Baseball Picks: Cardinals at Braves

St. Louis and Atlanta open a three-game series between divisional leaders Friday at Turner Field


 

The St. Louis Cardinals are in Atlanta this weekend for a three-game series against the East-leading Braves. It’s the first of a seven-game home stand for Atlanta and tonight’s starter, Mike Minor, is looking for his 10th win on the season vs. Cardinals wins leader Adam Wainwright.

 

[dropcap2]O[/dropcap2]dds for this game favor the Redbirds in the -108 (Greek) to -116 (Bodog) range and Over/Under betting is currently offered at 7 Over (-110), down from an opening number of 7.5.

 

St. Louis averages 5.0 runs per game (RPG) this season overall and leads the majors with 5.28 RPG on the road but the team batting average vs. left-handed pitching this year (.245) has lagged behind righties by nearly forty points. On the road the Cards started the year with 5 unders and a push but looking at the numbers, those low scoring affairs were actually thanks more to the solid Cardinals’ pitching. Here is an SDQL chart from SportsDatabase.com showcasing the St. Louis history away vs. left-handed starters:

 

team=Cardinals and o:STL and season=2013 and A

 

The “Over” is 4-1 in the five most recent games and it’s also worth noting that in seven of 11 games the Cards held a lead at some point in the game.

 

Minor (9-5, 2.98 ERA) doesn’t have a great track record against this opponent, giving up 10 earned runs in just 9.2 innings of work. He’s also been tagged for five long balls in the process and six of his nine home runs allowed at Turner this year were hit in the past five starts.

 

Wainwright (13-5, 2.44 ERA) has an impressive 8-1 record on the road this year and St. Louis is 10-2 overall in his 12 road starts. Another thing we find interesting is that since getting roughed up April 1 at Arizona, Wainwright has held the lead through five innings in 11 straight starts, 10 of them by more than a run.

 

MLB PLAY OF THE DAY

On the road, the Cardinals are 36-15 since July 21, 2006 when the line is within 20 cents of ‘Pick em’ if they are coming off a win and it’s the first game of the series. They have a big series against Pittsburgh on-deck but St. Louis is unlikely to look past another divisional leader tonight, especially one who has taken five of the last seven meetings. We can find St. Louis at -115 in the first-half and given the team’s early tenacity in Wainwright’s road starts this year, our pick is on the Cardinals to lead through the first 5 innings.

 

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