Braves vs. Pirates prediction and odds for Tuesday, Aug. 8 (Olson and Albies lead)

The Braves should bounce back after losing the first game of their series against the Pirates.

Atlanta Braves first baseman Matt Olson (28)
Atlanta Braves first baseman Matt Olson (28) / David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Spencer Strider might have taken the Pittsburgh Pirates a bit too lightly yesterday when he gave up six earned runs over 2.2 innings at PNC Park.

The Pirates hung on for a 7-6 win over the Atlanta Braves to get to 51-61. Atlanta still holds the best record in baseball, 70-40, but it has lost three straight. 

Yonny Chrinos will be tasked with getting the NL East leaders back on track tonight. Chrinos is 5-4 with a 4.42 ERA in 17 games this year and has made two starts since joining the Braves.

Mitch Keller has made 23 starts for the Pirates and lately they haven’t gone well. Keller is 9-8 with a 4.35 ERA. 

Let’s get right into the odds for the second of four games in Pittsburgh. 

Braves vs. Pirates odds, run line and total

Braves vs. Pirates prediction and pick

Mitch Keller has been really awful since making the All-Star game. In his four starts since the break he has a 9.97 ERA over 21.2 innings pitched with 21 strikeouts, nine walks and seven home runs.

His home run/fly ball rate is 25% over that stretch which is absurdly high, so there’s been a bit of bad luck especially considering his 84th percentile hard hit rate this year, but there’s a very big problem that has come up. 

Keller primarily utilizes his cutter, his curveball, his changeup against lefties and those pitches hold a run value of -3, -3, and -4. They’re clearly the worst pitches in his repertoire and he is allowing an .832 OPS to lefties.

Compare that to his .568 OPS against righties and it’s clear that he has no answers for left-handed hitters. 

Don’t worry, the Braves only have the National League home run leader in left-handed hitting first baseman Matt Olson in their lineup. Ozzie Albies, Eddie Rosario and Michael Harris II will certainly do some damage too.

The Braves are No. 1 in baseball in OPS against right-handed pitchers this year and lead in home runs off righties by 30. 

The Pirates brought up basically all of their prospects on July 17 when Endy Rodriguez, Liover Peguero and Quinn Priester all debuted. Since that point they are 10-9, but their offense hasn’t really been all that much better.

Over that stretch they are 25th with a wRC+ of 89. This could be another blowout loss with Keller on the mound. 

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Game odds refresh periodically and are subject to change