Pitching Mismatch & Braves Hitting Woes Make Yankees a Logical MLB Pick

Ross Benjamin

Friday, August 28, 2015 1:22 PM GMT

We’re going to be examining Friday’s MLB odds for the inter-league clash between the Yankees and Braves. This is by all accounts a starting pitching mismatch, so bet accordingly. 

Yankees Open Inter-League Series in Atlanta
The Yankees and Braves open a three game inter-league series on Friday. The first pitch in Atlanta is slated for 7:35 PM ET. The starting pitchers will be Masahiro Tanaka for the Yankees, and Atlanta will go with Williams Perez. Each of these right-handed hurlers will be making their first career starts versus their opponents on Friday.

 

“Bronx Bombers” In an Offensive Funk
The Yankees have been slumping offensively at the most inopportune time of the year. During their last seven contests, they’ve averaged 2.6 runs per game, hit a paltry .204 as a team, and have a terrible .550 OPS. On a positive note, teams that slump offensively can bail themselves out at times with great pitching and the ability to hit the long ball. The Yankees have smacked 165 home runs this year, and are on pace to hit an impressive 212 bombs in 2015. Masahiro Tanaka has displayed very good form during his previous three starts, posting a stellar 2.57 ERA and 0.91 WHIP. Tanaka has been solid in seven starts on the road, evidenced by his 2.85 ERA and 1.01 WHIP in those outings.

 

Bumbling and Stumbling Braves
Atlanta has gone a dismal 1-9 in the last ten and 9-24 during their previous thirty-three games. What’s even more telling is that 19 of their previous 20 losses have come by 2 runs or more. The Braves have scored 3 runs or less in twelve of their last 16 games. Despite that shortage of offensive, they still managed to go over the total in nine of those sixteen games. That’s also an indication that their pitching has been very shaky as well during that stretch. Braves hurler Williams Perez has gone 0-6 in his last six team starts with a large 7.41 ERA and 1.85 WHIP. Unlike the Braves opponent tonight, Atlanta doesn’t possess the ability to overcompensate for lack of consistent hitting by sprinkling in an occasional long ball. They’ve managed to hit just 81 home runs this year, and that projects to a pathetic 104 homers for the entire 2015 campaign.

 

Final Analysis
This is by all accounts a starting pitching mismatch. Masahiro Tanaka (Yankees) is pitching very well, and Williams Perez has hit the proverbial wall like many young pitchers do at this juncture. The Yankees are a much better hitting team than they’ve shown in recent games, and in their defense, they’ve faced some quality starting pitchers of late. On the other hand, the Braves prolonged offensive struggles have been pretty much in line with their lack of production all year.  I like the Yankees to win this game in a decisive manner. According to current MLB betting odds at the major sportsbooks, the run-line price is virtually the same across the board.

MLB Pick: Play the Yankees -1.5 (-125) as a run-line wager at The Greek