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St. Louis Cardinals at Atlanta Braves Betting Preview

After winning the first three games of the series, the Atlanta Braves (49-34) will look for the sweep as they host the St. Louis Cardinals (44-40) in Thursday’s finale. The game will be played at Truist Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:20 pm ET.

On Wednesday, the Braves were able to take the third game of the series 3-0. In the win, Max Fried pitched six scoreless innings, allowing five hits and striking out four.

Offensively, the Braves got home runs from Marcell Ozuna and Eddie Rosario. In total, Atlanta only had five hits, with Austin Riley accounting for two of them.

Miles Mikolas picked up his seventh loss of the season after giving up three runs on five hits in six innings of work.

St. Louis outhit the Braves with seven hits, but they also left 14 runners stranded on base. Both Paul Goldschmidt and Albert Pujols went two for three in the loss.

The Braves are the favorites to finish the sweep. They are -215 to win while the Cardinals’ moneyline sits at +180. The runline features St. Louis +1.5 (-113), and the over/under for total runs is nine.

Cardinals Looking To Get Out Of Funk

While the Cardinals’ record sits at 44-40, they have really been struggling over the last couple of weeks. In fact, they have lost seven of their last ten games and are 20-24 on the road. They sit in second in the NL Central, but they are three games back of the Brewers.

Trying to salvage the finale will be lefty Matthew Liberatore. In five games, the 22-year-old is 2-1 with a 5.66 ERA, 1.79 WHIP, and has 18 strikeouts in 20.2 innings.

Liberatore took a no-decision in his last start against the Phillies. He was roughed up a bit as he allowed five earned runs on seven hits in just 2.2 innings of work.

Offensively, Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado continue to lead the way. Goldschmidt is hitting .343/.427/.620 with 19 home runs, 65 runs batted in, and has 61 runs in 303 at bats. He leads the team in all three of those categories.

For Arenado, the star third baseman is hitting .295/.356/.534 with 17 home runs, 55 runs batted in, and 38 runs scored.

This will be the first time that any Cardinals’ hitters will face the Braves’ Spencer Strider.

Braves Looking To Close NL East Gap

Having gone 7-3 in their last ten games, the Atlanta Braves all of a sudden find themselves with the third-best record in the National League and just 2.5 games behind the New York Mets in the NL East. Trying to close the divisional gap further, they will look to pick up another win at home, where they are 27-17 this season.

On the mound for the Braves will be 23-year-old righty Spencer Strider. In 18 games, he has gone 4-2 with a 2.87 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, and has 90 strikeouts in only 59.2 innings of work.

In his last two starts combined, Strider has allowed just one earned run on six hits in 12 innings while striking out a combined 18 hitters.

After his two-hit performance Wednesday, third baseman Austin Riley is now hitting .273/.340/.543 with a team-leading 21 home runs and 51 runs batted in. He also has scored 46 runs to date.

Shortstop Dansby Swanson has also been excellent, hitting .298/.355/.495 with 14 home runs, 49 runs batted in, and a team-leading 52 runs scored.

Take The Braves To Win And Cover

For as good as the Cardinals look on paper, they can’t get out of their own way right now. They have lost four in a row and nine of their last 13 games. They have also lost seven straight at Truist Park.

On the flip side, the Braves have been one of the hottest teams in baseball and feature an offense that ranks fourth in scoring averaging 4.77 runs per game (4.93 at home).

Additionally, while Matthew Liberatore has shown signs of brilliance, Spencer Strider has shown the consistency that makes him a little more trustworthy.

While the Cardinals are not an easy team to bet against, it is the right play until they can get out of their funk. Take Atlanta to not only win but to cover the -1.5 runline (-106) as well.

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