The Braves haven’t been as dominant in the last couple of weeks as they were for much of the first half, but they still lead the NL by 7.5 games. For the Red Sox, the stakes are much higher. Boston continues to be locked in a tight wild card race, chasing the Blue Jays and Astros. It’ll be critical for the Red Sox to avoid piling up losses against Atlanta. The Braves are road favorites at -162 on the Moneyline.
Let’s make predictions for Tuesday’s game and break down why the best bet here may just be some runs.
Braves vs. Red Sox Prediction
The best value here probably lies with the Red Sox, given they can be had for +136 on the moneyline even with their offensive success at home and Spencer Strider’s recent troubles. Still, there’s too much concern with the Braves lineup facing Brayan Bello that the best bet might be Over 9.5 Runs.
Bello was someone who earned his believers some real money in the first half as oddsmakers struggled to keep up with his progress, but Wednesday will be a real test of how ready he is for the spotlight. He’s struggled with the home run ball this month, and no team knows home runs better than the Braves. Can Bello survive this gauntlet of an Atlanta lineup and get through the order three times?
With the way both offenses are constructed to do well against these otherwise solid pitchers, over 9.5 runs on a hot night at Fenway seems like the most value you’ll get here.
Braves vs. Red Sox Prediction: Over 9.5 Runs (-115)
Braves vs. Red Sox Odds
The Braves enter as moderate road favorites at -162 on the moneyline. The over/under is 9.5 runs.
Atlanta has been good enough that its status as a solid road favorite isn’t shocking, though value may tilt toward the Red Sox given how well they’ve hit at home and how unsteady Strider has been of late.
Braves vs. Red Sox Key Matchups
Here are the key matchups that could decide Braves vs. Red Sox.
Red Sox Lineup vs. Spencer Strider’s Strikeouts
Strider really hasn’t been the Cy Young candidate many expected he’d be this season, but his swing-and-miss ability is still better than just about anyone else’s.
Last week, he struck out 13 Diamondbacks in just six innings. Arizona did force him out of the game with two home runs in the 7th, but this was a D-Backs team that had the third-fewest strikeouts in the league. Any lineup is vulnerable against Strider’s nasty stuff.
The Red Sox strikeout 8.19 times per game, a top-10 mark in baseball, and Boston has had much more offensive success at home than on the road. The Red Sox have a strikeout rate of 19.5% at home compared to 23.4% on the road and hit .292 at Fenway Park.
With two of their strikeout-prone bats (Triston Casas, Rafael Devers) both red hot right now, the Red Sox just have to continue to hit the ball hard when they do make contact. A few teams have recently done exactly that against Strider.
Braves Power vs. Brayan Bello
No team hits as many home runs as the Braves, who average 1.91 per game. Atlanta hitters not named Austin Riley haven’t been hitting for too much power since the all-star break, but this is a lineup that even the most experienced pitchers need to be ultra careful with. Brayan Bello doesn’t have the benefit of that experience. Will it matter on Wednesday?
From May through the all-star break, Bello was one of the best pitchers in the AL. He had a 2.35 ERA from April 29 through the break and was giving the Red Sox impressive length. More recently, home runs have burned him. Bello has allowed six homers in his last three starts, including three against the A’s in his last outing.
In a stadium that lets up its share of home runs, Bello needs to turn this pattern around quickly to have a chance against a lineup that has Acuna, Albies, Riley, and Olson all ready to mash.
Braves vs. Red Sox Starting Lineups
Braves Starting Lineup
RF Ronald Acuna Jr. R
2B Ozzie Albies S
3B Austin Riley R
1B Matt Olson L
C Sean Murphy R
DH Marcell Ozuna R
LF Eddie Rosario L
SS Orlando Arcia R
CF Michael Harris II L
Red Sox Starting Lineup
CF Jarren Duran L
DH Justin Turner R
3B Rafael Devers L
LF Masataka Yoshida L
RF Alex Verdugo L
1B Triston Casas L
2B Christian Arroyo R
C Connor Wong R
SS Yu Chang R