The Milwaukee Brewers and Atlanta Braves were not expected to be playoff contenders when the year began but both find themselves in first place of their respective divisions more than halfway through the season.
The Braves play in the same division as the Nationals and the Brewers are with the Cubs so both need to continue to play well in order to hold on. Even if they falter the wild card berths are looking promising. The Braves have been really impressive on the road this season and would love for that to continue, but the Brewers could be the slight favorites in this one.
The game will be held at Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and take place on Thursday, July 5th, 2018, at 8:05 p.m. ET.
The Braves come into this game with a record of 49-35 overall and a mark of 26-18 on the road. Atlanta has a plus-81 run-differential which means the start has not been a fluke. Atlanta is currently 2.5 games ahead of the Phillies and 7.5 ahead of the Nationals in the National League East.
The Brewers are 50-35 overall with a positive run-differential of 50. Milwaukee has gone 26-17 at home this season. The scoring total could be low as both pitching staffs have put together impressive numbers on the year.
Probable Starting Pitchers
The Braves are projected to send young left-hander Max Fried to the mound. He is 1-2 with a 2.55 ERA on the season and coming off the best start of his career. Fried allowed only four hits and didn’t give up a run in 6.2 innings pitched last time out, striking out 11. He has good stuff but has to harness it as he is a bit unpredictable in the early stages of his career.
The Brewers will counter with veteran right-hander Jhoulys Chacin, who is 6-3 with a 3.71 ERA on the season. Chacin isn’t a flamethrower and his peripheral numbers aren’t great but he has been getting the job done.
Brewer’s Team ERA
Milwaukee’s team ERA on the season is 3.57, which is second-best in the National League behind only the Arizona Diamondbacks. The Brewers don’t have a bunch of big-name arms like teams such as the Nationals or Cubs but there is no question their hurlers are getting the job done.
Reliever Josh Hader has been particularly impressive. He has gone 2-0 with a microscopic 1.21 ERA while striking out a ridiculous 83 batters in 44.2 innings. The Braves do not want to see him during an important spot late in the contest. If the Brewers can get the ball to their relief pitchers with the lead they will feel good about the chances to pull this one out.
Braves vs Brewers – Who To Bet On
Fried may one day put together a nice career, but right now he is too volatile to trust. The Brewers offense has been solid this season and as long as they are patient Fried may get himself into trouble with his control.
Milwaukee is desperately trying to stay ahead of the hard-charging Cubs in the N.L. Central and a win here would keep them in front. Look for the Brewers to pick up the important win but consider taking Atlanta on the 1.5-run line as this one should go down to the wire between a pair of pretty evenly-matched teams.
Our Betting Pick: Atlanta on the 1.5 run line
Score Prediction: Milwaukee Brewers 5, Atlanta Braves 4
Check out the latest MLB betting odds – click here.