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Braves at Cardinals Odds Pick

The NL matchup between the Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals is set for 7:08 p.m. ET on Sunday, August 28, 2022. The game will air live on ESPN from Busch Stadium in St. Louis. 

One team will get a rare loss when the Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals hook up on Sunday Night Baseball. The Cards won 17 of their first 21 games in August to seize control of the NL Central while the Braves are 15-7 this month putting pressure on the Mets for first place in the NL East. Catching the Cards before they caught fire, Atlanta took three of four in early July outscoring St. Louis 18-7 giving the Braves nine wins in the last 11 games between the clubs.

Odds Analysis

Much like last season when they got hot down the stretch to win the division and eventually the World Series, the Braves are at it again. Only this time they started much sooner. They were four games under .500 and 10.5 games behind the Mets on June 1. Like flipping a switch they opened the month with 14 straight wins and haven’t slowed down. Since that point and including Wednesday’s win over Pittsburgh, the Braves won 72.4 percent of their games while shaving eight games off their division deficit.

It should be noted that the Braves racked up a bunch of wins against teams currently with losing records going 12-3 against Washington and Oakland, the worst teams in each league. They also have losing records against the Mets, Dodgers, and Padres, three of the top teams in the NL. So the Braves do what they’re supposed to, which is beat up on the lesser competition. Pitching has settled in after a rough start to the season and the Braves boast one of the top offensive clubs. They average 4.9 runs and rank second in homers allowing them to cash the OVER in 63 games with the third highest percentage in MLB.

The Braves have been hot but the Cards are hotter. A win over Toronto on July 27 started a stretch that put them in control of the NL Central. They won 20 of 25 games and didn’t lose two in a row during that span. And they did it behind an offense that scored at least six runs in a game 13 times while the pitching staff tossed five shutouts. Sunday’s starter Adam Wainwright picked up three wins in that span and his lone loss came against the Cubs 2-0.

We have two of the top offensive clubs going against each other with the Cards owning the third-best scoring team averaging 4.88 runs. They don’t hit as many home runs, though the Cards do have a higher team batting average and OPS. They’ve taken the lead of Albert Pujols, who has a .400 average with 10 homers in 27 games since July 10. The Cards are 21-6 in those contests.

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Probable Pitchers

Turning in his best outing since joining the Braves last time out, Jake Odorizzi (5-5, 3.95 ERA) is set to take the bump. Odorizzi lasted six innings giving up four hits and one run with seven strikeouts in a 2-1 win over Pittsburgh. It was a much-needed effort after struggling since his acquisition. In four starts with the Braves, he’s 1-2 with a 4.58 ERA and 1.63 WHIP. He started the season with Houston going 4-3 with a 3.75 ERA in 60 innings over 12 starts. Spending the first 10 1/2 years of his career in the AL limited his chances to pitch against St. Louis, but he’s been good in those rare instances. In four lifetime starts against the Cards he’s 2-1 with a 2.91 ERA. However, he hasn’t faced them since 2018.

Just a few years ago many were throwing in the towel on Adam Wainwright (9-9, 3.11 ERA), but like a fine wine, he’s gotten better with age. Since turning 37 in 2019, Wano has won nearly 61 percent of his decisions with a 3.41 ERA over 98 starts. He’s on pace to start more than 30 games for the third time in as many full seasons. He endured one of his worst outings earlier this month giving up six runs on eight hits to the Yankees, but he rebounded by tossing nine innings of three-hit ball in an extra-inning loss to Milwaukee and blanked Colorado on three hits over seven frames. He’s averaging 7.1 innings over his last three starts with a 1.23 ERA and 0.73 WHIP.

Braves at Cardinals MLB Odds Pick

We’ve seen vintage Wainwright this season, but he is prone to the occasional bad outing. Seven times he’s allowed more than four runs and twice in his last seven starts he yielded six or more. And with two strong offensive clubs, mediocre pitching isn’t going to get it done. Taking into account Wano’s numbers at Busch where he pitches to a 2.11 ERA, I have to back him and the Cards in this matchup.

MLB Odds Prediction: St. Louis Cardinals / OVER

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