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Red Hot Braves Face Tough Match Up In Series Opener

Posted by Dale "Skip" Lalonde on 4/18/2013 7:32:25 PM

With 12 wins through 14 games it is the Atlanta Braves and not the Washington Nationals with the best record in the majors early on this online betting season. The Braves also have the best run-differential at 41, and while their top-10 offense has been a big part of it, they are led by a pitching staff that ranks No. 1 in several major categories.

Atlanta Braves @ Pittsburgh Pirates
Friday, 7:05 PM ET

Atlanta’s pitching staff ranks first in the majors in runs scored, WHIP, and BAA, and while eight quality starts in 14 games is a big part of that the bullpen has been excellent as well. Tim Hudson is 2-0 with a 2.50 ERA through three starts, all of them wins for a Braves’ team that is firing on all cylinders during its fast start. Atlanta’s offense will face a tough test with Wandy Rodriguez on the mound for Friday’s season opener against the Pirates. Pittsburgh is 2-0 when Rodriquez starts, and he has allowed just one run through nine innings of work this year. This should be an excellent pitching matchup, but look for Rodriguez to give the Pirates the online sportsbook edge at home.

MLB Betting Pick: Pittsburgh Pirates - 130

St. Louis Cardinals @ Philadelphia Phillies
Friday, 7:05 PM ET

The Cardinals are also off to a good start with the best record in the NL Central at 8-6, and they will love their matchup for Friday’s series opener at Philadelphia with Jaime Garcia set to pitch opposite of Roy Halladay. Garcia’s 1.86 ERA is solid, but St. Louis hasn’t made the most of his performances as he has settled for a no decision in a pair of losses after opening the season with a win over Arizona. The Cardinals’ offense ranks fifth in the majors in runs scored and needs to do a better job providing run support for Garcia, and that could very well happen with Halladay and his 7.63 ERA on the mound for the Phillies in this series opener.

MLB Betting Pick: St. Louis Cardinals - 140

San Diego Padres @ San Francisco Giants
Friday, 10:15 PM ET

The Giants will be looking to bounce back after consecutive losses allowed the Colorado Rockies to open a two-game lead in the NL West earlier this week, and they will have an excellent chance to do exactly that against the last-place Padres. San Diego put together a nice three-game win streak earlier in the week, but Edinson Volquez is 0-3 with an 11.68 ERA through three starts and nothing about his play suggests that last number is coming down any time soon. That should make it easy on a San Francisco offense that ranks fifth in the majors in batting average and seventh in runs scored, and that means Madison Bumgarner really has an excellent shot at improving to 4-0. Bumgarner has earned a win in each of his three starts so far this sports betting season, and his 1.77 ERA leads the Giants’ staff.

MLB Betting Pick: San Francisco Giants - 170

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