St. Louis Cardinals at Atlanta Braves 9/18/18 Pick
Time: 7:35 PM ET
Where: SunTrust Park, Cumberland, GA
Listed Pitchers: Austin Gomber (St. L) vs. Anibal Sanchez (Atl)
TV: ESPN, FS Midwest, FS Southeast
Moneyline: Cardinals +135/Braves -145
The Braves are closing in on a division title while the Cardinals are chasing a wild-card berth. How are we playing the middle game of this critical three-game series with our daily free MLB picks?
MLB Betting Line
Tuesday’s MLB betting odds opened Atlanta at around -145 for this game, with an over/under of 8.5 runs. In early betting action, both those figures were holding steady.
The Braves could also be found getting around +145 giving the run and a half on the MLB run line.
The Cardinals took the opener of this series Monday night 11-6, bopping four home runs. St. Louis also cashed in as a +130 dog against Atlanta starter Mike Foltynewicz.
So the Cardinals have won two games in a row, after losing four straight last week.
At 83-68 overall St. Louis trails the first-place Cubs by 5.5 games in the NL Central race. But the Cardinals also own the second NL wild-card spot, a half-game clear of Colorado.
The Braves, meanwhile, have lost three games in a row, following a six-game winning streak.
At 83-67 overall Atlanta leads the NL East by 6.5 games over second-place Philadelphia. The Braves also lead the Dodgers by a half-game in the battle for the No. 2 spot in the upcoming NL playoffs.
In the only previous encounter between these teams, this season Atlanta swept three games from the Cardinals in St. Louis back in July.
Tuesday’s Starting Arms
Sanchez (6-5, 3.01), by our strict standards, is 9/21 on QS this season, and while only one for his last four a short leash played a part. Last Wednesday he held San Francisco to one run through six innings, and over his previous four starts, he’s allowed only six earned runs through 22 innings for a 2.45 ERA over that span. On the season the Braves are 12-9 with Sanchez.
This will be Sanchez’ first start against the Cardinals since 2012 when he was with Miami. And that’s like an eon ago in baseball time.
Rookie lefty Gomber (5-1, 3.78) is 4/9 on quality starts this year, but coming off his worst outing, in which he got bombed for seven runs and nine hits through just three innings last Thursday against the Dodgers. However, over his six starts previous to that he held opponents to only eight ER through 35 innings (2.06 ERA). On the year St. Louis is 7-2 with Gomber.
This will be Gomber’s first-ever start against Atlanta, although over two appearances in relief in that series back in late June he tossed one scoreless, hitless inning.
We’ll give Sanchez a short handicapping edge in this pitching match-up, but it’s close.
Tuesday’s Batting Splits
St. Louis owns a .249/.318/.404 team batting average/OBP/slugging percentage split against right-handed pitching this season.
Atlanta owns a .270/.337/.448 split against left-handed pitching this year.
So the Braves get the check-mark with the sticks in this spot.
- The Cardinals bullpen owns a 3.95 ERA and a 1.42 WHIP.
- The Atlanta pen owns a 3.68 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP.
- We gotta give the Braves a short edge in bullpen comparison, too.
Unders are 37-34 in games played at SunTrust Park this year, even though Braves home games are averaging 9.3 total runs per.
Unders are a combined 18-11 when Sanchez and Gomber start this season.
Overs are 3-1 in Cards-Braves games this season.
Free MLB Picks
We give Atlanta 2.5 of our handicapping checks for this contest. However, St. Louis is 10 games over .500, 59-49, against right-handed starters this season, while Atlanta is two games under .500, 21-23, against left-handed starters. Also, when it comes to making the playoffs, the Cardinals have less room for error than the Braves. Plus, we like the underdog price. We’re going with St. Louis for our free MLB pick for Tuesday.Guys get started betting online with a nice 100% deposit bonus from GTBets.