Yankees vs. Braves Odds & Prediction: The F5 Bet to Make
Via Rich von Biberstein/Getty Images. Pictured: Atlanta first baseman Matt Olson (28) hits the ball deep during the MLB game between the Los Angeles Angels and the Atlanta Braves on August 1st, 2023 at Truist Park in Atlanta, GA.
Yankees vs. Braves Odds
Before the season started, the Houston Astros were the odds-on favorite to win the World Series at +600. The Yankees and Braves were right behind them at +800 as the next two favorites.
Flash forward to August 15, and it's almost hard to imagine that that was true. The Braves sit at +300 to win the World Series this season, handily the lowest odds in the majors. The Yankees, on the other hand, are at +10000 and are likely to miss the postseason entirely for the first time since 2016 (and only the fifth time since 1994!).
Tuesday night's matchup pits Luis Severino against Bryce Elder, with the Braves priced as heavy home favorites.
Among pitchers with at least 60.0 IP this season, only one pitcher in all of baseball has a worse ERA than Luis Severino (Adam Wainwright). Severino has combined walks (3.96 BB/9) and home runs (2.54 HR/9) for a stew of failure that has seen him allow more runs than innings pitched in half of his appearances this season.
On the surface, one could assume that his Home Run Rate, in particular, is a bit of bad luck. However, a quick journey over to Severino's Baseball Savant page will show you more blue than a Smurf village. His xBA, xSLG, wOBA, xwOBA, xWOBACON, Hard-Hit Rate and xERA are all in the bottom 10% of the league, and mostly in the bottom 1-2%. He throws four pitches, all of which have a hearty negative value, per FanGraphs, and his Barrel Rate Allowed is nearly twice his career rate.
The Yankees have allowed at least four runs through the first five innings of a Severino start eight of his last 11 starts, and now he gets to go up against the best offense in baseball.
The Braves returned home on Monday from an 11-game road trip that started off rough but ended well with wins in five of their last seven as they averaged 7.5 runs per game for the entirety of the trip (helped by a 21-3 win over the Mets, undoubtedly). They returned home and instantly dropped an 11-spot on the Yankees in any easy win on Monday night.
This Braves offense has only heated up with the summer, as their 138 wRC+ over the last 30 days is easily the best in baseball. They sport nine hitters with at least 200 plate appearances and a wRC+ of 107 or better, and Eddie Rosario is right behind at 99. They have a lineup that simply doesn't allow pitchers a moment off, which is terrifying for a pitcher struggling to find even a moment on, such as Severino.
The Braves have the highest Barrel Rate (by far); highest Hard-Hit Rate (by far); highest Exit Velocity (by far); and they get to hit in a friendly environment on Tuesday night (+5% on homers and +7% on runs overall, per BallParkPal).
The latter is bad news for Bryce Elder, who has started to show some cracks of late. For the first three months of the season, Elder danced his way to a 2.45 ERA/3.77 FIP split. He was in the discussion for Cy Young, and was perpetually flummoxing those of us who believe that in the long run, the more predictive stats win out.
Well, the last month has been a nice win for that exact thought, as Elder is 1-3 in his last six starts with a 7.94 ERA (6.20 FIP). Elder's velocity has indeed dipped a bit in the last month (about one mph), but it's also just very difficult to outrun regression forever.
Now, this is not to say Elder is a true talent 7.94 ERA pitcher, either, but he is much closer to his 4.50ish ERA projection than the 2.50ish ERA he posted the first few months of the season.
Luckily for him, he gets to face the rather limp Yankees offense on Tuesday, an offense that ranks 21st for the season against righties (92 wRC+).
Yankees vs. Braves
Betting Pick & Prediction
For the season as a whole, the Braves are 72-46 on the first five-inning run line, for an impressive 9.2% ROI. That offense of theirs can jump all over starters, and the numbers are even better at home (+10.5%). The Braves have also hit the over in the first five innings at a solid clip, 64-49-5 for a 5.5% ROI. Again, make that a home game, and the number jumps to 8.6 percent.
I wouldn't blindly follow these trends, but in a game in which I am already looking to massively fade the opposing starter, it's good to know that bet has been a common winner this season.
This is also a GREAT game to choose for Dinger Tuesday, with Matt Olson as an especially interesting candidate.