Boston vs Atlanta | MLB Expert Betting Analysis

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The lone national TV game around the majors on Tuesday featuring the struggling Boston Red Sox visiting the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves. Both teams have been disappointments so far but both are too talented to stay under .500.

How to Bet Red Sox at Braves MLB Odds & TV Info

  • When: Tuesday, 7:20 PM ET
  • Where: Truist Park
  • Probable pitchers (away/home): Garrett Whitlock/Kyle Wrigh
  • TV: TBS
  • Stream/gameday audio: TBS app
  • Opening MLB Lines: Braves -132, Red Sox +122 (total 8)

Why Bet on Boston?

Could Red Sox manager Alex Cora be in some trouble? No likely considering the Sox made the playoffs last year and reached the ALCS, but there’s no question the team looks lost right now on a five-game skid and at 10-19 overall. Trevor Story has been a free-agent mega-bust.

In Sunday’s home loss to the White Sox, Story went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts. He has struck out 35 times in 105 plate appearances (33.3% strikeout percentage).  Story is batting .194 with a .276 on-base percentage, .269 slugging percentage and .545 OPS. He has yet to homer. Boston is averaging just 3.3 runs per game this season (95 runs, 29 games).

What’s worse is that two of the free-agent hitters who are thriving right now, Freddie Freeman and Seiya Suzuki, were targets for Boston in the offseason before landing with the Dodgers and Cubs, respectively.

Another issue is that Red Sox outfielders have combined to hit .206/.262/.317 thus far, amounting to a .579 OPS that ranks 27th in MLB among outfields. Of the nine series the Red Sox have played this season, they’ve won just one, taking two of three at Detroit in the second week of the season.

Former reliever Garrett Whitlock (1-1, 1.25) has been a huge bright spot, though, and gets the start Thursday. Whitlock struck out a career-high nine while limiting the Angels to two runs over five innings last Wednesday. Whitlock retired the first 12 batters he faced, with seven of them coming via the strikeout. He then seemed to begin to tire in the fifth inning as he crossed a new season high in pitches.

Whitlock leads the majors (min. 20.0 IP) with a 0.69 WHIP and .185 opponent OBP, leading the AL with a .143 opponent AVG and .432 opponent OPS. He ranks 4th in the AL with 12.05 SO/9.0 IP (min. 20.0 IP), trailing Shohei Ohtani (14.01), Shane McClanahan (13.08), and Dylan Cease (12.44). Whitlock owns the 3rd-lowest career ERA (1.80) of any major league pitcher in the Live Ball Era (min. 90.0 IP), the lowest by a Red Sox.

Why Bet on Atlanta?

The Braves took two of three at home over the weekend vs. Milwaukee. Star Ronald Acuna went 2-for-4 with a double, a run, an RBI, a stolen base, a walk and a strikeout in Sunday’s 9-2 win. Acuna has reached base in all nine of his games since making his season debut, and he’s now posted back-to-back multi-hit performances. Over his nine games in 2022, the 24-year-old has slashed .278/.366/.500 with two homers, two doubles, five RBI, three runs and four stolen bases.

Dansby Swanson went 2-for-3 with a walk, a stolen base and three runs scored Sunday. Over his last 16 games, Swanson is slashing .340/.414/.560 with two homers, three steals, eight RBI and 12 runs, although he still sports an elevated 31.0 percent strikeout rate during that stretch. He’s fanned 40 times this season, which is tops in the NL (teammate Adam Duvall is right behind him at 38). Atlanta owns a .602 OPS with runners in scoring position this season, the sixth-worst mark in the majors.

Pitching-wise, Atlanta has allowed more than three runs in a win twice this season, with both such games coming within their first three victories of the season. They allowed six runs in their first win of the season and then four runs against Washington on April 12.

It’s Kyle Wright (3-1) on the mound Tuesday. Wright posted his third straight quality start — but was handed his first loss of the season — after allowing three runs on nine hits over seven innings against the Mets last Tuesday. The right-hander walked one and punched out three on the evening. The Mets got to him for two runs in the opening inning — on a two-out RBI double off the bat of Dominic Smith. Wright then served up a solo homer to Pete Alonso in the sixth. Wright still has a terrific 1.74 ERA and 0.97 WHIP.

Wright is a former No. 5 overall pick from Vanderbilt who had always struggled to gain footing in the majors. He spent a ton of time in Triple-A last season. Many thought this season could be his final chance to establish himself in the majors. Prior to 2022, Wright had gone to his curveball less than 15% of the time at the MLB level, leaning on his slider as his out pitch. Wright’s inconsistency with his slider largely contributed to his inconsistency overall and now in his fifth big league stint, we have seen the 26-year-old phase out the slider in favor for his new-looked curve. Of pitchers who have thrown their curveball at least 50 times this season, Wright ranks fourth in whiff rate at 42.9%.

Wright has allowed two runs in 8.2 career innings against the Red Sox.

Expert Prediction

  • Braves 4, Red Sox 3