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Atlanta Braves at St. Louis Cardinals Betting Preview

After splitting the first two games of the series, the Atlanta Braves (79-49) and St. Louis Cardinals (73-54) will battle it out in the rubber match Sunday evening. This game will be played at Busch Stadium, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:08 pm ET.

In Saturday’s game, the Cardinals prevailed 6-5 after scoring two runs in the ninth inning. Ryan Helsey took the win in relief after a tough start from Jordan Montgomery, who gave up five runs on eight hits in five innings of work.

Offensively, the Cardinals had home runs by both Andrew Knizner and Nolan Arenado. For Arenado, he finished the day four for four with two runs batted in and a run scored.

Kenley Jansen got pegged with both a blown save and the loss Saturday. He allowed two runs on two hits and walked two in a third of an inning. Charlie Morton started the game for Atlanta, allowing four runs on five hits in five innings.

Matt Olson, Austin Riley, and Travis d’Arnaud hit well out of the two, three, and four spots in the lineup. Combined, they went 7 for 12 with four runs batted in and four runs scored.

The Cardinals are the favorites playing at home Sunday night. They are -126 to win while the Braves’ moneyline sits at +108. The runline features Atlanta +1.5 (-196), and the over/under for total runs is eight.

Braves Trying To Play Catch Up In NL East

While the Atlanta Braves sit firmly entrenched in a Wild Card spot, they are looking to still make a run at the NL East. Currently, three games back in the division, they will look to pick up a series win Sunday on the road, where they are 37-25 this season.

On the mound for the Braves will be righty Jake Odorizzi. Acquired from the Houston Astros at the trade deadline for reliever Will Smith, Odorizzi is 5-5 in 16 starts this season with a 3.95 ERA, 1.27 WHIP, and he has 61 strikeouts in 79.2 innings.

In his last start, he picked up a win over the Pittsburgh Pirates, allowing just one run on four hits in six innings of work. He struck out seven in the victory.

Offensively, the Braves have been led this season by third baseman Austin Riley. He is hitting .287/.356/.555 with a team-leading 31 home runs and 74 runs scored. He also has driven in 83 runs.

Matt Olson has also been solid for Atlanta hitting .256/.339/.502 with 27 home runs and 87 runs batted in.

Cardinals Starting To Run Away With The Division

Having won seven of their last ten games, the St. Louis Cardinals have started to run away with the NL Central as they sit six games ahead of the second-place Milwaukee Brewers. Trying to keep the pressure on, they will look to improve on their 41-22 home record Sunday.

Veteran Adam Wainwright will take the ball for manager Oli Marmol’s club in the finale. In 25 games, he is 9-9 with a 3.11 ERA, 1.17 WHIP, and he has 126 strikeouts in 156.1 innings.

In his last three outings, Wainwright has given up just three earned runs over 22 innings of work. He has allowed just 11 hits and struck out 18 in that span.

At -1450, first baseman Paul Goldschmidt is the favorite to win the NL MVP this season, and a look at his stats shows why. In 452 at bats, he is hitting .338/.423/.633 with a team-high 33 home runs, 105 runs batted in, and 92 runs scored.

Nolan Arenado is also playing at an exceptional level as he is hitting .306/.371/.570 with 27 home runs, 84 runs batted in, and 62 runs scored.

Take St. Louis At Home

Looking at the trends, it is no wonder why these two have split the first two games. They are both amazing clubs and have been playing like it as of late.

The Cardinals are 11-3 in their last 14 games and 14-2 in their last 16 at Busch Stadium. For Atlanta, they are 15-3 in their last 18 games and 10-1 in their last 11 on the road.

Still, this one comes down to the pitching, and in that regard, the Cardinals have the advantage. While Jake Odorizzi has been decent this season, taking Adam Wainwright at home in primetime seems like the smart bet.

Take St. Louis to win at -126.

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