MLB Odds, Preview, Prediction for Yankees vs. Braves: Offenses Could Be in for Big Day (Tuesday, August 24)
G Fiume / Getty Images. Pictured: Charlie Morton
- The Yankees and Braves finish up a brief two-game series on Tuesday afternoon.
- Andrew Heaney is coming off a strong start against the Red Sox, but will he regress back to the mean today?
- Mike Vitanza breaks down the matchup and delivers his pick below.
Yankees vs. Braves Odds
|Over/Under||9 (-120 / +100)|
|Time||7:20 p.m. ET|
|Odds as of Tuesday morning and via DraftKings.|
The New York Yankees took the first game of this series against the Atlanta Braves on the road on Monday night by the score of 5-1.
The Yankees were led offensively by strong performances from Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge, each of whom had multi-hit games in the victory. Stanton’s performance was particularly impressive with three hits, including a a home run, as he drove in three of the Yankees' five runs.
The Braves, meanwhile, managed just five hits on the day and went hitless with runners in scoring position, finishing 0-4 on the day in such situations. Their lone run came on a Dansby Swanson home run in the second inning off starter Jordan Montgomery.
With a struggling Andrew Heaney on the mound and a surging Yankees offense on the offensive side of the ball, should we be targeting the total in this interleague matchup on Tuesday night?
New York Yankees
Andrew Heaney will take the hill for his 23rd start of the season on Tuesday night and is coming off his best outing this season for the Yankees.
Over 7 innings against the Boston Red Sox last week, Heaney allowed just one earned run and struck out four batters en route to his second victory since arriving in New York at the trade deadline.
The season overall, however, has not been as positive. Through 116 innings pitched, Heaney has compiled a 4.76 FIP and is allowing an average of 1.9 HR/9 to opposing batters.
The advanced metrics also aren’t kind. Per Stat Cast, he’s also allowed a 39.7% Hard Hit rate and a 9.6% Barrel rate. While his 10.5 K/9 is strong, his 3.0 BB/9 has not helped keep runs off the board.
Tonight, he’ll take on a Braves team that has been just average thus far against left-handed pitching. Over 1219 plate appearances, they’ve collectively hit to a .319 wOBA, 13th-best among all teams.
If Heaney struggles, manager Aaron Boone will likely feel comfortable turning the ball over to a bullpen that has pitched exceptionally well of-late, combining for a 3.23 FIP over the past seven days.
Charlie Morton will get the nod for the Braves at home on Tuesday night in what will amount to his 26th start of the year.
His first season with the Braves has been a good one so far. Over 140 innings pitched, he’s compiled a 3.25 FIP, is allowing a low 0.77 HR/9 and is striking out batters at an impressive 10.5 K/9 clip.
He’s also been successful at limiting hard contact, allowing just 33% Hard Hit rate (per Stat Cast) to opposing offenses. His 4.8% Barrel rate is also extremely strong, especially when you consider he’s been able to reduce it from the 7.9% he averaged last season.
Tonight’s matchup, however, won’t be an easy one. He’ll take on a Yankees team that has been one of the hottest in baseball over the last two weeks.
Their 11-2 record over that span is impressive, but even more so when you consider the offense has averaged a .350 wOBA and 124 wRC+ during that time. They’ve also been particularly effective over their last five games, averaging 6.8 runs per game over that span.
Despite the success we saw from Heaney in his last start, the fact is that he’s just not been a very effective pitcher throughout the course of the season. Not only is he allowing tons of hard contact, but also his home run rate (1.9 HR/9) and his walk rate (3.0 BB/9) have magnified that issue.
While the Braves haven’t exactly destroyed right-handed pitching this season, they’ve proven capable of taking advantage of subpar opponents. In fact, this offense has scored more than 11 runs in three of their last six games. I expect the Braves to be able to score early and often in this one while Heaney is on the mound.
On the other side, Morton will run into one of the hottest offenses in baseball in the Yankees. While he doesn’t typically give up a ton of runs, I think that he – along with the Braves bullpen – will surrender just enough to put the over in play in this one.
While I do expect plenty of runs here, the success of the Yankees bullpen of-late, combined with Morton’s bend-but-don’t-break presence, does add some risk here. I’ll be targeting the total at the current line of 9, but this will fall out of play for me if the line reaches double digits.
Pick: Over 9 (-120)