MLB Philadelphia Phillies vs Atlanta Braves Same Game Parlay picks: Max Fried and Zack Wheeler battle at +513 odds

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Max Fried (54) speaks with catcher Travis d'Arnaud (16) following the bottom of the fifth inning at Dodger Stadium.
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For the first time all season, the pressure is on the Braves. After a surprising Game 1 loss, the Braves are in a desperate situation to win Game 2 before the series shifts to Philadelphia. You can read our MLB predictions for today’s action but now I’ve crafted a Same Game Parlay for the action that pays out at over 5/1 odds, so let’s get right into it.

NRFI (-115)

Alternate total under 6.5 (+190)

Ronald Acuna Jr. to record a hit (-270)

Same Game Parlay odds: +513

No Run First Inning (-115)

Monday night in Atlanta features a pair of aces on the mound, and along with a low-scoring game, I’m also expecting a scoreless first frame. Zack Wheeler and Max Fried were two of the best pitchers in the National League in the regular season and were also elite first-inning pitchers. In 32 regular-season starts, Wheeler had a 2.81 ERA with a 33.9% strikeout rate in the opening inning. He also limited hitters to a .186 batting average and just a .224 on-base percentage in that time, so his success wasn’t a fluke. Not only that, but he also threw a scoreless first inning in two of his three regular-season starts against the Braves.

One word comes to mind when thinking about Fried in the first inning: dominant. The lefty was arguably the best NRFI pitcher in baseball when he was healthy this season. In 14 starts, he allowed a first-inning run just once. That comes out to a 0.64 ERA in the first inning in the regular season. Fried also held hitters to a .167 batting average, a .200 on-base percentage and a .367 OPS in the first inning. Atlanta’s ace is at his best in the opening inning, so between him and Wheeler, I’m expecting a quick start to Game 2.

Check out our Philadelphia Phillies vs Atlanta Braves predictions

Alternate total under 6.5 (+190)

I think the game total of 8 is far too high for this Wheeler-Fried showdown. Wheeler was on a roll at the end of the season and looked even stronger in the wild-card round. Plus, he’s been one of the few pitchers to have success against the Braves lineup this season. Between Ronald Acuna Jr., Austin Riley, Matt Olson and Ozzie Albies, the core four are a combined 35-for-150 (.233) with 39 strikeouts. It doesn’t get much better down the lineup either since Marcell Ozuna is hitting .191 versus Wheeler in 47 at-bats, Orlando Arcia is hitting .188 in 16 at-bats, Eddie Rosario is hitting .125 in 16 at-bats and Michael Harris is hitting .182 in 12 at-bats. In summary, no Atlanta hitter has a stellar track record against Wheeler. 

The benefit of Strider going 7 innings in the Game 1 loss is that it saved the bullpen a lot of work. Only 3 relievers were used after Strider’s exit, and no arm threw more than 15 pitches. Add in the day off each team had on Sunday, and this is a very rested Atlanta pen. That means the second Brian Snitker starts to feel like the Phillies are rallying against Fried, he won’t hesitate to take his ace out. Atlanta has reached the point of the series in which this has become a must-win game because they can’t go to Philly down 2-0 in a best-of-5 series. I’m expecting a similar score to Game 1.

Ronald Acuna Jr. to record a hit (-270)

The leadoff hitter in Atlanta’s dangerous lineup had a quiet postseason showing in Game 1. However, that shouldn’t be the norm going forward. Acuna Jr. will be crowned NL MVP shortly and was a big reason why the Braves offense performed as well as they did in the regular season. However, his lackluster Game 1 performance doesn’t worry me in the slightest. He didn’t have the best track record against Ranger Suarez in his career, but that’s not the case for his Game 2 opponent. In his career against Zack Wheeler, the future NL MVP is 16-for-42, which comes out to a .261 batting average. That’s not impressive as such, but it’s important to note that 8 of the 12 hits were for extra bases. And digging into the advanced metrics, he has a .274 xBA with the highest average exit velocity against Wheeler of the Atlanta lineup. If Acuna Jr. gets 4 at-bats again, I like his chances of recording at least a hit.

Check out today’s YRFI/NRFI best bets

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