Braves at Pirates Picks and MLB Betting Odds
by Dave Schwab - 4/18/2013
The Atlanta Braves and the Pittsburgh Pirates will get an early jump on the weekend when the two kick off an extended four-game series at PNC Park this Thursday night. Game time is set for 7:05 p.m. (ET), and it will be available on MLB Extra Innings.
The Braves pounded their way to their 10th-straight victory as part of an incredible 12-1 start with a 6-3 victory over Kansas City on Tuesday night as -173 home favorites. The total went “over” the seven-run line and has now gone over in four of their last five games.
Pittsburgh is off to a 6-7 start after Monday’s 10-6 loss to St. Louis as a -110 home underdog. Tuesday’s game was postponed, and the series wraps things up on Wednesday night. The Pirates have gone 4-3 at home, and the total has gone over in five of their last seven games overall.
Braves at Pirates Betting Storylines
Much of Atlanta’s success so far has to be attributed to a pitching staff that leads the NL with a ridiculous team ERA of just 1.83, but its bats kept the current winning streak alive heading into Wednesday’s series finale against the Royals. Powered by five solo home runs, including three in the eighth inning, the Braves showed just how deep their lineup is in Tuesday night’s win. Justin Upton now leads the Majors with eight home runs and leads the team in RBI with 12.
Julio Teheran is slated to make his third start of the season on Thursday night and just the seventh of his Major League career with the Braves. The right-hander has been rocked around so far with an ERA of 7.36 after allowing nine earned runs on 14 hits in 11 innings of work. He has also yielded four walks while striking out eight in his first two starts.
Pittsburgh started the season with just one win in its first six games, but behind some solid run support it has pounded out victories in five of its last seven outings. While the Pirates have a respectable 3.90 staff ERA on the year, they have managed to score five or more runs in five of those seven games. Starling Marte and Andrew McCutchen have been responsible for most of the damage with a combined 20 RBI and four home runs.
The Pirates will go with Jeff Locke as their starter for Thursday night. The left-hander is 1-1 on the year with an ERA of 4.09. His last time out he held Cincinnati to just one run over five innings to post his first victory of the season. He has made only 12 previous MLB starts dating back to the 2011 season, with all of them coming with Pittsburgh.
Braves at Pirates MLB Betting Odds and Trends
The Braves are a perfect 6-0 on the road this season and 5-0 in the first game of their last five series. The total has stayed under in 10 of their last 13 games against a team from the NL Central.
The Pirates are 6-20 in the first games of their last 26 series but 5-1 in their last six games against a right-handed starter. The total has stayed under 10 of their last 13 home games.
Pittsburgh had a slight 4-3 edge in last season’s series, with the total staying under in five of the seven games. The home team is 6-4 in the last 10 meetings.
Braves at Pirates Picks and Betting Predictions
This game could very well come down to each team’s bullpen trying to stop some hot bats on the other side of the plate. While the recent betting trends paint an attractive play on the under in this matchup, the youth and current form of both starters negate the edge. The top play remains with the hottest team on the field,, which just so happens to be the Braves.
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