The last two World Series champions will battle it out Saturday night as the Houston Astros (10-10) take on the Atlanta Braves (14-6). The Braves will host this one at Truist Park with first pitch scheduled for 7:20 pm ET.
The Braves are slight favorites playing at home. They are -116 to win, while the Astros’ moneyline sits at -102.
The runline features Atlanta +1.5 (-184), and the over/under for total runs is 8.5 (-110).
Shorthanded Astros Trying To Find Consistency
With two key pieces of the offense missing in Jose Altuve and Michael Brantley, the Astros are trying to keep their head above water in the early going of the season. With their win in the opener of this series, they are now back to .500 at 10-10. Moving forward, they are looking to find some consistency to fight their way back up in the AL West.
In Friday’s 6-4 win, the Astros were able to hammer out 11 hits, including the fifth home run of the season for Yordan Alvarez. Filling in for Altuve, second baseman Mauricio Dubon extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a three for five performance.
As a unit, Houston ranks ninth in scoring this season, averaging 5.05 runs per game. Leading the way is Alvarez, who is hitting .262/.388/.538 with a team-leading five home runs and 23 runs batted in.
On the mound for Dusty Baker’s club Saturday will be lefty Framber Valdez. In four starts, he is 1-2 with a 1.80 ERA, 1.16 WHIP, and he has struck out 25 in 25 innings. In his last start, the 25-year-old picked up the loss against the Rangers despite giving up just one earned run over six innings.
Braves Try To Regroup At Home Saturday
At 14-6, the Atlanta Braves lead the NL East by a game over the New York Mets. Still, the Braves will try to regroup at home (4-4), where they have had a tougher time winning than on the road (10-2) in the early stages of the season.
Righty Kyle Wright will toe the rubber Saturday. In two starts, he has yet to record a decision while posting a 6.23 ERA, 1.73 WHIP, and he has struck out nine in 8.2 innings. In his last start, against the Royals, he went 5.2 innings, allowing two earned runs and struck out six.
Matt Olson has led the charge for an offense that ranks eighth, averaging 5.11 runs per game. In 79 at bats, he is hitting .266/.376/.582 with six home runs, 20 runs batted in, and 15 runs scored.
Ronald Acuna is also hitting well. He is hitting a whopping .369/.448/.560 in 84 at bats. He has also added three home runs, 11 runs batted in, and a team-leading 19 runs scored.
Value In The Astros
Looking at the trends, the Astros are 4-2 in their last six games, and 4-1 in their last five road games. Stemming back to last season, in their last seven games against National League opponents, they are 6-1.
For Atlanta, they are 8-2 in their last 10 games. In their last five home games and eight of their last 11 games overall, the OVER has hit.
This matchup of heavyweight contenders is a tough one to call. The Astros are seemingly picking it up as of late and have their ace on the mound Saturday. On the flip side, the Braves have played well all season long to this point.
This one comes down to the pitching. While Kyle Wright can be dominant when he is right, he hasn’t shown that he is right yet. Especially with Valdez on the mound, there is a lot of value in taking Houston to win straight up at -102.