Braves vs. Diamondbacks Game 3
By: Ron Patrick
In the early betting most shops were listing Sunday's contest, which matches Atlanta's Aaron Harang against Arizona's rookie righty Chase Anderson, at right around a pick 'em, with a total of 8.5 runs.
The Diamondbacks tied the game in the bottom of the ninth on an Aaron Hill double off Atlanta closer Craig Kimbrel. Then, after the Braves took a lead in the top of the tenth on a Jason Heyward homer, Arizona tied it with a Miguel Montero blast. The D'Backs finally won it on a Gerardo Parra blooper in the bottom of the 11th.
Arizona won as a +105 home dog, and the game stayed UNDER its total of eight runs.
Anderson (4-0, 3.32) is officially one-for-four on quality starts in his first month in the Bigs, but he's really only had one bad outing so far, and he's gotten some great run support. Last time out he held Colorado to one run through six innings, while just before that he gave up four runs – just one earned – in five innings against San Diego.
For the season Anderson has allowed eight ER and 21 hits, including four homers, in 21 2/3 innings, with six walks and 14 strikeouts. Arizona has won each of his four starts.
This will be Anderson's first-ever start against Atlanta.
Harang (4-4, 3.24) is 10-for-12 on quality starts, and five for his last six. Last time out he held Miami to two runs through 6 2/3 innings, and just before that he held Boston to two runs through six innings.
For the season Harang has allowed 67 hits – just three homers - in 72 1/3 innings, while compiling an excellent K/BB ratio of 73/23. Atlanta is 7-5 in Harang's starts, with the totals leaning toward the UNDERS by a 7-4 margin.
This will be Harang's first start against Arizona since September of 2012, when he was with the Dodgers.
Free Pick for Sunday
We're not sure who's going to win this game, but our guess is it will be low-scoring. So we'll go with the UNDER 8.5 runs, at the +100 offered at 5Dimes, for our free pick for Sunday.
Braves vs. Diamondbacks Game 2
By: Ron Patrick
As of Saturday morning most books were listing tonight's game, which matches Atlanta's Ervin Santana against Arizona's Wade Miley, at right around a pick 'em, with a total of eight runs.
Atlanta got another quality start from Julio Teheran, a two-run homer from Jason Heyward and a four-out save from Craig Kimbrel to win 5-2 Friday night. The Braves cashed as -115 favorites, and covered on the run line at a price of +140 when they tacked on a couple insurance runs in the top of the ninth.
Friday's game also stayed UNDER its total of 7.5 runs.
Atlanta has now played 35 UNDERS this year, second-most in baseball (San Diego 38).
Arizona, meanwhile, has played 18 UNDERS in its last 25 games.
Lefty Miley (3-6, 4.85), by our strict standards, is five-for-13 on quality starts this year. Last time out Miley gave up four runs – all on solo homers – in six innings against Cincinnati, while just before that he allowed three runs in seven innings against San Diego. Mediocre efforts, yes, but Miley might have found something, considering his K/BB ratio over those last two starts is 20/1.
On the season Miley has given up 80 hits in 81 2/3 innings, walked 26 and struck out 72. Arizona is 5-8 in Miley's starts, but the totals have leaned toward the UNDERS by an 8-4 margin.
Miley started once against the Braves last year, and got clipped for six ER in five innings of a 10-1 D'Backs defeat.
Santana (5-2, 4.10) is four-for-10 on quality starts, but 0 for his last four. Most recently he gave up three ER in six innings against Miami, and over his last four starts he's been tagged for 20 ER in 23 innings.
For the season Santana has allowed 62 hits in 63 2/3 innings, walked 19 and struck out 58. Atlanta is 6-4 in Santana's starts, with the totals skewing toward the OVERS by a 7-1 margin, thanks mainly to some good run support – which is rare for Braves pitchers this season.
This will be Santana's first start against the Diamondbacks since June of 2012, when he was with the Angels.
Free Pick for
Atlanta owns an overall team OBP of .303, but that jumps to .353 against left-handed pitching. So despite Santana's recent struggles we'll go with the Braves, at the -105 offered at Bet365, for Saturday's free MLB pick.
Braves vs. Diamondbacks Game 1
By: Ron Patrick
In the early betting Atlanta and Julio Teheran were favored by around -120 over Arizona and Brandon McCarthy, with a total of eight runs. The Braves could also be played at around +150 giving the 1.5 runs on the MLB run line.
Atlanta just dropped a quick two-game set at home to Seattle, losing Wednesday 2-0. So the Braves have lost two of their last three series and six of their last nine games.
At 31-27 Atlanta is now tied with Miami (32-28) for first place in the NL East, with Washington (30-28) just a game back.
Arizona, on the other hand, just swept three games in Colorado, putting up 16 runs Wednesday and 12 Thursday. So the D'Backs have won three of their last four series, and eight of their last 14 games.
After starting this season 8-23 Arizona has gone 18-13; at 26-36 overall the D'Backs are in last place in the NL West,, 14 games behind division-leading San Francisco.
This is the first time these teams have met this season; last year the Braves took four of six games from the Diamondbacks, with the totals going 2-2-2.
McCarthy (1-7, 5.20), by our tough accounting, is just four-for-12 on quality starts this season, and 0 for his last two. Last time out he gave up five runs in less than five innings against Cincinnati, and just before that he gave up five runs in 6 2/3 innings against San Diego.
For the season McCarthy has allowed 83 hits in 72 2/3 innings, although his K/BB ratio isn't bad, at 63/13. But Arizona is just 2-10 in McCarthy's starts, with the totals splitting 6-6.
This will be McCarthy's first-ever start against Atlanta.
Teheran (5-3, 1.83) has been great; he's 11-for-12 on quality starts, and three for his last three. Most recently he gave up two runs in 7 1/3 innings against Miami, and over his last three outings he's given up just those two runs through 22 1/3 innings.
On the season Teheran has allowed just 58 hits in 83 2/3 innings, walked 20 and struck out 66.Atlanta is 9-3 in Teheran's starts, with the totals skewing toward the UNDERS by a 9-3 margin.
Teheran started twice against Arizona last year, giving up just two runs and 11 hits in 12 innings; the Braves split those two games, and both games stayed UNDER the totals.
In the comparison of the bullpens for this series Atlanta ranks 10th with a 3.15 ERA and is 19-for-25 on save opportunities, while Arizona ranks 13th in ERA at 3.51 and is 17-for-25 on save opps.
With the Sticks
Atlanta's Achilles heel this season has been its bats, which rank 26th in team OBP at .303 and second-to-last in scoring at 3.4 runs per game. That OBP drops to .290 against right-handed pitching.
Arizona ranks 22nd in OBP at .311, while averaging 4.2 RPG.
Braves-D'Backs Betting Trends
Atlanta has trended toward the UNDERS this season by a 34-21 margin, and has played eight UNDERS in its last 12 games.
The totals have leaned toward the OVERS in games played at Chase Field this season by a 16-13 margin.
Arizona has been unkind to its home fans this year, going just 9-22 on its home field.
Arizona is playing without both lead-off hitter AJ Pollack and Mark Trumbo, who are both on the DL.
Free Pick for Friday
The Diamondbacks are playing much better as of late, but in this spot we'll go with the hot pitcher. So we'll take Atlanta, at the -110 offered at Pinnacle, for Friday's free MLB pick.