The Atlanta Braves host the Boston Red Sox on Saturday as they get ready for the National League Playoffs. The Braves currently have the number two seed in the National League behind the Los Angeles Dodgers. They are two games ahead of the Chicago Cubs for the second seed with two games to play. The Red Sox, meanwhile are trying to climb out of the American League East basement, as they are two games behind the Baltimore Orioles for fourth place. The Braves have won all four games between these two teams this season after their come-from-behind 11-inning victory on Friday night.
Freddie Freeman capped off the Braves comeback on Friday with a two-run home run in the bottom of the 11th inning as they came back for the third time in the game. Trailing 2-1 in the playoffs eighth inning, Atlanta scored three runs to take a short-lived lead before the Red Sox tied it up again in the top of the ninth. The Braves answered Boston’s two-spot in the 10th inning before Freeman’s 11th-inning heroics. Ronald Acuna, Jr. also homered for the Braves, while Jackie Bradley, Jr. went deep for the Red Sox. Marcell Ozuna had three hits for the Braves, while Kevin Plawecki had three hits for Boston.
Red Sox looking to bounce back from extra inning lossThe Boston Red Sox have been playing some good baseball recently, as they won three straight games before losing their last two games. They had the Braves on the ropes on Friday before blowing the lead three times from the eighth inning on.
"They battled great," Red Sox manager Roenicke said on espn.com. "Get behind, they come back, kept doing it, so offense, I thought we did a great job. We just didn't pitch as well in the late innings when we got the lead. Everything else I thought was good. It's a shame to lose a game.”
The Red Sox have hit 75 home runs this season, led by Rafael Devers and Xander Bogaerts with 11 and 10, respectively. Devers leads the team with 41 RBI, while Alex Verdugo is 11th in the majors with a .315 batting average. The Red Sox have played better on the road this season, going 12-16, compared to 10-20 at home.
Tanner Houck has had an impressive start to his career, as he makes his third start of the season and his career. He is 2-0 in his two starts with a 0.00 ERA. In 11 innings, he has given up one unearned run on just three hits in wins over the New York Yankees and Miami Marlins. He has walked six and struck out 11 batters.
Braves win fifth game in last sixThe Atlanta Braves are gearing up for the postseason by getting hot at the right time. The Braves clinched the number two seed in the National League playoffs with their win over the Red Sox on Friday. They hold the tiebreaker over the Cubs if they finish with the same record. Atlanta has now won five of their last six games and six of their last eight games. They have been scoring a lot of runs lately, as they have had games of 15, seven, 11, nine, and eight in their last eight games.
Freeman continues his MVP candidacy on Saturday. He is batting .341, with 53 RBI and a 1.105 OPS this season. Teammate Ozuna is also making a case for the MVP Award, batting .335 with 17 home runs, 55 RBI, and a 1.058 OPS. The Braves have hit 103 home runs this season, while they are batting .270.
“He absolutely should," Braves manager Brian Snitker said about Freeman winning MVP on espn.com. "The guy is having an unbelievable year. ... He checks all the boxes."
Huascar Ynoa take the mound for the Braves on Saturday. He has made nine appearances this season (five starts). He does not have a decision this season, and has a 5.82 ERA. He pitched a scoreless inning in relief against the Red Sox earlier this season in his only appearance against Boston.
Trend found on oddsshark.com:
- The Braves are 5-1 in their last six games overall
- The Braves are 5-1 in their last six home games
- The Red Sox are 1-4 in their last five games versus Atlanta
- The Red Sox are 3-6 in their last nine games against a National League opponent