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The Atlanta Braves will host the St. Louis Cardinals in the deciding game five of the NLDS early Wednesday evening from SunTrust Park. The Cardinals give the starting call to 23-year old right-hander Jack Flaherty, and the Braves will counter with 28-year old right-hander Mike Foltynewicz. The Cardinals rallied for a 5-4 win in 10 innings in game four on Monday evening to force a game five.
Jack Flaherty Tabbed as Game Five Starter
Manager Mike Schildt will send Jack Flaherty to the mound for the deciding game five. Flaherty was solid in his start in game two, holding the Braves to three runs in seven innings, although he did squander eight hits. The third-year right-hander was the Cardinals' best starter this season, posting a terrific 2.75 ERA and a 0.97 WHIP paired with an 11-8 record in 196.1 innings of action. Flaherty held Atlanta to just three runs in 12 innings to go with a 1-0 record in his two meetings this season, and he allowed five runs in 4.2 frames in his only other career appearance against the Braves last year.
The middle of the Cardinals’ batting order continues to deliver. Marcell Ozuna belted two big solo homers in game four, and he now features a sharp .471 batting average with four RBI’s and a 1.5 OPS in this NLDS. Paul Goldschmidt tallied a solo blast along with three hits in game four. The veteran first baseman has clubbed two homers and two RBI’s paired with a .438 average in this series. Goldschmidt has not been able to solve Mike Foltynewicz in his career, going 4 for 21 with one RBI.
WHO ELSE?! 🐐 pic.twitter.com/zKq8msNJer— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) October 7, 2019
Dexter Fowler’s struggles resumed in game four. The 33-year old leadoff hitter is now 1 for 17 with only one walk in this series. St. Louis is a poor 4 for 31 with runners in scoring position in the NLDS.
The Cardinals scored an average of 4.72 runs per game in the regular season, placing them 19th overall. St. Louis features a strong pitching staff that recorded a 3.82 team ERA this season, positioning them fifth in the Majors. The Cards went 41-40 on the road this year.
Foltynewicz Targets Second Win of NLDS After Game Two Gem
The Braves will start Mike Foltynewicz in game five. Foltynewicz came through with a gem in game two, firing seven shutout innings of three-hit ball, leading to a 3-0 Braves victory. The veteran right-hander had an inconsistent season, logging a 4.54 ERA and a 1.25 WHIP accompanied with an 8-5 mark in 117 innings pitched. Foltynewicz was rocked for eight runs in his first start against the Cardinals this season, and he held St. Louis to one run (zero earned) in six innings in the second regular-season clash. Overall he has struggled against the Cardinals over his career, recording a 7.64 ERA and a 3-4 record in seven starts.
Ronald Acuna Jr. is doing his job in the leadoff position, sporting a sparkling .500 average (8 for 16) with a 1.6 OPS in this series. The 21-year old slugger is only 1 for 7 in his career against Cards’ starter Jack Flaherty. Acuna Jr. only tallied six hits in 24 regular-season at-bats against St. Louis.
While Acuna Jr. is hot, Freddie Freeman is not. The veteran Braves’ slugger has gone 0 for 12 over his last three games after collecting two hits and a solo home run in game one. Freeman is a solid 3 for 8 in his career against Jack Flaherty. There is some speculation that Freeman is playing with an elbow injury. The Braves are an abysmal 4 for 34 with runners in scoring position in this series.
The Braves potent lineup averaged 5.28 runs per game this year, good for seventh in the Major Leagues. The Atlanta pitching staff posted a 4.20 team ERA, placing them 18th overall. The Braves sported a terrific 50-31 record at SunTrust Park this season.
The Atlanta Braves are:
- 6-0 in Foltynewicz's last 6 home starts.
- 14-3 in Foltynewicz's last 17 starts overall.
- 5-1 in their last 6 home games against a starter with a WHIP below 1.15.
The St. Louis Cardinals are:
- 1-7 in their last 8 playoff road games.
- 1-5 in Flaherty's last 6 road starts against a team with a winning record.
- 0-5 in their last 5 games against a right-handed starter.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
I am selecting the Braves to win game five in their home ballpark and advance to the NLCS. This is the same pitching matchup as game two in a game Atlanta won by a 3-0 score. Braves’ starter Mike Foltynewicz is pitching with confidence right now. The right-hander was tremendous in game two, tossing seven shutout innings in the winning effort. Foltynewicz has now limited the Cardinals to one run (zero earned) in his last 13 innings pitched after holding St. Louis to one run (zero earned) in six frames in the last regular-season meeting.
Furthermore, the Braves were able to manufacture three runs on eight base hits against Cardinals’ starter Jack Flaherty in game two. Atlanta has the deeper lineup and I expect them to prevail at the plate. Atlanta has outscored the Cardinals 16-13 in this series.
Prediction: Atlanta Braves
Full-Game Total Pick
I expect a pitchers' duel. As mentioned these foes played to a 3-0 score in this exact pitching matchup in game two. Jack Flaherty is an ace, and he has now limited the Braves to six runs in 19 total innings this season, and the under is 13-3-2 in his last 18 starts overall.
In addition, I have full confidence in Mike Foltynewicz considering his outstanding performance in game two. He limited the Cards to only three hits, and he has accumulated 14 strikeouts in his last two outings spread across 13 innings against St. Louis. The under is also 4-0 in Folty’s last four home starts.
Also consider, both teams will have all hands on deck if the starters falter. The Braves can insert Mike Soroka, and the Cardinals can potentially lean on Miles Mikolas or Adam Wainwright who were both sharp in their outing
Full-Game Prop Bet
I am selecting the under on the Cardinals team total which can be found on PointsBet. The Braves starting pitching has been stellar in this series, allowing only five runs while their bullpen has looked vulnerable, surrendering eight runs. I am not concerned with the Braves’ bullpen in this one because Atlanta can resort to their starters in a relief role. They can insert Mike Soroka who held the Cardinals to only one run on two hits in seven innings in game three, or Sean Newcomb. They can also avoid using Luke Jackson who allowed two runs in two innings in this series.
Prediction: Cardinals Team Total Under
First Five Innings Prop Prediction
I recommend a play on the under on the Cardinals three-inning team total. The Cardinals have been held to zero earned runs in their last 13 innings against Mike Foltynewicz’. St. Louis has only scored a combined four runs through innings 1-3 in this series, and zero runs in the first three frames in their two games in Atlanta in games one and two.
Prediction: Cardinals Three Inning Team Total Under