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Free Sports Picks: Undervalued Braves Host San Francisco

Oskeim Sports previews Friday’s MLB game between the Giants and Braves.  Oskeim gives a free sports pick in that game as well providing free sports picks in two other baseball games on May 4.

Oskeim recommends the Braves, Rockies and Mariners as his three free sports picks for Friday, May 4.  Be sure to visit daily for more quality free sports picks from the 2016 Handicapping Champion as documented by Handicapper’s Watchdog.

San Francisco is a money-burning 23-47 on the road, 18-42 on the road versus right-handed starters, 17-42 on the road versus teams with a home win percentage exceeding .600 and 8-21 against National League East foes.

In contrast, the Braves are a profitable 13-3 in their last sixteen games versus .501 or greater opposition and apply to a very good 96-32 system that invests against certain road underdogs with struggling offenses that are matched up against a starting pitcher with an ERA below 3.00.

Atlanta right-hander Mike Foltynewicz toes the rubber with a 2.53 ERA and 1.29 WHIP across six starts in 2018.  The 26-year-old boasts a 10.97 K/9 rate (29.3% K%) and now faces an anemic San Francisco lineup that is averaging just 2.5 runs per game on the road (.624 OPS) and 3.4 runs per game at night (.629 OPS).

Foltynewicz has been outstanding at home this season where he owns a 2.20 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, 3.40 FIP and 3.07 xFIP, together with a ridiculous 34.3% strikeout rate.  The talented hurler is backed by a solid Atlanta bullpen that has posted a 3.14 ERA at home and a 1.90 ERA over the last seven games.

The Braves possess a potent lineup that is averaging 5.6 runs per game in 2018 (.766 OPS), including posting 6.4 runs per game at home (.761)  and 5.5 runs per game against right-handed starters (.750).  Atlanta faces right-hander Chris Stratton, who takes the mound with a 3.90 ERA and 1.20 WHIP in six outings.

The 27-year-old is coming off his worst outing of the season in which he yielded six runs on six hits and four walks across just 1.1 innings against the Dodgers.  The 20th overall pick in the 2012 draft posted a 3.68 ERA in ten starts last season but his underlying peripherals (4.42 xFIP) suggest that he was somewhat lucky to achieve an ERA below 4.

Other warning signs from Stratton’s rookie campaign include below-average F-Strike% (59%), SwStr% (8.8%) and BB% (11%).  Let’s also note that San Francisco’s bullpen has struggled away from home, posting a 4.58 ERA on foreign soil.

Take the Braves, winners of six of their last 7 (5-0 L/5) as one of Oskeim’s free sports picks for Friday.

Oskeim’s Free Sports Picks for May 4:

  • Atlanta Braves (-137) over San Francisco Giants
  • Seattle Mariners (+114) over Los Angeles Angels
  • Colorado Rockies (+115) over New York Mets