By: Austin Moehn (@austin_moehn22)
(Odds via Bovada)
Moneyline: ATL: (-120) | MIL: (even)
Spread: ATL: -1.5 (+145) | MIL: +1.5 (-165)
Total: 7.5 Over: (-115) | Under: (-105)
First Pitch: 6:10pm CST | American Family Field | Milwaukee, WI
The Atlanta Braves were able to take game one of the series last night with a 6-3 victory. The offense was able to get going early and keep the pressure on Milwaukee as Atlanta scored in four different innings as they look to get back to .500 playing without Ronald Acuna Jr. The Brewers have been on a cold streak recently with the offense struggling and pitching falling off a bit which has resulted in a record of 3-7 over their past 10 games. This should be a good one because both teams are looking to inch closer to the top in their divisions. The pitching matchup for this one is Ian Anderson (2-1 3.46 ERA) and Brett Anderson (2-2 3.54 ERA).
Milwaukee Brewers (20-19)
Milwaukee is a talented team with an excellent rotation, some good arms out of the pen, and a lineup with guys that can hit with power. The problem has been the team’s consistency as the offense continues to struggle, and the middle of the bullpen has struggled to come out with clean innings. This was the theme of last night’s game as the offense wasn’t able to score early, allowing Drew Smyly to have a good outing while the bullpen wasn’t able to pick up the slack from Adrian Houser’s early exit. That all being said, the Crew has the talent to beat any team on any given day, and because of their ability to usually prevent their opponents from scoring, they should be liking their odds tonight against the Braves as Acuna is out with an injury.
Brett Anderson gets the start for Milwaukee tonight, looking to get his first quality start since his leg injury against the Cubs back on April 23rd. He hasn’t faced too many members of the current Braves roster, and with being a veteran, this should be beneficial to the 33-year old lefty. Anderson is looking to perform well tonight to ensure the Brewers keep their above .500 record which they’ve held since mid-April.
Atlanta Braves (18-20)
Coming into 2021, many experts believed that the Braves would be the top team in the NL East, but Atlanta hasn’t been able to live up to the preseason expectations. Pitching has been a big reason why, as the Braves have a team ERA of 4.59, which ranks 23rd in the MLB. If Atlanta wants to get back to the playoffs, the pitching staff will need to improve. They are looking to build off the momentum from last night’s game as Drew Smyly, and a handful of short relief appearances from the bullpen was able to limit Milwaukee’s offense. Austin Riley has hit well this season, and with bats like Freddie Freeman and Marcel Ozuna in the lineup, the Braves still have a good offensive presence even with the absence of Acuna.
23- year old Ian Anderson will get the ball for the Braves as they look to lock a series victory up tonight. Anderson was the 3rd overall pick back in the 2016 MLB Draft, and he is looking like he’s going to be in big league rotations for quite some time. He’s not the prototypical high velo young guy, but he’s got good control of his pitches and great movement on his curveball. Anderson typically has allowed a few runs in each start he’s had so far in 2021, but he’s been able to get enough run support to give the Braves a 5-2 record on his starts this season. Anderson hasn’t faced the Brewers yet, with Jackie Bradley Jr. being the only current Brewer to face him. We’ll see if Anderson can use this lack of experience to turn a good outing out against Milwaukee.
Best Bet & Prediction
Vegas has the Braves as favorites tonight, and I agree with the odds. My Best Bet is the Braves ML (-120). Yes, the Brewers have a better overall bullpen, and yes, Ian Anderson typically allows a few runs per outing. Still, with how Milwaukee has been hitting recently, I’m expecting the Braves starter to be able to turn out a good performance. At the same time, if the Braves lineup does what they did last night with being able to put pressure on Milwaukee’s pitching right away, there is no doubt Atlanta picks up the W tonight. The Braves aren’t entirely lost on offense without Acuna because they still have elite batters in the lineup, and even with Freddie Freeman struggling to get hits, he’s still getting on base at a .340 percentage. Brett Anderson hasn’t had an actual start since April 17th, and with a leg injury, he might be out of the game early, and we saw what happened last night when Milwaukee had to turn to their long relievers last night. All these reasons are why I like the Braves to win on the road tonight.
Austin’s MLB 2021 picks 9-4 (+$410 on $100 bets)