Braves Hope to Curb Struggles Against Lowly A’s

Atlanta -400 Series Favorite in Athletics vs Braves Odds

The Atlanta Braves got off to a slow start on their seven-game homestand, dropping three of four to the Washington Nationals. An opportunity to rebound comes Friday (7:20 p.m. ET) when the Braves open a three-game set at Truist Park against the Oakland Athletics. Reynaldo Lopez will oppose JP Sears on the mound.

Atlanta is -1.5 (-110) on the run line and -225 on the moneyline for the opener, with Oakland +185 to win outright. Meanwhile, the projected total is 8 with a slight edge to the Over at -115 odds.

The Braves are also -400 favorites to win the series, compared to +320 for the Athletics.

Can Atlanta take care of business at home? Read on as we break down both teams and assess the Athletics vs Braves odds in our MLB series preview.

Braves logo Atlanta Braves vs Oakland Athletics Athletics logo

Location: Truist Park
Streaming: MLB

Athletics vs Braves Betting Trends

The Oakland Athletics are 28-30 against the run line but 4-1 over their last five games. As for the Over/Under, Oakland is 27-28-3.

The Atlanta Braves are 26-28 against the run line. The Braves have been even less profitable for Over/Under bettors, going 20-32-2. Only Seattle (61.8%) has gone Under the total at a higher rate than Atlanta (61.5%).

That’s important to remember when analyzing the Athletics vs Braves odds.

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Nowhere to Go but Up

Another long, forgettable summer lies ahead for the perpetually rebuilding Oakland Athletics. The Athletics, losers of 13 of their last 17 games, own the third-lowest winning percentage in the American League at .397. They’ve been outscored by 62 runs, second-most in the AL behind Chicago (127).

The Athletics’ struggles aren’t surprising. On the heels of a 50-112 season, their second in a row with 100-plus losses, the Athletics were projected for a Major League-low 57.5 wins.

The club (23-35) may surpass that, but it still won’t amount to much. Even with the expanded wild cards, the Athletics aren’t going anywhere. They appear destined to be sellers at the July 30 trade deadline.

Oddsmakers seem to agree, pricing the Athletics +2500 longshots to make the playoffs. That’s on par with the Angels, who are only a game worse than Oakland in the AL West.

Oakland’s biggest strength has been its bullpen, highlighted by flamethrowing right-hander Mason Miller. Miller has struck out 51 batters in 26 innings while converting 11 of his 12 save opportunities.

At the same time, the Athletics are bottom-five in several offensive categories, including runs (26th) and batting average (27th).

No Acuna Jr., No Problem?

There is no need to worry about the Atlanta Braves standings. Despite losing reigning National League MVP Ronald Acuna Jr. to a season-ending ACL tear, Atlanta remains on the short list of World Series contenders. The Braves (31-23) own the third-best run differential in the NL at plus-38.

Understandably, oddsmakers remain bullish on Atlanta. Projected for 101.5 wins, the Braves are +380 to win the NL and +700 to win the World Series. Only the Dodgers (+300), Yankees (+500) and NL East rival Phillies (+650) are considered bigger favorites.

Much of that optimism stems from Atlanta’s thunderous lineup. Even without Acuna Jr., who was off to an uncharacteristically slow start (4 HR, .716 OPS), the Braves have plenty of thump at the plate. Marcell Ozuna has been especially productive with 16 homers and a .998 OPS.

Despite that, Atlanta continues to be a liability for Over/Under bettors. The Braves are 5-5 against the Over/Under in their last 10 games but 20-32-2 overall, hitting the Over at a rate of just 38.5%. Per MLB scores, they’re one of four clubs under 40%, joining Texas (38.9), Houston (38.9) and Seattle (38.2).

Series Probables

Game 1

Friday, 7:20 p.m, ET

JP Sears vs Reynaldo Lopez

Sears is 4-3 with a 3.88 ERA, including 2.96 in five May starts. The 28-year-old southpaw was solid in his last start against Houston, allowing just two hits and one run (zero earned) over six innings in a 3-1 win on May 25.

The Braves will counter with Lopez, who is 2-2 with 1.75 ERA. A converted reliever, Lopez has gone at least six innings in five of his nine starts.

Keep that in mind when assessing the Athletics vs Braves odds.

Game 2

Saturday, 4:10 p.m. ET

Aaron Brooks vs Chris Sale

Brooks has a 3.63 ERA in three starts with Oakland. The veteran right-hander spent last season with San Diego’s Triple-A affiliate in El Paso, posting a 4.95 ERA. He then signed a minor league deal with Oakland this past winter and was recalled May 13.

Sale has been terrific in his first year as a Brave, ranking second in the Major Leagues in wins (eight), third in WHIP (0.85) and eighth in ERA (2.12). The seven-time All-Star has allowed one run or fewer in all five of his May starts. He has climbed to +700 to win NL Cy Young, trailing Zack Wheeler (+330), Shota Imanaga (+350) and Ranger Suarez (+500).

Game 3

Sunday, 1:35 p.m. ET

Mitch Spence vs Charlie Morton

Spence has a 3.52 ERA in 14 appearances (three starts) as a rookie. He went a career-high 5.1 innings in his last outing Tuesday, allowing just one hit in a 3-0 win over Tampa Bay.

He will face Morton, who is 3-2 with a 4.29 ERA. The 40-year-old right-hander was tagged for 12 hits and eight runs in his most recent appearance, an 8-4 loss to Washington on Monday.

For MLB expert picks, betting analysis and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.

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