Vegas Odds & MLB Predictions: Atlanta Braves at Milwaukee Brewers(July 5th, 2018)
Atlanta at Milwaukee is a Showdown Between Two Unlikely Division Leaders
It’s true that Milwaukee was in a similar position last year, but many expected some regression, especially in a division with a couple of powerhouses in the Cubs and Cardinals.
Instead we’ve seen the Brewers in first place for most of the season and even as Chicago has gotten hot over the past few weeks, Milwaukee’s been able to run with them.
They are coming into this series on a three-game winning streak and winners of five of their last six. They won their third straight tight game over Minnesota on Wednesday to sweep the series. They did that in spite scoring just five runs over the final two games and winning the three games by a combined four runs.
Last season, the offense is what was way better than most expected and the pitching sort of went along for the ride. But this season the pitching is more than holding its own as they are second overall in the National League with a 3.55 ERA. It’s the offense that’s been league average as they are seventh overall, scoring 4.39 RPG.
Add it all up and this is a team with the best record in the National League and they are one game up on Chicago.
The Braves in the meanwhile have been stuck at the bottom of the division for years, accumulating young talent that seemed to be at least another season from really breaking out.
Instead they’ve been ahead of the curve and have been at or near the top of the division since the season started. It’s very much the young kids who have led the way as well along with some help from the ageless Nick Markakis.
The veteran leads the team with a .322 batting average and 58 RBIs, but Freddie Freeman leads with a .399 PBP and is second in the average at .308 and RBIs with 56.
The Braves dropped the final two games in the Bronx against the Yankees, but they won four in a row prior to that after sweeping St Louis and winning the opener against New York
They are second averaging 5 RPG and seventh with a 3.76 ERA.
Jhoulys Chacin (6-3, 3.71 ERA) has allowed one run or less in three of his last four starts, but two starts ago he was tattooed, allowing eight runs in 4.1 innings against the Cardinals. Last time out he allowed one run in five innings, but the Brewers still lost 12-3 to Cincinnati. They’ve lost his last three starts after winning his previous five.
Max Fried (1-2, 2.55 ERA) is having a sparkling start to his career. He’s made six appearances and two straight starts. He’s allowed just one earned run (two total) in those two starts, both Braves wins.
Milwaukee is currently a -116 favorite with total sitting at 8.5 (over -120). This should be a game between two evenly matched teams and pitchers. I like Milwaukee in the opener given the Braves just finished playing in New York. That’s a tough turnaround. The Pick: Brewers 4-3.