The St. Louis Cardinals and the Atlanta Braves will meet in an explosive showdown of NL contenders on the fourth of July. It's time to continue our MLB odds coverage with a Cardinals-Braves prediction and pick.
The Cardinals lost two of three to the Phillies this past weekend. St. Louis is 4-6 over 10 games. Overall, the Cardinals are 20-21 on the road in 2022. They have gone 4-6 over the past 10 road games. The Braves won two of three against the Cincinnati Reds. Also, they are 6-4 over 10 games. The Braves are 24-17 at home. Additionally, they have gone 7-3 over their last 10 home games.
The Cardinals and the Braves are meeting for the first time this year. The Braves won six of the seven meetings in 2021, including three of four at Truist Field. The Braves have won the season series for three consecutive seasons dating back to 2019 (the teams did not meet in 2020). Additionally, the Braves have won 14 of the 19 contests over those three years.
Dakota Hudson will take the mound for the Cardinals. Hudson is 6-4 with a 3.83 ERA in 2022. However, he pitched inconsistently in June, going 3-2 with a 4.58 ERA in six starts. Hudson is 2-3 with a 4.57 ERA in eight starts on the road. However, he is 0-0 with a 3.38 ERA in two appearances (one start) against the Braves. Hudson allowed an earned run in each start.
Kyle Wright will go for the Braves. Wright is 9-4 with a 3.03 ERA. Likewise, he went 5-1 with a 3.52 ERA in six starts in June. Wright is 6-2 with a 3.21 ERA in nine starts at home. He has never faced the Cardinals.
Courtesy of FanDuel, here are the Cardinals-Braves odds:
MLB odds: Cardinals-Braves Odds
Cardinals: +1.5 (-126)
Braves: -1.5 (+105)
Over: 9.5 (-106)
Under: 9.5 (-114)
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Why The Cardinals Could Cover The Spread
The Cardinals have two hitters that opposing pitchers fear. Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado can carry the Cardinals on their backs.
Goldschmidt is batting .346 with 19 home runs, 65 RBIs, and 60 runs scored in 2022. However, his numbers are slightly lower on the road, where is batting .300 with four home runs, 23 RBIs, and 25 runs scored through 38 road games. Goldschmidt is batting .307 with nine home runs, 31 RBIs, and 31 runs scored through 61 career games against the Braves. Alternatively, he is only batting .234 with three home runs, 15 RBIs, and eight runs scored in 31 games played in Atlanta.
Arenado is batting .291 with 17 home runs, 55 RBIs, and 38 runs scored in 2022. Likewise, he is batting .293 with 10 home runs, 31 RBIs, and 21 runs scored through 39 road games. Arenado is batting .306 with nine home runs, 27 RBIs, and 25 runs scored through 44 games against Atlanta. However, he is batting .258 with five home runs, 12 RBIs, and 12 runs scored through 24 road games against the Braves.
The Cardinals will cover the spread if Hudson gives them six strong innings, allowing three or fewer runs. Additionally, Goldschmidt and Arenado need to both connect off Wright and force him into making mistakes early in the game. The Cardinals thrive off taking the early lead and will attempt to do it today.
Why The Braves Could Cover The Spread
The Braves have a few weapons of choice in their lineup, and none bring more fear than Ozzie Albies and Austin Riley.
Albies is the leadoff hitter and is batting .244 with eight home runs, 33 RBIs, and 34 runs scored through 62 games. However, Albies is better at home, where he is batting .266 with four home runs, 25 RBIs, and 16 runs scored through 34 home games. Albies has struggled against the Cardinals, batting .238 with two home runs, 13 RBIs, and 13 runs scored through 22 games against St. Louis. Consequently. the numbers are worse at home, where he is batting .171 with a home run, four RBIs, and six runs scored through 1o games at Truist Park.
Riley is having a good season, batting .266 with 20 home runs, 48 RBIs, and 44 runs scored through 78 games in 2022. Likewise, he is batting .258 with 10 home runs, 21 RBIs, and 20 runs scored through 4o home games. Riley is batting .283 with two home runs, eight RBIs, and six runs scored through 12 games against the Cards. Additionally, he is batting .300 with one home run, four RBIs, and three runs scored in six home games against the Cardinals.
The Braves will cover the spread if Wright pitched a decent game. Likewise, Albies and Riley must produce for the Braves and put the clamps on any offense from Goldschmidt and Arenado.
Final Cardinals-Braves Prediction & Pick
The Cardinals and Braves meet in what could be a playoff preview. It is a very realistic scenario, especially if the Cardinals end up winning the NL Central. The Braves have the advantage here, with the slightly better pitcher. The Cards will put up a fight but fall in the end. Pick the Braves to cover the spread.
Final Cardinals-Braves Prediction & Pick: Braves: -1.5 (+105)