MLB Picks previews the MLB Playoffs, which open Friday with the NL Wildcard series and the AL Wildcard series, starting with the St. Louis Cardinals and the Atlanta Braves square off in their National League Wildcard series at Turner Field (5 pm ET, TBS).
MLB Odds have the Braves as a -160 moneyline favorite and the Cardinals a +150 underdog. The over/under total is at 7.
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Atlanta, which is 5-1 SU in the last 6 meetings, will start righthander Kyle Lohse, who has an ERA of 2.86 and a record of 16-3. The Braves will start righthander Kris Medlen, who has an ERA of 0.97 and a 9-0 record.
The Braves and Cardinals haven’t met since May, when Atlanta won a three-game series 2-1. All three games went over the over/under total. In the teams’ previous meeting this season, the Braves swept a three-game set.
Free MLB Picks stats show that the Cardinals are the second highest scoring team in MLB at 4.7 runs per game, and lead the league in hits with 9.4 per game. The Braves lead the league in walks with 3.5 per game, and allow the third least hits in the majors at 8.1 per game.
Next, the Baltimore Orioles and the Texas Rangers meet in the opener of the AL Wildcard series at Rangers Ballpark (8:30 pm ET, TBS).
Texas is a -190 favorite and Baltimore a +160 underdog in Baseball Odds. The total is 9.
The Orioles had not announced their starting pitcher at press time. Texas will go with righthander Yu Darvish, who is 16-9 with a 3.90 ERA. He last pitched on Sunday in a 5-4 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.
The teams last met in a three-game series Aug. 20 to 22. The Rangers won the series 2-1 and outscored the Orioles 20-9.