A late change at pitcher has had a small effect on the MLB odds for tonight's game between Atlanta and Cincinnati. Check out our preview of the game inside.
At a lot of the top sportsbooks we see the Braves priced out as home underdogs, with the lines right around +105. At books like 5Dimes, the Reds are -115 favorites.
A very low total of seven runs can be found on the board for Friday evening's game at Turner Field, and we're not all that surprised given how well Anthony DeSclafani has pitched early on this season.
Atlanta Braves (Foltynewicz)
Previously it was Trevor Cahill that was scheduled to start, but instead we'll have Mike Foltynewicz making his season (and team) debut this evening. Foltynewicz was called up from Triple A following the injury to Chris Johnson and will make his first start of the 2015 campaign here at home.
The 23-year-old righty made few appearances for the Houston Astros in 2014, registering just 18 and 2/3 innings of work - he allowed 23 hits and 11 earned runs in that span while posting a 14:7 K:BB ratio. That's too small of a sample size however, and you have to love what this kid's been doing in the minors. He recorded a 2.08 ERA and 30:11 K:BB ratio over four starts spanning 21 and 2/3 innings, so it's clear he's in a good state of mind right now.
As a team, the Braves have cooled off after starting off the season 5-0. They come in having lost eight of their last 10 games overall and they're now at 10-12 overall on the year. Atlanta has been middle of the road when it comes to hitting, but they're near the bottom when it comes to pitching, so getting quality innings from Foltynewicz could be just what the doctor ordered.
Cincinnati Reds (DeSclafani)
The Reds are playing solid baseball, as they've won three of their last four ahead of tonight's game, which includes a series-opening 5-1 victory yesterday. Mike Leake was solid and earned the winning decision, with the Cincinnati bats able to do enough damage against Shelby Miller and company.
Will Anthony DeSclafani be able to match Leake's showing in game two? We don't see why not, at least based on his early performances in 2015. The right-hander has been a revelation for the Reds, compiling a 1.04 ERA and 0.77 WHIP over four starts (26 innings) so far. He has a 21:6 K:BB ratio to boot.
What's more, the 25-year-old righty has thrived in his first two road starts of the year. He held the Cubs to two hits in seven scoreless innings over at Wrigley Field and then followed that up by surrendering just two hits once more, this time over eight scoreless innings in Milwaukee. So far DeSclafani has risen to the occasion each time he's taken the mound in 2015, and now he gets a crack at a weakened Atlanta lineup.
Neither team has done much to justify taking them with our sports picks, so instead we're going a different route by attacking the total.
At first glance, you may think this number is too low, considering there are two relatively unknown names set to start. However, DeSclafani has been getting the job done so far this season, and Foltynewicz has shown a lot of promise - it's clear MLB odds makers aren't expecting many runs, and these two talented young pitchers are a big reason why.
So, we are going to recommend that you consider the UNDER as you finalize your MLB picks for a busy Friday night. Neither offense has been all that scary this season and we think the two starters will do enough to keep this one low-scoring.
NBA Pick: UNDER 7 at BetOnline