Can Braves Get Offense Going versus Cardinals?
The St. Louis Cardinals and the Atlanta Braves from the National League will be in the spotlight this Thursday afternoon for the first Division Series games (NLDS) of the 2019 MLB Playoffs. St. Louis Cardinals will be visiting the Atlanta Braves and TBS has the coverage from SunTrust Park. The Braves are +275 to win the NL pennant, well ahead of the Cardinals at +550.
TV: 5:02 p.m. ET, TBS; LINE: Braves -140; O/U: 9 Under -120.
PITCHING MATCHUP: Cardinals RH Miles Mikolas (9-14, 4.16 ERA) vs. Braves LH Dallas Keuchel (8-8, 3.75)
The Braves have not won a playoff series since 2001. The National League East champions believe they have the team to break that streak entering Game 1 of the NLDS. The Braves won 97 games and a second-consecutive division crown. There is a concern around two key pieces of an offense that finished the regular season third in the NL in runs scored, and fourth in batting average and homers.
Outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. hit 41 homers while leading the NL in runs scored with 127 and stolen bases with 37. He missed Atlanta’s final four games with a left groin strain. First baseman Freddie Freeman had a career-high 38 homers and 121 RBI’s/ He hit just .111 with a .406 OPS in his final 12 games while battling a bone spur in his right elbow. Both players have worked out with no complications this week.
The Cardinals survived a four-game losing streak to hold off Milwaukee for the NL Central title. They have injury issues of their own as second baseman Kolten Wong is nursing a left hamstring strain, but is expected to start. Wong hit .285 while being a front runner for a Gold Glove Award. St. Louis was 44-45 in mid-July before going 47-26 to close out the regular season. They finished second in the NL in ERA, at 3.80. The staff turned it on and in the second half they had a 3.44 ERA and a 1.24 WHIP. Third baseman Matt Carpenter struggled most of the season offensively, but hit .302 with a .963 OPS in his final 21 games. He will likely be in the lineup even if Wong returns and moves rookie infielder Tommy Edman to third.
This, That, and a Dart Throw
Atlanta will go with Dallas Keuchel, who pitched very well for the Braves after signing a one-year deal in June. Keuchel didn’t get much help from his teammates at times. They gave the southpaw just 3.84 runs of support per game. The Braves went 10-9 in Keuchel’s starts with the UNDER at 15-3-1. He is 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA and 1.14 WHIP across 51-2/3 innings over 10 career playoff appearances (nine starts). Keuchel has allowed two earned runs or fewer in six of his nine postseason starts. He gave up 11 earned runs in 16 innings across his final three regular-season outings. Before the one rough start he had a six-start stretch which he went 5-0 with a 0.97 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 37 innings. Keuchel has not pitched against St. Louis since a 2016 start. He gave up six runs on six hits over five innings while with Houston.
The Cardinals’ Mikolas tied for the NL lead in losses one season after tying for the league lead with 18 wins. His record is deceiving as he has a 3.34 ERA with 25 strikeouts over 29-2/3 innings in five September starts. Mikolas makes his postseason debut this afternoon. He gave up two runs (one earned) on eight hits over 7-2/3 innings in his regular-season finale Sept. 22nd against the Chicago Cubs. That followed up back-to-back starts where he allowed three runs each against Colorado and Washington. Mikolas is 4-8 with a 5.40 ERA and 1.42 WHIP in 17 road starts. He surrendered three runs on seven hits with nine strikeouts and no walks over seven innings in a home loss to the Braves on May 24th.
Please Read Our Review of A+ Rated BetOnline Sportsook.
The Dart Throw: Braves 5, Cardinals 1
Atlanta Braves Trends
- Trend Under is 6-2 in Braves last 8 games with the total set at 9.0-10.5. Hit % 75.00% (8) O/U 2|6 Push 0 W/L
- Over is 16-6-1 in Braves last 23 games with the total set at 7.0-8.5. 72.70% (23) 16|6 1
- Over is 6-1 in Braves last 7 home games with the total set at 7.0-8.5. 85.70% (7) 6|1 0
- Under is 7-2-1 in Braves last 10 games as a home underdog of +151 to +200. 77.80% (10) 2|7 1
St. Louis Cardinals Trends
- Trend Under is 34-16-3 in Cardinals last 53 games with the total set at 9.0-10.5. Hit % 68.00% (53) O/U 2|6 Push 0 W/L
- Over is 4-0 in Cardinals last 4 games with the total set at 7.0-8.5. 100.00% (4) 16|6 1
- Over is 11-2 in Cardinals last 13 road games with the total set at 6.5 or lower. 84.60% (13) 11|2 0
- Under is 14-6-1 in Cardinals last 21 games as a road favorite of -151 to -200. 70.00% (21) 6|14 1
NLDS Game 1 Meetings Trends
- Trend Over is 6-1 in the last 7 meetings in Atlanta. Hit % 85.70% (7) O/U 6|1 Push 0 W/L
- Under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings. 80.00% (5) 1|4 0
- Cardinals are 9-3 in the last 12 meetings in Atlanta. 75.00% (12) 0 9|3
- Cardinals are 1-4 in the last 5 meetings. 20.00% (5) 0 1|4
Stats are provided by Scores & Stats
Get a 50% Bonus up to $1,000 at BetOnline!!