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Sunday’s MLB Over/Under Bet: Advocating Arrieta against Braves pen

Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies

Over/Under: 10

First pitch: 7:08 p.m. ET


Probable pitchers: Jake Arrieta (2-3, 4.32 ERA) vs. Huascar Ynoa (0-0, 4.32 ERA)

Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies Predictions

When deploying a bullpen game strategy that hinges on effective relievers, well, the results are normally good. The Tampa Bay Rays proved this true consistently just a year ago and Atlanta has the weapons to pull off the same type of desirable results.

Better yet for an under, the Phillies have a steady starter going opposite Braves relievers on this week’s Sunday Night Baseball telecast, making it all the more likely a lower-scoring outcome plays out.

Whispers of the demise of Jake Arrieta were clearly overblown, as the former National League Cy Young Award winner has looked more than serviceable in his second season as a Fightin’ Phil. He’s pitched Philadelphia into the fifth inning or deeper in all five of his starts and is coming off one of his sharpest outings of the campaign when he limited the Washington Nationals to just one run across five rain-shortened frames.

Arrieta even recently said, “I can pitch at a really high level and I know that I'm capable of doing so.” Being a longtime fan of the veteran right-hander, I have all the confidence he can back up this mindset.

Fortunately, he gets an assignment from Citizens Bank Park in this one. Arrieta’s mythical-type work at home from his Chicago Cubs days has extended into his Phillies tenure, as he’s notched an ERA about a full run lower when pitching in Philly compared to his starts on the road.

He’s been stingy in his meetings with the Braves, too, since arriving in the NL East. Considering his track record against Atlanta’s main core of hitters, maybe this isn’t so surprising. In their careers, Ronald Acuna, Freddie Freeman, Marcell Ozuna, Dansby Swanson and Nick Markakis have combined to hit just 14-for-81 off Arrieta — good for a woeful .173 batting average.

With the over/under where it’s at, just a simple quality start from the 34-year-old would suffice. This is so because it’s hard to see the Braves bullpen — which ranks fifth in the Majors with a delightful 3.20 ERA and has been a real strength — getting bombed. Featuring a wealth of talented relievers to mix and match, we won’t think twice putting money on them.

Bet: UNDER 10 (-105)

MLB Leans - August 30

SF/ARI Over 9.5

2020 MLB Over/Under Betting Record*: 9-23-4, -17.16 units

Yesterday’s Result: Royals-White Sox Under 10 (“loss”)

*Each bet graded as if it were to win 1 unit


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