The St. Louis Cardinals take on the Atlanta Braves. Check out our MLB odds series for our Cardinals Braves prediction and pick.

Miles Mikolas takes the ball for the Cardinals, while Max Fried gets the start for the Braves in a battle of aces.

Miles Mikolas has a 2.61 ERA. He started the year with a flourish, posting a 1.52 ERA in the month of April. In May, he was knocked back a few pegs. His ERA for that month was 3.77. However, he rebounded well in June, recording an ERA of 2.38 for that month.

Mikolas had a 1.96 ERA for the full season entering a May 29 start versus the Brewers. He got roughed up in that start, and then again on June 3 against the Cubs. However, after those two difficult outings, he adjusted and has not given up more than two earned runs in any of his next five starts, leading up to this game in Atlanta. Mikolas is carrying the Cardinals' starting rotation, and St. Louis needs him in a big way, given the pitcher he is staring down on Wednesday night in Georgia.

Max Fried has a 2.66 ERA, but he has been a better pitcher than Mikolas over the past several weeks. Fried's June ERA was 2.16, slightly better than Mikolas' 2.38 mark. In five of his last seven starts, Fried has given up no more than one run, and he has pitched at least six complete innings in each of those outings. Fried is in a groove, and it will be a challenge for the Cardinals to rough him up.

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Courtesy of FanDuel, here are the Cardinals-Braves MLB odds.

MLB Odds: Cardinals-Braves Odds

St. Louis Cardinals: +1.5 (-134)

Atlanta Braves: -1.5 (+114)

Over: 9 (-106)

Under: 9 (-114)

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Why The Cardinals Could Cover the Spread

The Cardinals are reeling, having lost four straight and six of seven. They are rapidly losing ground relative to the Braves in the battle for wild card positioning. They are failing to take advantage of the San Francico Giants' awful two-week stretch. They badly need a win, so there is going to be urgency in the St. Louis dugout. Having Miles Mikolas gives the Cardinals exactly the man they want on the mound to stop a losing streak. This is an important game within the larger course of the 162-game season, and good teams find a way to win the games they really need to grab. If you think the Cardinals are a good team (not great, but better than mediocre), you'll trust them here.

Why The Braves Could Cover the Spread

After winning on Tuesday night, the Braves are up to 14 games over .500 at 48-34. They have not waited until August to play well, unlike last year. The World Series champions are playing like it. They have been on a tear since the beginning of June and are clearly not slowing down. They have Max Fried on the bump, and he is in rhythm. There's very little reason to pick against Atlanta given the way this team is playing. The opponent is not the Dodgers or Mets. The Braves are clearly the third-best team in the National League at the moment, and one could make an argument they're better than the Mets.

Final Cardinals-Braves Prediction & Pick

Both pitchers deserve a lot of trust, which means that instead of picking a team, you can pick under the nine-run total, which seems almost too good to be true in a Mikolas-Fried matchup.

Final Cardinals-Braves Prediction & Pick: Under 9