The Braves hope to avoid a fourth straight loss when they battle the Pirates this evening. It's time to break down the MLB odds and see which value pick stands out.
It's pretty much a toss-up when it comes to the oddsmakers and their thoughts for this game. Some sites, like 5Dimes, have the Pirates favored at right around -110, while other have them listed as underdogs at a plus price.
Atlanta Braves (Teheran)
The Braves have dropped three straight games, with the latest coming last night in the series opener against these Pirates. Runs haven't been hard to come by whatsoever for this Atlanta offense, as they've racked up 22 runs in that three-game span, yet they've been let down by some poor pitching and that's led to their demise.
They'll be hoping Julio Teheran can buck that trend and put forth a quality out at home this evening. Teheran hasn't been at his best this season, however, going 4-2 with a 4.87 ERA and 1.54 WHIP, while recording a 49:24 K:BB ratio over 61 innings of work. Teheran has proven himself at this level though, as evident by his career ERA of 3.37, so you have to figure he'll be able to turn things around sooner rather than later.
It's been cool to see Atlanta compete at a high level despite sending a lot of their best talent away over the offseason. The Braves are just two games under .500 at this point and the future is certainly bright for the ballclub. Can they get the better of the Pirates tonight?
Pittsburgh Pirates (Locke)
Whereas the Braves are in the midst of a losing streak, the Pirates have been on quite a bit of a roll, having won four consecutive games to improve their overall record to 30-24 overall. They just swept the Giants in San Francisco and were able to carry over that momentum into last night's opener in Atlanta.
Jeff Locke will try to keep spirits high for Pittsburgh tonight, but the left-hander hasn't been very good at all so far in 2015. He's 3-3 with a 5.34 ERA and 1.54 WHIP, so obviously he's been someone to stay far away from when finalizing your MLB picks, unless you're taking the OVER that is.
Locke was a mess in his most recent outing, allowing eight hits and seven runs (six earned) over four innings in a 7-1 road loss against San Diego. He's been terrible out on the road this season, recording a 9.35 ERA over four starts, so Atlanta has a good shot of ending their losing streak tonight.
The Braves have been on the losing end lately, but it's not like they've been getting completely outplayed. They've been putting plenty of runs on the board but just haven't been able to get quality innings from their pitching staff and bullpen.
That being said, we think that will turn around here tonight with Teheran on the bump. He hasn't enjoyed the best of starts in 2015, but he's still got a ton of talent and we think he'll have a quality showing against the Pirates in this spot. The right-hander has been very good at home this season, going 3-0 with a 1.82 ERA in four starts to go with a 23:7 K:BB ratio, so it's obvious that he feels much more comfortable in his own ballpark.
Additionally, we look for Atlanta to keep their offensive blitz up against a shaky Locke, who was roughed up in his latest start and just hasn't been pitching well overall. With your MLB picks, take a chance on the Braves at this very reasonable number.
Free Pick: Atlanta Braves -105 at 5Dimes