Cardinals vs Braves Picks and Predictions: Fried Highlights Atlanta's Comprehensive Edge

A juicy NL matchup rolls on today, with the Cardinals and Atlanta meeting at Truist Park for game three of a four-game set. The Braves will send Max Fried to the mound, and our MLB betting picks highlight how Fried is just one of the edges they have.

Last Updated: Jul 6, 2022 11:26 AM ET Read Time: 4 min
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The Braves (48-34) are only 2.5 games back in the NL East after winning seven of their last 10 games. 

Atlanta took the first two games of the series against the Cardinals (44-39), who are 4-6 in their last 10 games and are three games back in the NL Central.

The third game of this four-game series goes down Wednesday night in a pitching battle between the Cards’ Miles Mikolas (2.61 ERA) and Max Fried (2.66 ERA) for the Braves.

Check out our MLB picks and predictions for the St. Louis Cardinals and the Atlanta Braves on Wednesday, July 6.

Cardinals vs Braves odds

This odds widget represents the best odds available for each betting market from regulated sportsbooks.

The Braves opened -185 at home but the line has come in a bit. Depending on the book, Atlanta currently ranges from -167 to -182. The total has been set at 8.5 across all books.

Use the live odds widget above to track any future line movements right up until first pitch and be sure to check out the full MLB odds before placing your bets.

Cardinals vs Braves predictions

Picks made on 7/6/2022 at 10:30 a.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

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Cardinals vs Braves game info

Location: Truist Park, Atlanta, GA
Date: Wednesday, July 6, 2022
First pitch: 7:20 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN

Cardinals vs Braves betting preview

Starting pitchers

Miles Mikolas (5-6, 2.61 ERA): Mikolas is having his best season since 2018, when he went 18-4 with a 2.83 ERA. He still doesn’t strike many batters out (19.8% K-rate), but he issues only 1.9 walks per nine innings and does a good job limiting hard contact (4.5% barrel rate). He’s been in fine form, allowing no more than two earned runs in each of his last five starts. His 3.337 xERA indicates some minor regression may be due.

Max Fried (8-2, 2.66 ERA): The left-hander has established himself as a very effective pitcher for Atlanta. Dating back to May 24, Fried has allowed more than two earned runs only once in eight starts. He’s done an excellent job limiting walks this season, issuing only 1.4 free passes per nine innings. The 2.81 xERA is the best of his career, as is his 2.52 FIP. His numbers have been good since entering the league back in 2017, but he appears to have taken another step forward in 2022.

Weather

Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.

Key injuries

Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Under is 7-0-2 in the Cardinals’ last nine games vs. a left-handed starter. Find more MLB betting trends for Cardinals vs. Braves

Cardinals vs Braves picks and predictions

Our side and total predictions are based upon our analysis of the line and total in this game. Our best bet is our favorite pick across all markets.

Moneyline analysis

The Braves have taken each of the first two games of the series thanks to strong pitching, winning 6-3 on the 4th of July and 7-1 yesterday. One of the things that makes this Braves team so difficult to face is that they keep coming with quality arms game after game. Next up is Max Fried, the lefty with a superb 2.66 ERA and minuscule 3.2% barrel rate.

Miles Mikolas has been a bright spot, but his 3.37 xERA, compared to his 2.61 actual ERA, indicates some minor regression may be due. He’s been good, but he sits behind Fried in nearly every peripheral statistic. We give the Braves the advantage on the mound.

At the plate, these teams have been performing at a similar level, although Atlanta once again has an edge. The Braves rank eighth in wOBA and 11th in wRC+ over the last 10 days, while the Cardinals rank 14th in wOBA and 12th in wRC+.

St. Louis has been in a funk, going just 1-5 across its last six games. The bats have gone cold, and it has faced some very quality starting pitchers in that timeframe. 

The Braves, meanwhile, have been one of the hottest teams in baseball and are 25-7 in their last 32 overall.

The Cardinals are 0-6 in the last six meetings between these two teams. We see that trend continuing on Wednesday against a tough pitcher in Fried.

Prediction: Braves moneyline (-167 at WynnBet)

Over/Under analysis

Max Fried’s statistical profile is as bulletproof as it gets. He does face a Cardinals lineup that has hit lefties well this season, ranking fifth in both wOBA and wRC+ against southpaws over the last 10 days. Given Fried’s microscopic 3.2% barrel rate, I fancy his chances to win virtually any matchup, this one included.

Nothing about Mikolas’ profile paints him as a dominant starting pitcher, but he’s effective nonetheless. He keeps hitters off balance (4.5% barrel rate) and limits free passes. The Braves’ lineup is one of the best in baseball, but they’ve gone Under the total in four straight games. 

St. Louis has also been trending toward the Under. The Under is 7-0-2 in the Cardinals’ last nine games against a left-handed starter and 6-1 in their last seven games overall.

I see the Under cashing for the third time in a row in this series, given the quality of both teams’ starting pitching and bullpen.

Prediction: Under 8.5 (-106 at FanDuel)

Best bet

Both teams are sending quality starting pitchers to the mound for Wednesday’s meeting. Mikolas (2.61 ERA) and Fried (2.66 ERA) are both in fine form.

Both teams have a Top-10 bullpen. 

Both teams have been trending toward the Under. The Cardinals are 6-1 to the Under in their last seven games, while the Braves have cashed the Under in four straight.

The best bet is on the Under.

Pick: Under 8.5 (-106 at FanDuel)

MLB parlays

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