Atlanta will look to make it five wins in a row after taking the series opener 3-1. Charlie Morton was outstanding, going 7 innings of shutout baseball allowing only three hits and striking out nine. Marcel Ozuna and Ronald Acuna Jr. both had RBI doubles in the win.
The Red Sox will look to end a two-game losing streak and even the series as they send Nick Pivetta (5-0, 3.59 ERA) to the mound. Atlanta will counter with Drew Smyly (2-2, 5.11 ERA).
Braves Climb Back to .500
After a disaster start to the season, Atlanta has won four in a row and climbed back to .500 on the season. The Braves are now only one game back of the first place New York Mets.
Atlanta’s pitching staff has struggled this season, especially out of the bullpen. The Braves are second in quality starts but rank in the bottom half of the league in ERA, opponents batting average and WHIP.
Smyly will be making his eighth start of the season. The veteran lefty has thrown 37 innings allowing 36 hits, 13 walks, and 21 earned runs.
The biggest issue for Smyly has been the home run, as he has given up 11 already this season. He has a WHIP of 1.32 and has struck out 33.
Braves hitters have had mild success against Pivetta. They have combined for an OPS of .732 in 186 plate appearances. Ozuna has an OPS of .933 with three homers in 18 at bats off of Pivetta.
Red Sox Looking Up at Rays
Boston had been in first place all season in the AL East. That changed when the Tampa Bay Rays went on an 11-game winning streak. The Red Sox find themselves a half game back of the Rays and only a half game ahead of the rival Yankees for second place.
The Red Sox’s offense has led them to the surprise start to the season. The team is first in slugging percentage, second in runs and batting average, and seventh in on base percentage. Xander Bogaerts leads the team with an OPS of .993.
Pivetta will look to end the Braves winning streak. Pivetta has thrown 47 ⅔ innings allowing 35 hits, 24 walks, 19 earned runs. He has a WHIP of 1.24 and has struck out 50.
Boston hitters have struggled against Smyly in the past. They have combined for an OPS of only .589 in 45 plate appearances.
Braves vs Red Sox Pick
With Smyly’s tendency to give up the home run I really like the Red Sox offense to have a big day. Pivetta’s stuff has been great this season but he has struggled with command. If he can avoid a parade of walks Boston should walk away with the victory in this one.
The Red Sox come in as slight favorites (-120) in the sportsbook. We’ll take the home favorite to win this one.
- Pick: Red Sox (-120)