Friday, July 26, 7:30 p.m. (ET)
Television: MLB Network
MLB Betting Odds: VietBet
Money Line: St. Louis (-124) Atlanta (+114)
Total Line: 7.5
Fresh off a three-game sweep of Philadelphia, the Cardinals come into this National League showdown with a 7-2 record in their last nine games. They are now an NL-best 62-37 on the year and 2.5 games ahead of Pittsburgh in the NL Central. St. Louis also has the best road record in the NL at 30-20. The total has stayed UNDER in four of its last five games.
This team has been the whole package this season with a pitching staff that is ranked third in the NL with a team ERA of 3.37 and a lineup that is ranked first in scoring with an average of five runs a game. To try and get the early jump in this three-game weekend series, the Cardinals will send their ace Adam Wainwright to the mound as their starter. The right-hander is 13-5 this season with a 2.44 ERA. He has been an iron man lately, going at least eight innings in his last eight starts. Lifetime against the Braves he is 6-1 with an ERA of 2.98.
Adding insult to injury, it has been a rough week for Atlanta after losing two of three to the Mets while losing its best pitcher Tim Hudson with a season-ending ankle injury. The Braves are 4-6 in their last 10 games but they still have an eight game lead over Philadelphia and Washington in the NL East. They are 57-45 overall including a 31-15 record at home. The total has gone OVER in four of their last seven games.
Atlanta is another extremely well-balanced team in the NL. Its pitching staff is ranked right behind the Cardinals with a 3.38 ERA and it remains the fourth-highest scoring team in the league with an average of 4.4 runs a game. The problem is that injuries in general have taken their toll on the Braves as they try and navigate their way to the postseason. They will send Mike Minor to the mound on Friday night as their starter. The left-hander has bounced back from a few rough outings to hold teams to two earned runs or less in his last three starts. Overall, Minor is 9-5 with a 2.98 ERA.
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This should be a great matchup with two quality starters on the mound, but St. Louis brings a ton of momentum into this game. It rarely loses when Wainwright is on the mound and Friday night will be no exception.
St. Louis 4 Atlanta 2