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Atlanta Braves vs. Arizona Diamondbacks Gambling Preview & Free MLB Picks

MLB Lines – Braves vs D-Backs

Friday night’s tilt in the desert is an intriguing match-up because, although Arizona has a batting order full of weapons right now, Atlanta possesses a potent weapon – starting pitcher Julio Teheran.

Date/Time: Friday, June 6 2014 9:40 pm EST
Venue: Chase Field, Phoenix AZ
Atlanta -120, Arizona EVEN
Over/Under: 8
Pitching Match-up: Julio Teheran (5-3, 1.83 ERA) vs. Brandon McCarthy (1-7, 5.20 ERA)

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Teheran has simply been one of the best pitchers in baseball in 2014. There was a ton of worry at the season’s outset about the Braves’s (31-27) rotation due to the flurry of injuries to starting pitchers.

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However, Teheran and his mates (mainly Aaron Harang and last-minute acquisition Ervin Santana) have quelled those concerns and held Atlanta in good stead – first in the National League East division, to be precise.

The Diamondbacks (26-36) should be a challenge for Teheran, though. The Snakes started the season out miserably, but have used a cracking offense to claw back to respectability by June.

First baseman Paul Goldschmidt is doing his usual mashing thing (.307 average, 11 HR, 44 RBI) and this last week has seen catcher Miguel Montero go on an absolute tear, going 6-for-9 with two homers and seven RBI in the past two games.

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Arizona have always had players capable of tearing the cover off the ball, but the Snakes weren’t doing that consistently at the beginning of the season. Plus, their pitching was dreadful.

The stats support this as we see Brandon McCarthy duel Teheran, with his paltry 1-7 record and ERA over five. McCarthy is expected to be a key part of the D’backs’ starting rotation; numbers like that just aren’t cutting the mustard.

McCarthy is 0-2 with a 6.04 ERA over his last five starts, so the numbers do not seem to be trending in the right direction.

The Atlanta offense has been nothing impressive so far, but the pitching has them in a place of contention and even the Braves’s streaky hitters should be able to jump on McCarthy and drive him out of the game.

Atlanta OF Justin Upton has put up some nice power numbers, he could continue to do that in the homer-friendly confines of his former home ballpark (Upton was acquired by Atlanta from the D’backs a couple seasons ago).

If it’s not Upton, 1B Freddie Freeman and OF Jason Heyward can also get the job done, though that duo’s streakiness (despite having the physical gifts you dream about in an elite ballplayer) is rather frustrating.

When Atlanta’s bats are in a groove, the Braves are among the top teams in the Majors. But the offense needs to be clicking on a more consistent basis.

Arizona’s offensive renaissance, meanwhile, is encouraging for the club and is helping the team get back on track. Yet, some of the league’s best boppers have looked hopeless when Teheran takes the mound. That in conjunction with Zona’s unimpressive starting pitching does not bode well for the Diamondbacks on Friday night.

When one notices that Arizona is 14 games back of the NL West-leading San Francisco Giants, even after this recent hot streak, it starts to take shape that perhaps 2014 in general doesn’t bode well for the desert Snakes.

Atlanta 4, Arizona 2
Take the UNDER

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