Atlanta Braves vs. St. Louis Cardinals (8/26/22) Starting Lineup, Betting Odds, Prediction

The Braves are playing like one of the best teams in baseball, but the Cardinals have something they don’t: a division lead. St. Louis will try to stop Atlanta’s momentum on Friday night, as Jose Quintana aims to bounce back against Braves rookie sensation Spencer Strider.

Let’s take a look at starting lineups, betting odds, and predictions for Friday’s matchup.

Atlanta Braves vs. St. Louis Cardinals Betting Odds

The Braves are slight favorites at -136 on the moneyline, with the over/under set at 7.5 runs. Despite the Cardinals being 40-21 at home, Atlanta has been hot enough to come in as the favorite in this series, and Strider’s presence has a lot to do with that on Friday. The rookie is striking out hitters at an unbelievable rate and is seemingly only getting better as the season goes on. Time will tell if that’s enough to quiet what’s been a hit-or-miss Cardinals lineup.

Atlanta Braves Starting Lineup

RF R. Acuna R
SS D. Swanson R
3B A. Riley R
1B M. Olson L
DH W. Contreras R
LF R. Grossman S
C T. d’Arnaud R
2B V. Grissom R
CF M. Harris L

Atlanta Braves vs. Jose Quintana

A midseason acquisition from the Pirates, Jose Quintana has done a great job of putting his career back together this season. The left-hander has a 3.45 ERA across 24 starts (122.2 IP), with a 3.29 FIP, 1.30 WHIP, and 105 strikeouts. He’s coming off his shortest outing of the season, when he allowed 7 hits and 4 runs (2 earned) over 2.2 innings against the Diamondbacks. Quintana has allowed just 1 home run in his last 58.2 innings, so it might be wise to avoid any home run prop bets even amid Matt Olson’s power surge.

The Cardinals have won all four of Quintana’s starts since the trade, but he’s been imperfect in his last three. The Braves, with rookies Michael Harris II and Vaugn Grissom still playing out of their minds, are well positioned to string together hits and do some damage against Quintana without the home run. Atlanta is hitting a season-high .270 in August, and the team’s OPS is 39 points higher against lefties than right-handers.

Olson and Austin Riley have done plenty of damage outside of home runs this season, with a combined 73 doubles between them. Keep an eye on Robbie Grossman, who has a .348 AVG against lefties this season and has turned his season around in Atlanta.

St. Louis Cardinals Starting Lineup

RF L. Nootbaar L
3B B. Donovan L
1B P. Goldschmidt R
DH N. Gorman L
LF T. O’Neill R
CF D. Carlson S
SS P. DeJong R
C Y. Molina R
2B T. Edman S

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Spencer Strider

Just two years after being drafted, Spencer Strider has become a centerpiece of the Braves’ title chase. The Clemson product has a 2.95 ERA, 2.06 FIP, 1.02 WHIP, and a ridiculous 13.5 K/9 rate through 100.2 IP in his rookie season.

He’s allowed 0 or 1 runs in 8 of his last 10 starts, notably shutting down the Cardinals in June with 12 strikeouts in 6 shutout innings. Strider struck out nine Astros last week despite Houston’s low strikeout rate, but it’s still worth noting the Cardinals don’t strike out often.

The Cardinals looked like they had an unstoppable offense in last week’s series against the Diamondbacks, but they’ve been hit-or-miss this week against the Cubs, scoring 1, 0, 13, and 1 run, respectively, in the first four games. This is a dangerous lineup as long as MVP candidates Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado are in the middle of it. Goldschmidt (2 home runs on Thursday) and Arenado are starting to get more pitches to hit now, with guys like Albert Pujols, Lars Nootbaar, and even Corey Dickerson starting to hit. Dickerson had a 10-for-10 run against the Cubs this week.

Strider has done a nice job of avoiding costly walks this season, but he’ll have to be careful with patient hitters Nootbaar and Brendan Donovan. This lineup looks better equipped to handle Strider than it was in June, even if putting up big numbers against the rookie is a herculean task.

Atlanta Braves vs. St. Louis Cardinals Picks & Prediction

My pick: Braves -1.5 (+114)

Both of these offenses have award candidates and plenty of depth, so the pitching disparity might make the difference. While the Cardinals have been firing off 10+ runs on occasion lately, the lows have been very low. Would it surprise anyone if, after a great offensive day Thursday, the lineup took another step back against a pitcher as electric as Strider? I trust the Braves’ offense against Quintana more than I trust the Cardinals’ offense against Strider.

Dan is a lifelong sports fan and recent graduate of Boston University. He created @allsportsnews on Instagram when he was 12 and continues to post sports news and rankings daily.

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