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September 20, 2016

There is one pick tonight.

Take Atlanta Braves (+107) on the ML against New York Mets risking 3% to win 3.21%.
(Teheran and Gsellman must start for wager to have action)

This is what we call a 'False Favorite' situation as we believe the wrong team has been installed as the favorite. The Braves are a live underdog in this spot and should be able to walk away with another 'W' if their bullpen doesn't throw away the lead late. The starting pitching matchup of Julio Teheran vs. Robert Gsellman definitely gives Atlanta a distinct advantage.

Julio Teheran is having an impressive season and has undoubtedly been their 'Ace'. He might be just 5-10 on the year but that's been much more due to lack of run support than his pitching. His 1.04 WHIP (walks/hits per inning) is among the top five in the National League and shows just how little traffic there's been on the bases when he takes the mound. His 3.18 ERA is impressive as well and if Atlanta gives him some offense, there's no reason why they can't win this game. After all, he's been even better against the Mets in his career, a ballclub that he's pretty much handcuffed whenever he's faced them. Teheran is 6-3 with an outstanding 2.09 ERA and 1.00 WHIP against the New Yorkers! Most recently, he pitched another great game against them on September 9th, in a pitching matchup that was the same (Gsellman taking the hill for NY) but in that game, the Atlanta relievers gave up 4 runs late and ended up losing. They surely remember that and will want to provide better relief for their ace tonight.

Teheran's most recent visit to Citi Field was in mid June when he dazzled by throwing a one-hitter! To say he's comfortable against this lineup would be an understatement, given his track record. Lucas Duda is one of the few Mets that has had any success against Teheran but he's dealt with injury issues all season and is unlikely to be available. The rest of the gang, with the exception of Curtis Granderson are hitting under .200 when stepping up to the plate against crafty right-hander!

The Braves offense has been red hot in the second half of the season and has a lot of momentum going into this contest. They crossed home plate 7 times last night in taking the opener of this series and have double-digit hits in each of their last 3 games! They are cherishing their 'spoiler' role against a division rival that has a lot to gain and lose and it wouldn't surprise us if Freddie Freeman and company continued troubling them tonight. Freeman has reached base in 39 straight games, which is every game he's played in since August 6th! He'll want to match and then better Chipper Jones' record of 41 which was set back in 2008 and he might just do so. The fact that this offense already has some experience against Gsellman will help them in this contest as they saw him in action as recently as 11 days ago, in a game in which they had no trouble hitting him. He'll no doubt make some adjustments but will still have a tough task on his hands as this is a confident group of Atlanta bats right now and one that has been seeing the ball extremely well.

Last but not least, it's worth mentioning that Terry Collins has needed to use 6 different pitchers on two consecutive nights! Their last two starters, Ynoa and Syndergaard, both failed to go even 5 innings and that meant NY relievers have had their work cut out for them. The amount of tired arms in that bullpen are stacking up and when the game is on the line in the late innings, they might just have their own problems staying in the game, even if Gsellman does record a quality start. The ATL bullpen is in better shape right now and might just have an edge over Mets relievers on this particular night. Not only do the Braves have the hotter offense, they should have the pitching edge both in terms of the starters as well as the relief core. Given their lowly record on the season and the fact that they're away from home, Vegas couldn't possible install them as favorites or they'd risk getting too much New York money but in reality, in this particular situation, they have several important edges and should come out victorious.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Braves have won 8 of 12 games after three or more straight wins!
  • Mets are just 9-19 after a loss to a division rival when they were -200 or bigger favorites.
  • Braves are 32-25 when the Vegas total has been set at 8 or 8.5 runs.
  • Julio Teheran has limited this group of Mets to just a .196 batting average in 184 previous at-bats!

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