Sunday Night MLB on ESPN
The Braves will host the Angels on Sunday at Turner Field in Atlanta, Georgia with the opening pitch slated for 8:05 PM ET. This will be the Sunday night national telecast on ESPN. According to MLB betting odds at the time of this writing, the Braves are a -125 money line home favorite, and the posted total is 8.0. These teams haven’t met since the 2011 season. Entering Saturday’s action the Angeles were 2nd in the AL West 3.5 games behind the Oakland A’s. The Braves were tied for 1st place in the NL East with the Washington Nationals.
The Starting Pitchers
The Braves will go with southpaw Mike Minor on the hill tonight. Minor comes off by far his worst start of the season at Colorado this past Tuesday. Minor allowed 8 earned runs and 11-hits during just 4.0 innings of work in a 13-10 loss to the Rockies.
The Angels will also send a southpaw to the mound with Hector Santiago. The lefty has pitched much better than his record this year may indicate. Santiago has gone just 1-7 in his 2014 team starts. However, he’s coming off his best outing of the season in which he allowed 0 earned runs and 3-hits in 6.0 innings at Oakland on Tuesday. He’s also seen 6 of his last 7-starts stay under the total.
The Atlanta Braves have pitched very well but their hitters have vastly underperformed. They’re 4th in all of MLB pitching with a stellar team ERA of 3.27. The Braves have seen just 7 of their last 27 home games go over the total. Although their bullpen has been one of the best in the National League thus far, they’ve struggled over the last 10-games with a lofty staff ERA of 5.67, and that’s better than 2 runs more than their 3.50 ERA for the year. The Braves are 28th in MLB averaging just a paltry 3.6 runs per game. They’ve hit just .208 as a team versus left-handed pitching over the last 10-games, and that’s certainly noteworthy considering they’re facing a southpaw this evening.
The Angels seem to be the polar opposite of their opponent tonight. They’ve been able to generate an ample amount of offense so far in 2014. However, their pitching has bordered on erratic at times. The Angels are #4 in MLB averaging 4.6 runs per game, and 5th in OPS at .736. However their pitching is 17th in baseball with a 3.84 ERA, and the majority of the issues in this category has been caused by the Angels bullpen. The Angels bullpen staff ranks 25th in MLB with a 4.15 ERA.
Despite Mike Minor’s shaky last start, his whole body of work has been very solid this season. The Angels Santiago figures to feed off the momentum he established in his last start, especially against a lineup (Atlanta) which has recently struggled versus southpaw pitching. I have a small lean toward this one playing on the low side of the ledger with my MLB picks today.
Free Pick: Angels/Braves to go under the total of 8.0