The MLB-best Atlanta Braves (79-42) look to run their winning streak to five straight in game two of their weekend set against the slumping San Francisco Giants (64-58). First pitch from Truist Park is set for 7:20 p.m. ET. The Giants will hope that ace Logan Webb (9-9, 3.26 ERA) can get them back on the right track, while Atlanta gives the ball to righty Yonny Chirinos (4-4, 4.02).
Atlanta is more or less on cruise control until October, with a five-game lead over the Dodgers for the No. 1 seed in the NL. For the Giants, however, things are much dicier, as they’ve now lost seven of their last 10 games and are just a half-game up on the Marlins and Reds and 1.5 up on the Cubs in the crowded Wild Card chase.
The Braves enter as narrow -118 favorites on the moneyline at DraftKings Sportsbook, with San Francisco at -102. The run total is set at 9.5.
Giants-Braves picks: Saturday, August 19th
Out: OF Mike Yastrzemski (hamstring), OF/DH AJ Pollock (oblique), SP Anthony DeSclafani (elbow), RP John Brebbia (lat), OF Mitch Haniger (forearm)
Out: 2B Ozzie Albies (hamstring), OF Sam Hilliard (heel), SP Kyle Wright (shoulder), RP Jesse Chavez (shin), RP Dylan Lee (shoulder), SP/RP Kolby Allard (elbow), RP Nick Anderson (shoulder)
Logan Webb vs. Yonny Chirinos
Webb has been among baseball’s sturdiest pitchers this season — he’s tied with Gerrit Cole for the most quality starts in the Majors — and it’ll be fascinating to see how that holds against a Braves offense that’s been just about unstoppable in the month of August. Webb has conquered fearsome lineups before, though, including in his last start, when he came just one out away from a complete-game shutout against the Texas Rangers. If anyone can keep Atlanta in check, it’s Webb, who uses his sinker, slider and changeup to keep hitters off-balance, avoid barrels and keep the ball on the ground (his 61.4% ground-ball rate is nearly 17 points higher than the MLB average).
Thrust into the rotation due to injuries up and down the Braves’ rotation, Chirinos has struggled as the team’s fifth starter, with a 9.33 ERA in four starts since being acquired from the Rays. Like Webb, Chirinos wants to keep the ball on the ground, relying heavily on his sinker. Unlike Webb, though, he hasn’t been successful, with a 26.2% line-drive rate that’s way up from last year and xBA and xSLG marks that rank in the bottom five percent of all starters.
The Braves are always capable of hitting any over all by themselves, but I’m still taking the under after we saw a 4-0 final in the series opener on Friday night. This Giants lineup has been arguably the worst in the league of late (second-lowest team wRC+ since August 1), and they’re hard to trust even against a struggling Chirinos. Atlanta has actually been (relatively) held in check this week, scoring just 11 runs over their last three games. I think Webb will have just enough success to keep us under this total.
Pick: Under 10
San Francisco obviously has the starting pitching advantage here, but man, it’s awfully hard not to back the Braves when they’re given almost even odds — especially given how dire the Giants have been at the plate of late. I think Chirinos does enough to keep this close and let the Atlanta bats snag another win late.