In what could very easily be a preview of October baseball, the Brewers take on the Braves in Atlanta. Freddie Freeman walked it off on Josh Hader last night in the 10th, handing Atlanta their fourth straight win and Milwaukee a second consecutive loss. The Braves have caught fire recently and are only 1.5 games back of the Phillies for the East. The Brewers also sit 1.5 games behind the division-leading Cubs, but the Brew Crew is 5-5 in its last 10 games. Today’s matinee carries some weight for both teams.
Brandon Woodruff (6-1, 3.72 ERA)
Mike Foltynewicz (0-3, 8.01 ERA)
Moneyline – MIL -123, ATL +113
Runline – MIL -1.5 (+130), ATL +1.5 (-140)
O/U – 9.5 (Over -105, Under -105)
First Pitch – 1:20 EST, SunTrust Park, Atlanta, Georgia
The Brewers send Brandon Woodruff (6-1, 3.72 ERA) to the mound for the series finale. He’s been sharp in his last three starts, giving up two total earned runs in 17 innings pitched and winning each game. Of course, any writer would be remiss to cover the Brewers without bringing up Christian Yelich. Despite the gaudy numbers on the year, Yelich has had been relatively quiet in his last seven games, slashing .259/.394/.556. He’s still one of the hottest players on the planet, though, so keep an eye out for a Yelich bomb in the hot, humid Atlanta afternoon.
Braves starter Mike Foltynewicz (0-3, 8.01 ERA) has lost each of his last three starts, pitching poorly in each of them. Their bullpen is also having a rough go with an ERA of 4.65. Fortunately for them, Atlanta’s offense is fifth in the NL in runs scored (225) and first in batting average (.265). The Braves bats are smoking in recent days, leading the NL in runs, RBI, batting average, OBP, and OPS. A large reason for that is the infusion of rookie Austin Riley’s bat into the lineup. He has two homers and is hitting .533 since his debut this week and is looking to build on a scorching start.
Analysis & Prediction
In a clash between two similarly potent offenses (4.96 runs/game for MIL, 5.00 for ATL), it might be easy to pick the hotter team. However, Folty’s struggles flip that script. Until the Braves starter can settle down and put together some good starts in 2019, I won’t pick him against an offense of Yelich, Lorenzo Cain, Ryan Braun, and co. With two good offenses and a struggling starter, these NL contenders should top 9.5 runs. Take the Brewers in this one, and the over.