MLB Atlanta Braves vs Tampa Bay Rays Same Game Parlay picks: Acuna Jr. and Olson lead the way at +725 odds

Atlanta Braves first baseman Matt Olson (28) reacts with third baseman Austin Riley (27) and right fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. (13) after hitting a home run against the Philadelphia Phillies during the first inning at Truist Park.

If you’re like me, you like to watch good baseball. And the series we have all been waiting for this season has been the Atlanta Braves against the Tampa Bay Rays. Game 1 of the series took place last night as the Braves won a low-scoring battle, and the second game of the series will feature an excellent pitching matchup between a pair of baseball’s youngest stars. Here’s my Same Game Parlay at over 7/1 odds at FanDuel.

Under 9.5 (-205)

Ronald Acuna Jr. 2+ bases (-115)

Matt Olson 2+ bases (+100)

Same Game Parlay odds: +725

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Under 9.5 (-205)

Taking the under in a battle between the top 2 offenses in baseball may seem contradictory, but we have to consider who is on the mound today. For the visitors, Spencer Strider will make his 18th start of the season. The mustache strikeout machine has been incredible this year with a 3.66 ERA and a 3.16 xERA, and he’s raised his strikeout rate to 38.6%. That mark puts Strider in the 99th percentile among pitchers in the MLB, but that’s not all he’s excelled at this season. The Clemson alum also ranks in the 88th percentile in xBA, 77th percentile in xSLG, 93rd percentile in chase rate and 99th percentile in whiff rate.

Countering one of baseball’s most up-and-coming stars is Taj Bradley, Tampa Bay’s #1 prospect. He’s made 12 starts this season and has a very misleading 5.27 ERA because his xERA sits at 3.93 and his FIP is 3.86. Essentially, Bradley has been getting very unlucky and his advanced metrics indicate that he’s actually a pretty good pitcher. However, I am rather worried about him facing Atlanta’s potent offense, but that’s why I’m taking an alternate total under which gives me a little more room to play with. Plus, taking picks that seemingly contradict each other drives up the payout in a Same Game Parlay (meaning Ronald Acuna Jr. and Matt Olson to have 2+ bases doesn’t completely correlate with the game staying low scoring).

Ronald Acuna Jr. 2+ bases (-115)

The Atlanta offense has been a juggernaut this season. Last night, the Braves broke the record for the most home runs before an All-Star break with 167. A big part of that offense has been Ronald Acuna Jr., the frontrunner for the NL MVP award, who has 21 home runs and a .333 average heading into Saturday. In the last 15 games, Acuna Jr. has a .371 average and a .710 slugging percentage. The Venezuelan star will face Bradley, who has had a decent season but throws his fastball a lot. In fact, 43.2% of pitches that Bradley throws are 4-seam fastballs. That might not work out too well for him since Acuna Jr. has a .376 average, .367 xBA, 59.5% hard-hit rate and an absurd 12 Run Value against fastballs. He has recorded 2 or more bases in 8 of his last 11 games, so I’m backing the trend for him to do it again.

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Matt Olson 2+ bases (+100)

Matt Olson is heading into the All-Star break on fire. In his last 7 games, he is 12-for-27 with 3 homers. And even more recently, he’s 4 for his last 8 with a home run. Similarly to Acuna Jr., Olson mashes fastballs. He has a 7 Run Value with a 69.1% hard-hit rate against 4-seam fastballs this season, which we know is Bradley’s primary pitch. Also in Olson’s favor is Bradley being right-handed because the first baseman has a 1.016 OPS against right-handed pitchers but just a .699 OPS against lefties. That’s a massive difference! And since the Braves are the away team, Olson should get at least 4 at-bats, so all we need is a pair of singles or an extra-base hit and this leg cashes.

You can also read today’s MLB mega parlayYRFI/NRFI Best Bets and MLB player props

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