MLB Friday best bets: Braves to start fast vs. Giants

MLB Friday best bets: Braves to start fast vs. Giants

We had ourselves a tidy Thursday night, completing a mini-sweep with our best bets.

With the Tigers game rained out, that left us with a pair of player props – both of which hit with room to spare. Brandon Nimmo recorded three total bases against the Cardinals while Rich Hill struck out just three Diamondbacks batters.

A 2-0 night pushes our weekly record to 7-4. Let’s try to build on it with three more plays for the last card of the week.

Giants (+190) @ Braves (-220)

It’s the Braves‘ world and we’re just living in it. The league’s most powerful – and prolific – offense is in a tier of its own right now.

The Braves enter play averaging a whopping 7.38 runs per game in August. The Dodgers (6.25) and Cubs (6.07) are the only other teams averaging more than 5.75.

The numbers beneath the surface indicate their absurd level of success is warranted. They’re hitting .304 in August and rank first in average, on-base percentage, OPS, xwOBA, homers, and pretty much any other offensive category that exists.

Atlanta should give Alex Cobb all he can handle (and more) on Friday night. Cobb is having a solid season as a whole but he’s looked a lot more hittable of late, allowing 14 earned runs over his past three starts for the Giants.

His struggles date back a little further; Cobb posted a .388 xwOBA over the last 30 days. None of today’s projected starters have fared worse in that category.

It’s not hard to imagine Cobb, who’s playing his worst baseball of the season, having a tough night against this scorching Braves attack. There’s value in backing the Braves to make noise in the first half of this game.

Bet: Braves F5 team total O2.5 (-130)

Tony Gonsolin under 17.5 outs

Gonsolin has completed six innings in just six of 19 starts to date, averaging 15.9 outs in that span.

The Dodgers right-hander doesn’t have much of a gas tank – his average output is 82 pitches – so he can’t afford to run into much trouble if he’s going to get 18 outs. Clearly, that’s been a problem.

Gonsolin conceded at least four earned runs in seven of his past 10 starts, only getting the job done against the Mets, Athletics, and Rockies – not exactly the cream of the crop.

The underlying numbers don’t paint a brighter picture: Only two of Friday’s projected starters own a higher xwOBA than Gonsolin (.380) over the last month.

Miami is not a prolific offensive team, but it is trending in the right direction. The Marlins have averaged 4.75 runs per game over the last eight.

They have enough talent to string some hits together and make Gonsolin work, which should increase his pitch count and chase him before he finishes six.

Odds: -130 (playable to -140)

Tyler Anderson over 1.5 walks

Anderson has been a walk machine all season. Over 21 starts, he’s doled out at least two free passes in 17 of them, or 81%. Yet the odds here imply Anderson has just a 53% chance of walking multiple batters.

Although the Rays have been struggling at the dish for quite some time, their ability to grind out walks has remained consistent.

They have walked in 9.5% of their at-bats versus lefties over the past month, which slots them seventh in the league. That walk rate is nearly two full percentage points higher than the average.

With the Rays’ bats in a rut, it only makes sense for them to be patient in their approach and stick with what has been working. Anderson has shown time and time again that he will make mistakes and miss his spots. All the Rays have to do is wait, and they’ve done a great job of that even while ice-cold as an offense.

Odds: -115 (playable to -130)

Todd Cordell is a sports betting writer at theScore. Be sure to follow him on Twitter @ToddCordell.

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