Boston Red Sox vs. Atlanta Braves
Tuesday, June 15, 2021 – 7:20 PM EDT Turner Field
● Red Sox: Eduardo Rodriguez (5-4, 6.03 ERA)
● Braves: Tucker Davidson (0-0, 1.53 ERA)
Stakes of the Matchup
Both the Boston Red Sox and the Atlanta Braves have been surprising this season. After winning the NL East last year, the Braves have a losing record and are 5.5 games behind the first place New York Mets. Unlike the Braves who won their division last year, the Red Sox finished in last place in the AL East with a 24-36 record. This year Boston has a 40-27 record and are on track to win 97 games.
Despite the difference in records, both teams are similarly built. Both the Red Sox and the Braves have strong lineups and weak starting pitchers. The Red Sox lineup averages 4.91 runs per game which is the seventh best in the league while the Braves average 4.78 runs per game which is the third best in the National League.
With the game being played in Atlanta, it will be an interleague matchup with pitchers hitting. The biggest question for the Red Sox will be about what they do with DH J.D Martinez. Martinez can play in the outfield, but outside of interleague games he is used as a designated hitter. If Boston chooses to not start Martinez who is off to another strong season, it is reasonable to expect the Red Sox to have a dip in their offensive production.
Unlike the Red Sox who have the advantage of relying on a designated hitter, the Braves play in the National League where pitchers hit yet have virtually the same level of run production. With a lineup containing OF Ronald Acuña Jr., 1B Freddie Freeman, and 2B Ozzie Albies, they could have a big day against Boston.
For Tuesday night’s game, both teams are vulnerable with their starting pitching. The Braves are relying on a rookie pitcher in Tucker Davidson who has played well this season. Opposing Davidson is a veteran starting pitcher in Eduardo Rodriguez who despite his past successes is having a poor season.
Tucker Davidson has only four career MLB starts. This season in three starts, Davidson has a 1.53 ERA, and a 4.24 xFIP. While Davidson has fared well this year, he has gotten lucky has his xFIP is almost three runs higher than his ERA. As a 25-year-old rookie, it is reasonable to expect Davidson’s run of success to come to an end as the season goes on.
Opposing Davidson is Eduardo Rodriguez of the Red Sox, who has not been the same since missing the 2020 season due to injury. In 2019 Rodriguez had a 19-6 record with a 3.81 ERA, and a 4.10 xFIP. This season, Rodriguez has a 5-4 record with a 6.03 ERA, and a 3.48 xFIP.
While Rodriguez is due for some positive regression, he is currently having a hard time keeping runs off the scoreboard. In five of Rodriguez’s last six starts, Rodriguez has allowed four or more earned runs.
Both teams have been appropriately priced for Tuesday’s game. Even though the Red Sox are a better team, the Braves have been appropriately set as -114 favorites.
However, the team run total odds are underestimating the Braves potential for a big offensive day. While Rodriguez should rebound this season, it is not implausible that Atlanta’s explosive lineup will not unload against the Red Sox. That is why I like the Braves to score over 5.5 runs at +180 runs.
MLB Pick: Atlanta Braves Over 5.5 Runs +180 with BetMGM