St. Louis Cardinals (14-11) vs. Atlanta Braves (13-13) MLB Odds

Moneyline: Braves (-110) Cardinals (+100)

Over/Under: 7

Starting Pitchers: Cardinals (Carpenter) Braves (Hudson)

Two top of the line veteran right-handed pitchers will square off in the series opener between the Cardinals and the Braves on Friday night. After a slow start, the Cardinals have been playing very good baseball of late. This will be the Braves first game back home after a long 10 game road trip. Atlanta managed to win six of those games on the west coast, and they are looking to keep the momentum going in front of their home crowd.

Chris Carpenter has been one of the best pitchers in the National League for several years. Carpenter does a great job locating his pitches, and he almost always gives the Cardinals a very good shot to win the game. Earlier this year the pundits were really hard on the Cardinals lineup, but the middle of their order is extremely impressive. Not many teams can boast a middle of the order like Pujols, Holliday, and Berkman. With both Holliday and Berkman around Pujols, it makes it much more difficult for teams to pitch around Pujols, who is probably the best hitter in the game today.

Tim Hudson is a 35 year old veteran right-hander who has been one of the best in the business for quite a while as well. Hudson was in the running for the NL CY Young award last year because of his tremendous year in 2010. Hudson’s ERA is 3.57 so far this year, but he has walked just five batters in 35 and 1/3 innings of work. The Braves have had one of the best home records in baseball the last few years. This year they have started out stronger than normal on the road, but they are only 4-5 at home. I would expect to see the Braves get it going at home soon.

While Carpenter is a very good pitcher, the Cardinals are 0-7 in his last 7 road starts. The Braves are 14-6 in Hudson’s last 20 home starts. I think this is a good value on the home team.

MLB Free Pick: Braves ML