Featured Video from Scott Reichel
Where: SunTrust Park, Cumberland Georgia
When: Thursday, June 13, 2019, 12:10 pm Eastern
We have a National League MLB matchup to consider for Thursday when the Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves meet for game four of their four-game series under sunny skies and temps in the lower 80’s. This preview was written prior to the conclusion of the Wednesday night slate of games and all opinions are based on the stats from the completed play from Tuesday night.
Pittsburgh is fourth in the National League Central Division and plans for righty Joe Musgrove to make the start against Atlanta. The Braves is tied for first place with the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League East and expects right-hander Julio Teheran to pitch against the Pirates. I’m the Flash and will be discussing this game with you today.
Pittsburgh Five Game Losing Streak
Pittsburgh has hit a rough patch where they’ve lost five games in a row and eight of their last ten. Making matters worse is they’ve been outscored by 86 runs and have been outscored in their series with Atlanta by eight runs. Josh Bell leads Pittsburgh in just about every offensive category and has 18 home runs with 60 RBI to go along with a .390 OBP and .324 batting average.
— Pirates (@Pirates) June 11, 2019
The Pirates pitching staff has been decimated with injuries along with their starting catcher Francisco Cervelli and none of them will be activated for Thursday’s matchup with the Braves.
Musgrove (4-6, 4.40 ERA) has a 1.19 WHIP and his 4.60 xFIP suggests maybe Musgrove has been a bit lucky this season. Musgrove strikes out 7.09 per nine innings with 2.44 walks and allows 0.86 home runs per nine innings pitched.
Musgrove has a 43 percent groundball rate with a 38 percent hard contact rate with 8.9 percent of his fly balls leaving the yard and that could be problematic against the Braves and its .196 ISO and 5.3 runs scored per game with 55 home runs at SunTrust Park over 33 home games. Atlanta has a low strikeout rate and high walk rate against righties, so Musgrove needs to be careful Thursday afternoon.
Braves Five Game Winning Streak
Atlanta is starting to get things going and has won five straight along with eight of its last ten games and is tied for first with Philadelphia for the top spot in the National League East. Atlanta has outscored its opponents by 23 runs and has an 18-15 record at SunTrust Park. Infielder Freddie Freeman leads Atlanta with 18 jacks and leads the team with a .306 batting average and team-high.395 OBP. Outfielder Ronald Acuna leads the Braves with 45 RBI this season.
"The two most exciting minutes in all of sports!"
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) June 12, 2019
The Braves have injuries heading into Wednesday’s game with Pittsburgh and Josh Donaldson has been suspended for one game for his involvement in a fight with pitcher Joe Musgrove. Donaldson can appeal so his status is up in the air for Wednesday.
Teheran (4-4, 3.03 ERA) has a 1.20 WHIP and his 4.83 xFIP suggests Teheran has been lucky and could see some regression at some point this season. Teheran strikes out 8.61 per nine innings pitched with 4.31 walks and allows 0.93 bombs per nine innings pitched.
Teheran has a 40 percent groundball rate with a 40 percent hard contact rate and 10 percent of his fly balls go for home runs. Teheran may have some trouble with the Pirates .168 ISO and 4.2 runs per game plus their 36 bombs they’ve hit on the road this season. Pittsburgh doesn’t strike out much and has a low walk rate so Teheran may get away with those 4.4 walks per nine innings he allows.
- Braves are 6-1 in Teheran’s last 7 starts on grass.
- Braves are 5-1 in Teherans last 6 starts vs. National League Central.
- Braves are 5-1 in Teheran’s last 6 home starts.
- Pirates are 0-5 in their last 5 road games vs. a team with a winning home record.
- Pirates are 0-5 in their last 5 games vs. a right-handed starter.
- Pirates are 0-5 in their last 5 games on grass.
Updated on Jun 13 at 12:00am EDT
Update prepared by our editoral staff
Public Money / Line Movements
Injury / Weather Report
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
We won’t get a good price on the money line but if we play the Braves at -1.5 we can Cash with the Flash and I think the Braves are going to score plenty off Musgrove Thursday afternoon. Musgrove is better on the road than at home but Teheran has been a beast at SunTrust and I look for that to continue Thursday against the slumping Pirates.
Cash with the Flash and play Atlanta -1.5 on the run line!!
Prediction: Braves -1.5
Full-Game Total Pick
The Braves score runs at home and the Pirates can also so I see this game exceeding the total. Especially with the two bullpens and their 11 combined blown saves this season. I saw this trend I think might be helpful on Thursday afternoon.
- Over is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings.
Umpire Trip Gibson III is behind the dish Thursday and these trends caught my eye;
- Over is 6-1 in Gibson IIIs last 7 Thursday games behind home plate.
- Over is 5-1-1 in Gibson IIIs last 7 games behind home plate vs. Pittsburgh.
Cash with the Flash and play OVER on Thursday.