Braves vs. Red Sox Picks: Teams Expected To Hit Another 'Over' In Series Finale

LT Profits Sports Group

Thursday, April 28, 2016 2:32 PM UTC

Thursday, Apr. 28, 2016 2:32 PM UTC

After the Red Sox beat the Braves 1-0 on Monday, the last two games of this home-and-home series have both been high scoring and expect more of the same in the finale today. Full MLB pick inside.

MLB Record: 11-13-1, -0.79

Thursday night could be a repeat of Wednesday in terms of high scoring when Jhoulys Chacin and the Atlanta Braves (4-17, 3-5 away) again pay a visit to fellow right-hander Clay Buchholz and the Boston Red Sox (12-9, 5-6 home) at Fenway Park in Boston, MA as the teams wrap up a four-game home-and-home series at 7:10 ET in a game televised nationally on MLB Network.

The posted total at Heritage Sports is 8½ for this contest with the current MLB odds on the ‘over’ set at +100.


Worst Record in Baseball
The Red Sox are looking for a four-game sweep, as they took the first two meetings in Atlanta Monday and Tuesday by scores of 1-0 and 11-4 respectively before returning home and walloping the Braves 9-4 here last night in the second straight high scoring affair. Then again, scoring a ton of runs is nothing new for a Boston offense that is ranked fifth in the Major Leagues in scoring with 5.29 runs per game and third in batting with a hefty .278 average.

The Braves meanwhile are going nowhere fast as they have now been the losing MLB picks in eight games in a row, leaving Atlanta with the worst record in the majors at 4-17. Then again, that is not really a surprise for a team that is in full rebuilding mode this year, trotting out a lineup consisting of one legitimate star in Freddie Freeman and a bunch of youngsters getting some on-the-job training at the big league level.


Erratic Buchholz
With that being said, the Bravos did manage a respectable four runs vs. Boston pitching each of the last two nights and they might be able to match that here vs. Buchholz, who in four starts so far this season, had one great outing where he tossed 6.2 scoreless innings but allowed exactly five earned runs in each of the other three starts. The net result has been an 0-4 record with a 6.33 ERA and a high 1.50 WHIP.

And it is not as if the peripheral numbers for Buchholz paint a prettier picture either as he owns a 5.50 FIP, 5.00 xFIP and is walking 3.80 batters per nine innings. Buchholz had a career year in 2013 when he finished 12-1 with a sensational 1.74 ERA, but he also suffered an arm injury that year and has been nowhere near as good since. If he maintains his current walk rate, it would represent a career high.

As an aside, Buchholz also had one of the worst starts of his career vs. the Braves when he walked eight batters while allowing six earned runs in only three innings, although to be fair that was against a much better Atlanta team two years ago.


Chacin Ready to Get Bombed?
The Braves grabbed Chacin, formerly with the Colorado Rockies, off of the scrap heap while in desperate need of pitching help, and he actually tossed a gem in his Atlanta debut throwing six scoreless innings and allowing five hits with eight strikeouts vs. the first-place Washington Nationals. Chacin then went on to allow three earned runs in each of his last two starts, but that is deceptive as he failed to reach six innings in either of those outings.

First he allowed three earned runs in 5.1 innings vs. the Miami Marlins and the he allowed four total runs (three earned) on seven hits plus two walks while laboring through 91 pitches in only 5.2 innings vs. the New York Mets last Saturday. Add this all up and the 3.18 ERA and 1.06 WHIP for Chacin look very fraudulent.

Now he must deal with the highest scoring offense in the American League in the early going, and remember that the Red Sox roughed him up for seven earned runs on nine hits in just four innings the last time Chacin faced him, albeit in the altitude of Colorado.


Trending the ‘over’
Finally, the result last night makes the ‘over’ 21-7-1 in the Braves’ last 29 road games including 20-6-1 in their last 27 road games vs. right-handed starters. Also, the ‘over’ improved to 20-7 in the Red Sox last 27 games vs. teams with a winning percentage below .400, as well as 8-3-1 in their last 12 interleague games.

We see this contest as “Second verse, same as the first” as we once again recommend going ‘over’ when Atlanta wraps up a four game-game home-and-home set at Boston on MLB Network Thursday.

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Free MLB Pick: Over 8.5
Best Line Offered: at YouWager

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