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Brewers at Braves – Free Pick for April 13th

 

Milwaukee Brewers +110 @ Atlanta Braves -120

Randy Wolf (0-1, 5.40 ERA) vs. Jair Jurrjens (0-1, 6.23 ERA)

The Atlanta Braves haven’t gotten off to the kind of start they were hoping to enjoy, particularly coming off of last season’s epic collapse that culminated in the second biggest September collapse in baseball history.  After losing their first four games to this season, getting swept by the Mets no less, fans had to be growing a little concerned.  However, their bats appear to have started waking up, averaging over five runs a game in their last four outings and they have their ace pitcher on the mound tonight at home.

The Brewers will counter with Randy Wolf, a lefty, which traditionally proves challenging for Atlanta, but a pitcher who individually hasn’t had much success against the Bravos.  Wolf is just 5-12 with a 5.28 ERA in 28 lifetime starts against Atlanta.  In Turner Field, he’s been a shade better, with a 5-7 record and a 5.01 ERA.  It still isn’t very good.  In fact, it is his highest ERA of any park in which he has made at least 10 career starts.

Atlanta fared very well in their lone home series against Milwaukee last season, sweeping a four game set and allowing only six runs in the process.  Granted, at that time they had a healthy Hudson and Jurrjens was still in that first-half groove that led to his starting the All-Star game for the National League, but still a nice optimistic sign if you want to back the Braves at a reasonable -120 (which I plan on doing tonight).

Aramis Ramirez is likely making his return to the Brewer lineup tonight, which is especially good news given his .417 average (with a homerun) against Jurrjens.  That gain however might be offset by Chipper Jones getting what could quite likely be his last at bats ever against Randy Wolf.  Chipper has hit the lefty well over his career, going 20 of 53 (.377) with four homeruns and seven doubles against Wolf.  If the Braves can get a Jair Jurrjens start that even close to resembles the Jurrjens of the first half of last season, a few Chipper RBI’s might be enough to forge and hold the lead.

Personally, I am looking to snap my longest MLB losing streak of my career at four games.  It makes one pause and take an extra minute or two to reconsider a few different lines and look for the best opportunity to earn a win.  I feel good with Jurrjens on the hill at home, and especially like the slim -120 line against a pitcher who is nearly automatic to give up three or four runs each trip to Turner Field.

Free Pick:  Atlanta Braves to WIN -120