over the past few weeks and has now overtaken the Red Sox for the second wild-card spot in the American League after nine straight wins. The additions at the trade deadline sure seemed to have paid off because Anthony Rizzo and Joey Gallo are hitting the cover off the ball, combining for seven home runs and 23 RBIs in a little over 20 games played.
The Braves have propelled into first place in the NL East and now hold a four-and-a-half game lead over the Phillies who are in free fall at the moment. Losing Ronald Acuña Jr. for the season was almost a nail in the coffin for Atlanta, but they have stepped up and are currently also on a nine game win streak, just like the Yankees.
New York Yankees
Ever since the trade deadline, the Yankees offense has been on fire, putting up a .334 wOBA and 113 wRC+, while also scoring the second most runs in baseball. Where the Yankees have seen the biggest improvement is hitting fastballs. Over the first four months of the season they were very average and only had a +4.3 run value against them. In less than a month since the trade deadline they have a +16.4 run value against fastballs. The addition of Joey Gallo and Anthony Rizzo played a big part in that since they both crush fastballs.
Huascar Ynoa mainly uses a fastball/slider combination, so the Yankees will have an interesting matchup against him considering their recent success against fastballs and given the fact that they struggle against sliders (-11.4 run value).
Ronald Acuña Jr. went down with a season-ending injury on July 10, and the Braves have not missed a beat since he's been out of the lineup. During that time span, they are top 10 in wOBA, runs scored, and hard hit percentage. Austin Riley, Freddie Freeman, and Dansby Swanson have all picked up the slack over the past month and a half, as they all have a wOBA over .415 and have combined for 33 home runs in 37 games.
They will have a decent matchup against Jordan Montgomery because while they've been average versus left handed pitching (.318 wOBA, 96 wRC+), they have a +14 run value against Montgomery's top three pitches of curveball, changeup, and sinker.
Starting Pitching Matchup
Jordan Montgomery vs. Huascar Ynoa
2021 Stats (via Fangraphs)
Yankees Starting Pitcher
Jordan Montgomery, LHP
Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)
Jordan Montgomery has been solid this season, posting a 4.01 xERA and 3.95 xFIP.
He does a fantastic job mixing his pitches, as he has four different pitches that he utilizes over 14% of the time. His top two pitches of changeup and curveball have been really effective, allowing a wOBA under .255 and a whiff rate over 37%. However, he may not want to utilize his changeup very often because the Braves are the second best offense in baseball against them (+21.4 run value).
Over his career, Montgomery's had issues keeping the ball inside the yard, but this season, he's made great improvements. His HR/9 is down to 0.98, and he's allowed only 12.5 expected home runs in 22 starts after his HR/9 rate sat at 1.44 last season.
If he can throw his curveball and sinker effectively tonight, he will be able to sit down this Braves lineup because those are two of the main pitches they've struggled against this season.
Braves Starting Pitcher
Huascar Ynoa, RHP
Pitch Arsenal (via Baseball Savant)
Huascar Ynoa returned to the rotation last week, pitching 5 1/3 shutout innings after missing three months with a fractured hand. He was a key part of the back end of Atlanta's rotation coming into the season, so getting him back as they push towards the playoffs is a big boost for the Braves.
However, Ynoa's a big-time negative regression candidate because his ERA for the season is at 2.70, but his xERA is almost two runs higher at 4.54. That isn't out of the ordinary for Ynoa because last season his xERA was well over five.
Ynoa mainly only throws a fastball or a slider, and it's his slider that got him to the big leagues.
Huascar Ynoa, Wicked Sliders. 🤢🍔 pic.twitter.com/hjQ24EueHm
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 10, 2021
He'll need to utilize that pitch effectively and improve on his fastball that has allowed a .390 xwOBA to opposing hitters this season.
The bullpen matchup in this game is going to be very even. The Yankees will be fully rested after not playing on Sunday, which should give them a slight advantage. New York's pen though has been lights out since the trade deadline, putting up a 2.13 ERA, 3.50 xFIP, and a 77.6% LOB%. Over that same time span Atlanta, who acquired Richard Rodriguez from the Pirates at the deadline, has a 3.76 ERA, 76.1% LOB%, and a 2.87 BB/9 rate. So, the Yankees will have a slight edge on Monday night.
With Jordan Montgomery on the mound, I don't think there is any reason why the Yankees should be this significant of underdogs tonight. If their offense continues to hit the ball they way they have been, they should be able to get to Ynoa, who I might add is due for a lot of negative regression.
I have the Yankees projected as -114 favorites, so I think there is plenty of value on them as underdogs at +125 and would play it up to +100.
Pick: Yankees +125