BetsByBob Thursday MLB picks: Uncle Charlie to get Braves back on track

Atlanta Braves Charlie Morton MLB player props

Yesterday I had more plays than normal, but I felt really good about all seven games I played. It worked out, and I managed to go 5-2 on the day, turning in some nice profit. On this Thursday, we have a smaller card. Some teams are travelling and others just have an off day to get ready for the upcoming weekend series ahead. The trade deadline gets closer every day, so it’s definitely something to pay attention to. It’s not the best idea to have too much riding on a selling team when a key player could be out of the lineup due to a trade after you made your bet. I did manage to find a few plays I like today, so let’s get into it and build on yesterday’s performance.

Atlanta Braves (Charlie Morton) at Philadelphia Phillies (Matt Moore)

Play: Braves (-129)

*Playable to (-140)

The Atlanta Braves are heading north to take on the Philadelphia Phillies. It should be a good chance for them to reset, as they couldn’t get anything going against the Padres. Both of these teams are trying to get something going as they are very much in their division race. This series should be a good one, and they mean more and more as teams are approaching 100 games played.

“Uncle” Charlie Morton gets the start for the Braves, and they are counting on him to give them some innings. Morton has been good so far this season, and has an ERA of 3.69 with a FIP of 3.49. He has a good arm, and the strikeouts have a big plus for him this season. Morton has a strikeout rate of 27.7%, and does an excellent job limiting the long ball. He relies heavily on inducing ground balls, which he does to a clip of 47.6% of the time. The Braves bats have been hitting, but their pitching let them down in the last series. I think Morton can give them the outing they need to right the ship.

On the other side, the Phillies will be sending Matt Moore to the bump. Moore is a guy that I am not high on at all, and don’t like much about his profile. He has an ERA of 5.25 with a FIP of 5.37. More so, he has a WHIP of 1.61, so guys are constantly on the bases when he is on the mound. Moore also is a heavy fly-ball pitcher, and mixing that with his high HardHit% of 40%, that will get almost anyone in some decent trouble. I have these lineups rated about the same, and give the pitching edge to the Braves, so at a relatively low price here, it’s a play for me.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Atlanta Braves vs Philadelphia Phillies

Oakland Athletics (Sean Manaea) at Seattle Mariners (Chris Flexen)

Play: Athletics (-138)

*Playable to (-145)

Oakland Athletics

© Neville E. Guard-USA TODAY Sports

The Oakland Athletics head north to take on the Seattle Mariners for a four-game series. The Mariners are traveling back from playing at altitude yesterday in Colorado, while Oakland had the day off. Oakland’s bullpen should be rested and have everyone available for this one, and could be a big series for them as they are only three games back from Houston at the moment.

Sean Manaea will get the start for the Athletics, and he has turned in another fine season up to this point. He has an ERA of 3.28 with a FIP of 3.36. I am a bit surprised that his FIP isn’t lower, as he carries a BABIP of .314, but he does allow a bit too much traffic on the bases. Other than that, his profile looks really good. He has a strikeout rate of 25.3%, and mixes his pitches well to keep opposing hitters off balance. Oakland has the lineup advantage, the rest advantage, and should benefit from all of that today.

Chris Flexen gets the task of taking on a good Athletics lineup. He enters with an ERA of 3.35 and a FIP of 3.68. Flexen isn’t an overpowering guy, and it shows with the lack of punchouts. He strikes out only 16.3% of hitters, and is more of a pitch-to-contact guy. That’s all good and fine, but when you have a HardHit% of 39.9%, that might not be the best recipe for success. The Mariners are also a team I have been looking to fade for a while, as they have a record above .500, while maintaining a -52 run differential. This price feels short, as the A’s have the advantage in almost all aspects of this one from my vantage point.

Be sure to check out our full game preview for Oakland Athletics vs Seattle Mariners

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