MLB Picks: Braves vs. Cardinals 1st Five Innings Betting Odds

Jeff Grant

Thursday, August 22, 2013 12:49 PM GMT

St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Joe Kelly will try to remain one of the hottest pitchers in baseball, when he takes on the Atlanta Braves Thursday night.

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Let’s take a closer look at the pro baseball betting odds for this National League matchup at Busch Stadium, with the first pitch scheduled for 8:15 p.m. ET.

Falling into a pattern

Atlanta has alternated wins and losses over its last five games, as it comes off a 4-1 victory over the New York Mets as -145 road favorites Wednesday, while going ‘Under’ the betting total of 7.

The Braves suffered a major injury in the affair, with outfielder Jason Heyward suffering a broken jaw that could keep him out four-to-six weeks.

MLB odds handicappers will find that the club was 19-4 since placing Heyward in the leadoff spot in the batting order.

Important stretch ahead

St. Louis returns home after a 4-2 road trip, which ended with a 8-6 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers as -112 favorites, while going ‘Over’ the betting total for a third consecutive contest.

The Cardinals are set to begin a stretch of playing 17 consecutive games against NL playoff contenders, as they try to improve upon their dismal 13-19 record versus left-handed starters in the series opener.

Maholm

Braves starting pitcher Paul Maholm (9-9, 4.41 ERA) will look to snap a personal three-game losing streak in his first outing since returning from the disabled list with a bruised left wrist.

The southpaw is 4-7 with a 6.03 ERA in 13 road outings, with opposing hitters batting .292 against him.

In 18 lifetime appearances versus the Cardinals, Maholm has compiled a 4-7 record and 4.06 ERA, including a 1-2 mark and 4.91 ERA in five outings at this ballpark.

Kelly

Cardinals starting pitcher Joe Kelly (4-3, 3.01 ERA) has led the club to four straight victories, including a 4-0 road win over the Chicago Cubs last time out, as he allowed four hits over six shutout innings.

The right-hander is 1-3 with a 4.15 ERA in 13 home appearances (four starts), surrendering three home runs in 34.2 combined frames.

Kelly’s 1.68 ERA since June 1 is the second-lowest in baseball for pitchers that have thrown at least 50 innings over that span.

[gameodds]3/241754/?r3=349/dec&r-1=349/us[/gameodds]

Prediction

I’m going to recommend that readers back the Cardinals in the first five innings for their sports picks, as the Braves are 1-5 in Maholm’s last six starts as a road underdog of +110 to +150.

MLB Pick: St. Louis Cardinals on the 1st 5 Innings money line at William Hill

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