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Atlanta Braves at St. Louis Cardinals

Over/Under: 8.5

First pitch: 1:10 p.m. PT


Probable pitchers: Mike Soroka (13-4, 2.68 ERA) vs. Adam Wainwright (14-10, 4.19 ERA)

The series shifting to St. Louis for the next two ballgames works out to the advantage of Wainwright, who has historically been considerably better at home than on the road.

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In his career, the 14-year veteran has crafted together a desirable 2.85 ERA and 1.16 WHIP when working at Busch Stadium. For comparison, he’s notched a 3.99 ERA and 1.30 WHIP away from the pitching-friendly stadium, which is pretty significant when you’ve lasted as long as Waino has.

That trend was certainly quite extreme this season. In his 16 home assignments, Wainwright was 9-4 with a 2.56 ERA, while elsewhere, he went 5-6 with a 6.22 WHIP.  Being a gamer, the right-hander’s competitiveness and solid work from postseason lore (figures to give Wainwright a boost as well. At the very least, it will keep from being unnerved, something that shouldn’t be underrated in the first postseason action in St. Louis in four years.

This National League Division Series moving from Atlanta also interestingly plays into the hands of the visiting starter, too. Though he was pretty much good everywhere in accomplishing the rare feat of establishing legitimate candidacy for both the NL Cy Young and Rookie of the Year awards, Soroka was actually consistently more effective outside of SunTrust Park this year in his first full big league campaign.

At home, the 22-year-old right-hander posted a 4.14 ERA and 1.30 WHIP in 13 starts but in his 16 outings on the road, Soroka had a remarkable 1.55 ERA and 0.96 WHIP. In addition, he held opponents to a minuscule .205 batting average in his away assignments while yielding only five total home runs across 98.2 innings.

But the most striking item about Soroka’s road warrior tendencies is his consistency. In all of his road starts this year, Soroka allowed no more than three runs — and only in two of those 16 turns did his opponent manage that many. Overall, the Cardinals were able to scratch out only one earned run off Soroka in two meetings, spanning 13 frames.

While it’s unusual for a pitcher to fare better away from the home fans, there’s real reasoning for it. Soroka talked about in his upbringing that growing up in Calgary, Canada, “every important game” would be “usually in another country,” so that should he ensure he’s comfortable in a big-game, hostile environment.

Lastly, after a day off, all hands will be on deck, meaning the best of both bullpens figures to be present to aid in this bet. Most appealing there to me is that Zylbert Guy Max Fried is now being relied upon in a critical relief role. Play: UNDER 8.5 (-120)

Yesterday’s Result: Rays-Astros Over 7.5 (loss)

2019 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*

Regular Season: 89-78-12, +1.05 units

Playoffs: 4-1, +1.5 units

*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit (playoffs 0.5 unit)

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