Atlanta Braves vs. St. Louis Cardinals - 10/3/19 MLB NLDS Game 1 Pick, Odds, and Prediction

Atlanta Braves vs. St. Louis Cardinals - 10/3/19 MLB NLDS Game 1 Pick, Odds, and Prediction Photo by Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

St. Louis Cardinals (91-71) at Atlanta Braves (97-65)

MLB Baseball: Thursday, October 3, 2019 at 5:02 pm (SunTrust Park)

Miles Mikolas (9-14) (4.16) vs. Dallas Keuchel (8-8) (3.75)

The Line: Atlanta Braves -135 / St. Louis Cardinals +115 --- Over/Under: 9

TV: TBS

The St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Braves meet Thursday in game one of the MLB NLDS at SunTrust Park. 

The St. Louis Cardinals are in the postseason for the first time since 2015 and have won eight of their last 15 games. The St. Louis Cardinals can be a little short on offense at times, but they have a top-five ERA in baseball, the seventh best WHIP and one of the better defenses which has committed just 66 errors. The Cardinals may not be pretty all the time, but they’re fundamentally sound and usually don’t beat themselves. Paul Goldschmidt leads the Cardinals with 155 hits and 97 RBI while Paul DeJong and Kolten Wong have combined for 272 hits and 137 RBI. Miles Mikolas gets the ball, and he was 9-14 with a 4.16 ERA and 144 strikeouts this season. This will be Mikolas’ first career postseason appearance.

The Atlanta Braves are in the postseason for the fifth time since 2006 and enter this series losing five of their last six games. The Atlanta Braves do have a top-10 ERA in baseball and are solid defensively, but it’s their offense that has led the way to an NL East crown. The Braves are seventh in runs per game, ninth in team batting average, eighth in homers and ninth in stolen bases. With six different batters with 62 or more RBI, the Braves are capable of going toe-to-toe with just about any offense in baseball. Ozzie Albies leads the Braves with 189 hits and 86 RBI while Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuna Jr. have combined for 351 hits and 222 RBI. Dallas Keuchel gets the ball, and he was 8-8 with a 3.75 ERA and 91 strikeouts this season. Keuchel is 4-2 with a 3.31 ERA and 48 strikeouts in his postseason career.

The Cardinals are 4-0 in their last 4 Thursday games, 6-2 in their last 8 road games and 5-2 in Mikolas' last 7 starts. The Braves are 36-16 in their last 52 home games, 1-5 in their last 6 Divisional Playoff games and 5-2 in Keuchel's last 7 home starts. The Cardinals are 9-3 in the last 12 meetings in Atlanta and 1-4 in the last 5 meetings. The under is 4-1-1 in Keuchel's last 6 home starts. The under is 16-7-3 in Mikolas' last 26 starts overall.

Mikolas will pitch in the postseason for the first time, and he hasn't been good on the road where he has a 5.40 ERA and .297 allowed batting average. Keuchel has been up and down for much of the season, but he's at his best at SunTrust Park where he has a 2.74 ERA and .239 allowed batting average. Keuchel is also a reliable postseason pitcher and helped the Astros bring home the title in 2017. This is a very kind price for the Braves at home and I'm going to bite. 

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Randy’s Pick Atlanta Braves -135

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The pick in this article is the opinion of the writer, not a Pick Dawgz site consensus.