Neither team is where it wants or expected to be as the dog days of summer get underway. The Atlanta Braves and St. Louis Cardinals were projected to fight for a division title when the season started instead they are both floundering around .500. There is still time to make a run, especially for the Braves since they play in the weak NL East. Despite their record the Braves are well within striking distance for another division crown since the New York Mets aren’t helping their cause. The teams conclude their season series on Thursday when Atlanta’s Touki Toussaint opposes Wade LeBlanc.
This NL matchup takes place on Thursday, August 5, 2021 at 8:15 p.m. ET from Busch Stadium. The game will air live on ESPN with betting options for every game on the 2021 MLB schedule available at BookMaker.eu.
Braves vs Cardinals Money Line Odds
Braves -105 | Cardinals -115 [BET NOW]
Braves vs Cardinals Run Line Odds
Braves -1.5 +130 | Cardinals +1.5 -150 [BET NOW]
Braves vs Cardinals Over/Under
Total: 9 [BET NOW]
Season So Far…
The Braves continued a disturbing trend of alternating wins and losses by taking the opener of this set on Tuesday, 6-1. They’ve gone back and forth for the past 18 games failing to sustain any momentum that could take them to the top of the division standings. I guess the good news is that they haven’t had a losing streak, but it’s difficult to make up ground if you can’t string Ws together. I’m sure the team is frustrated that it can’t win consecutive games and backers are equally upset. The Braves are down nearly $700 for the year on the moneyline.
Taking four of the first five games in the season series, the Braves have dominated the Cards with outstanding pitching. The staff ran off a pair of shutouts taking three of four when the teams met in Georgia in June allowing a total of one run in those victories. They got another outstanding effort on Tuesday with their shutout bid ending with two outs in the ninth inning. And it looks like the revamped outfield is taking shape. The club lost Ronald Acuna Jr. last month and Marcell Ozuna remains on the IL. Jorge Soler homered on Tuesday with Adam Duvall and Joc Pederson also contributing since coming over. After a slow start the offense has picked up and currently ranks 10th in MLB in runs per game.
The Cards need to take advantage of their home games since they’ve been much better this season at Busch. That wasn’t the case on Tuesday, but they were 10-3 in their previous 13 home contests. They have more home wins than the first-place Brewers yet they trail Milwaukee by 10 games in the division standings. That also means every game is a must if they want to make the playoffs. We didn’t expect the Cards to be so bad offensively after acquiring Nolan Arenado. They rank in the bottom third in MLB in runs, batting average and OBP putting more strain on a pitching staff depleted by injuries.
Touki Toussaint (1-2, 4.76 ERA) made a triumphant return to the big club after a six start minor league rehab stint. The righty shut down San Diego on July 20 giving up just one run and three hits over 6.2 innings. He was brilliant in his first two starts sporting a 1.32 ERA while yielding eight hits with 15 punchouts over 13.2 innings. Things came crashing down last outing, though. Toussaint was staked to a four-run first inning lead but failed to complete four innings in a loss to the Brewers.
Not to take anything away from Toussaint, but his career numbers showed his first two outings were the exception and not the norm. During his brief career he’s compiled a 5.79 ERA and 1.52 WHIP over 138 innings of work.
Desperate for pitching the Cards took a flyer on Wade LeBlanc (0-2, 4.17 ERA) to help the rotation. The lefty didn’t cut it in Baltimore and was let go after posting a 9.45 ERA in six appearances with the Birds. He’s been decent since coming to St. Louis, but that’s only a mirage. We’ve seen this before from the lefty only to have opponents catch up with him over time. He has a 3.15 ERA in his 10 appearances with the Cards and will be making his seventh start.
LeBlanc isn’t overpowering and teams have made good contact against him hitting nearly .300. He’s allowed 37 hits and 12 walks over 29.1 innings of his six starts for a lofty 1.67 WHIP. While he’s been able to limit the damage for the most part, the dam is about to break.
Atlanta Braves vs St. Louis Cardinals Prediction
Our MLB Pick: St. Louis Cardinals and OVER
Both teams should be better offensively than they have been. They can change things on Thursday with a pair of starters who can give it up. While they’ve struggled the possibility of postseason action is still present making this game important for both sides. Still, I like the Cards at home to show off the offensive talent that’s been dormant for much of the campaign.
View all MLB odds for today.