The Atlanta Braves (14-5, 4-3 home) begin a three-game interleague series against the Houston Astros (9-10, 3-3 away) on Friday night in the Peach State. The weekend series will be the only time these two franchises square off this season. Atlanta took two of three from the Astros in 2022.
The first pitch of the series-opener is at 7:20 p.m. EST inside Truist Park in Atlanta, Georgia. Atlanta is the betting favorite (-115 moneyline), while the over/under total is 8.5 runs.
What to Know – Houston Astros
Houston heads to Atlanta to begin a six-game road trip after a 3-3 homestand against the Toronto Blue Jays and Texas Rangers. The Astros find themselves tied for second in the AL West, trailing the Rangers by 3.5 games.
Right-hander Hunter Brown (2-0, 1.93 ERA, 1.02 WHIP) tries to keep his fantastic start on the mound going. The 24-year-old has picked up back-to-back wins over his last two starts and hasn’t allowed a run in 14 innings. Brown has tossed 18.2 innings, giving up four earned runs on 13 hits and six walks while striking out 17 batters.
The Astros’ offense is ranked 13th in the majors with a .250 team batting average, scoring 5.1 runs per game. Houston’s pitching staff is sixth in the league sporting a 3.30 team earned run average.
Yordan Alvarez leads the majors with 21 runs batted in thanks to four home runs and a .508 slugging percentage. Kyle Tucker is next in line with 15 RBIs, four blasts, and a .313 batting average.
What to Know – Atlanta Braves
The Braves dropped the series finale against the Padres to snap an eight-game winning streak. Atlanta maintains one of the best records in baseball through the first month, holding a 1.5-game lead over the New York Mets in the NL East.
The expected starter for the Braves is right-hander Bryce Elder (2-0, 1.53 ERA, 1.25 WHIP). Another young arm off to a solid start on the bump, Elder surrendered his first runs of the season in his last outing. The 23-year-old has 17.2 innings under his belt, allowing three earned runs, 16 hits, and six walks with 17 strikeouts.
Atlanta’s offense is fifth in the MLB sporting a .263 team batting average and scoring 5.1 runs per game. The pitching staff for the Braves also ranks fifth amongst league teams, featuring a 3.28 team ERA.
Matt Olson leads the Braves in home runs (6), RBIs (20), and slugging percentage (.613). Ronald Acuna Jr. has a .451 on-base percentage and a .367 batting average.
The Pick is In
The Astros and Braves series could be a glimpse into the future of two potential World Series opponents. There are a lot of similarities between the two lineups, and both are efficient on the mound and at the plate.
Houston gets a key home run late in the game to hand the Braves their first series-opening defeat of the season.
The Pick: Houston Astros ML