Bryce Elder will get the start for the Braves (91-48, 45-24 home) as they host the Pirates (65-75, 31-38 away) at Truist Park. The Pirates will give the starting nod to Mitch Keller. Check out my prediction for game one of this National League matchup between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves.


The Pick: Pittsburgh Pirates +1.5 Runs

This game will be played at Truist Park at 7:20 ET on Friday, September 8th.


  • In their last ten games, the Pirates have gone 7-3 vs. the runline.
  • Over their last five games as the favorite, the Braves are just 2-3 against the runline.
  • Opponents are hitting just .211 against Mitch Keller in his last four starts.


Coming in with an overall record of 65-75, the Pirates are 4th in the NL Central. As of late, Pittsburgh has been good on the road, winning two straight road series. The team’s overall series record is 15-24-5. For the season, the Pirates have a runline record of 71-69, which includes going 37-32 away from home. Their over/under mark is 75-60 this year.

As the Pirates prepare to face the Braves, Mitch Keller has been on a roll. The right-hander has notched four consecutive quality starts and has taken the mound 28 times this season. His record stands at 11-8 with an ERA of 3.92, while opponents are batting .241 against him with an OPS of .690. Keller’s strikeout total is currently at 187, and he has issued 51 walks in 2023.

The Pirates emerged victorious the last time Mitch Keller took the mound, defeating the Cardinals 4-2. Despite a quality start from Keller, who pitched six innings and allowed only one earned run, he was not rewarded with a win and ended up with a no-decision.

This season, the Pirates are 22nd in the league at 4.2 runs per game. Over their last five games, they have a combined batting average of .256 (15th) leading to 4.6 runs per contest. Overall, they are generating 3.5 walks per game compared to 8 strikeouts. Pittsburgh’s on-base percentage of .313 has them 15th in the MLB.

Liover Peguero has been a key contributor to the Pirates’ offensive success this season, boasting a .258 batting average and .430 slugging percentage. In the team’s last ten games, Peguero has been on fire at the plate, leading Pittsburgh in hits with a .352 average.


With an overall record of 91-48, the Braves are 1st in the NL East. When playing at home, they are 45-24 and 46-24. So far, Atlanta has a record of 41-41 against below .500 teams and have played in 45 series, going 32-10-3.

Bryce Elder will take the mound for the Braves with an 11-4 record this season. He has made 27 appearances, and his ERA is 3.42. His K/9 rate is 6.43, and his FIP is 4.26 with an OBP of .301.

The Braves emerged victorious in the last game Bryce Elder pitched, defeating the Dodgers 4-2. Despite Elder’s quality start, lasting six innings and giving up one earned run, he did not earn the win and was credited with a no-decision.

Offensively, Atlanta is ranked 1st in the league with an average of 5.8 runs per game. When looking over their last ten matchups, the Braves averaged 4.2 runs per contest, which is 9th best in that span. In terms of their power numbers, Atlanta is 1st in all of baseball, with a total of 270 home runs.

The Braves’ offensive leader, Ronald Acuña Jr., has been a force to be reckoned with this season. The outfielder is batting .331 and boasts a SLG% of .579 and an OBP of .411. Acuña Jr. has been the team’s go-to hitter in 2023, leading the squad in hits.