MLB Baseball: Atlanta Braves vs. San Francisco Giants Preview, Prediction & Odds -- Sept. 19, 2021

by Big Al Staff

Game time: 4:05 p.m. ET
Venue: Oracle Park, San Francisco, CA
Where to watch: Bally Sports Southeast, NBCS BA, MLB Network

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Giants -125, Braves +105
BetMGM: NL
Caesars: NL

Season record (entering Saturday)
Braves: 76-69 (1st place, NL East)
Giants: 96-52 (1st place, NL West -- clinched playoff spot)

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Braves - Giants preview and analysis


Recent form (entering Saturday)
Braves: lost 3 straight
Giants: 8-2 in last 10

The Atlanta Braves have chosen to not make this easy on themselves.

Thanks to a three-game losing streak, the Braves’ lead on the Philadelphia Phillies in the National League East is down to two thanks to the Phillies’ latest winning stretch.

Atlanta’s streak reached three on Friday night, losing 6-5 in 11 innings to the San Francisco Giants in the first game of their three-game series. Kevin Gausman, who’s already put together a Cy Young-caliber season, drove in the winning run with a sacrifice fly.

The teams will meet in the series finale on Sunday in San Francisco in what could be deemed a must-win for the Braves.

Atlanta took a 5-4 lead into the ninth off a three-run home run from Travis d’Arnaud, but Donovan Solano tied it with a solo shot in the bottom half on a 2-2 pitch.

The Braves haven’t found a form of consistency since September began. They’ve lost all but two series -- against the Washington Nationals and Miami Marlins, two teams fighting for last place in the NL East -- and have yet to win consecutive games this month.

Fortunately for the Braves, the Phillies are the only team that’s making such a charge atop the standings thanks to the New York Mets’ recent slide after defeating the New York Yankees last weekend. But a surging Phillies squad, with a red-hot Bryce Harper, is more than capable of catching the Braves.

Atlanta got nine hits on Friday but drove in only five runs; two hits each came from Freddie Freeman, Austin Reilly and Adam Duvall. Outside of that, Giants star pitcher Logan Webb threw seven solid innings with nine strikeouts (7 IP, 2 ER, 0 BB). The Braves didn’t get nearly as much from Ian Anderson, giving up four earned runs in 5.2 innings of baseball.

Though it is weird to not have much to talk about the Giants this late in the year, other than the fact they’re winning and holding off the Los Angeles Dodgers for first place in the National League West. A winning team with no concerns? Sounds like other championship teams from the past.

Brandon Crawford had two of the Giants’ eight hits and was the only San Francisco player to have more than one hit. Crawford has been someone flying under the radar for the MVP consideration, but it should be serious.

Prediction


The Giants are peaking at the right time, but this matchup on Sunday will be great with probable starting pitchers Anthony DeSclafani for the Giants and Max Fried for the Braves. At home, with a really good pitcher on the mound, we like the Giants in a close one. Giants win 5-4

Betting trends


The Braves are 16-24 this season (-4 net games on the moneyline) when an underdog.

The Giants are 38-16 (+22.4 net games) in day games this season.

Players to watch


Braves: Freddie Freeman has done Freddie Freeman things in September, despite the rest of the team not picking things up. In the 14 games in September, Freeman has hit .333 with an on-base percentage of .419.

Giants: San Francisco hasn’t gotten the offensive production it’s probably wanted from Kris Bryant despite winning 10 of its last 13 games. Bryant has only one homer and two RBI in the last 13 games, but batting .277.

Projected lineup


Braves:
Ozzie Albies (S) 2B
Jorge Soler (R) RF
Freddie Freeman (L) 1B
Austin Riley (R) 3B
Adam Duvall (R) CF
Eddie Rosario (L) LF
Travis d'Arnaud (R) C
Dansby Swanson (R) SS
Max Fried (L) P

Giants:
Darin Ruf (R) LF
Brandon Belt (L) 1B
Buster Posey (R) C
LaMonte Wade Jr. (L) RF
Kris Bryant (R) CF
Brandon Crawford (L) SS
Evan Longoria (R) 3B
Tommy La Stella (L) 2B
Anthony DeSclafani (R) P

Statistical leaders


Braves:
Batting average: Freddie Freeman & Austin Riley (.298)
Hits: Freddie Freeman (162)
Home runs: Freddie Freeman (30)
RBI: Ozzie Albies (94)
Stolen bases: Ozzie Albies (17)
Wins: Charlie Morton (13)
Saves: Will Smith (32)
ERA: Charlie Morton (3.49)

Giants:
Batting average: Brandon Crawford (.299)
Hits: Brandon Crawford (129)
Home runs: Brandon Belt (26)
RBI: Brandon Crawford (81)
Stolen bases: Austin Slater (14)
Wins: Kevin Gausman (14)
Saves: Jake McGee (31)
ERA: Kevin Gausman (2.78)

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All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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