MLB Baseball: New York Yankees vs. Atlanta Braves Preview, Prediction & Odds -- 8/24/21

by Big Al Staff

Game time: 7:20 p.m. ET
Venue: Truist Park, Atlanta, GA
Where to watch: YES, Bally Sports South, MLB Network

Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks


DraftKings: Braves -155, Yankees +135
BetMGM: NL
FanDuel: NL

Season record (entering Monday)
Yankees: 72-52 (2nd place, AL East)
Braves: 68-56 (1st place, NL East)

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Yankees - Braves preview and analysis


Recent form (entering Monday)
Yankees: Won nine straight
Braves: Won nine straight

The allure and magnitude of this series may have somewhat died down since Game 1 on Monday, but it’s still going to be a fun series regardless.

The New York Yankees and Atlanta Braves will continue their three-game series with the second installment at the building formerly known as Turner Field on Tuesday in Atlanta.

At time of publishing, Game 1 hasn’t happened yet, but it’s the much-anticipated battle of the nine-game winning streaks between the hottest, most dangerous team in the American League, against the National League division leader no one is talking about.

The Braves are coming off a three-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles, which is probably the most perfect tune-up for a matchup with the Yankees. Atlanta won 3-1 in the series finale, highlighted by Jorge Soler going 2-for-4 with a home run. Adam Duvall drove in the other two runs in a similar 2-for-4 game, and Touki Toussaint went 5.1 innings and had five strikeouts in the victory.

Atlanta has taken over the top spot in the National League East by way of this nine-game run. The Braves lead the Philadelphia Phillies by five games and the New York Mets by seven. Back on July 31, the Braves were four games back. Now in August, it doesn’t seem like the Braves are letting this go. Charlie Morton, the team leader with 12 wins and a 3.47 ERA, is expected to get the call on the mound as the starting pitcher Tuesday.
The Yankees, by unfortunate circumstances, got a day off before flying to Atlanta thanks to Hurricane Henri. Instead of wrapping up their series finale against the Minnesota Twins at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees carried the nine-game winning streak to Atlanta for the ultimate matchup.

On Saturday, the Yankees continued rolling with a 7-1 victory against the Twiner, capped by a five-run fifth inning off two RBI doubles from Luke Voit and Giancarlo Stanton, both going 2-for-4. Andrew Velazquez hit his first major league home run in the bottom of the eighth to cap a solid day for the offense.

Gerrit Cole improved to 2-0 since coming off the COVID list by throwing 6 IP and striking out six for his 12th victory of the season, while also bringing his ERA below 3.00.

During their winning streak, the Yankees have outscored their opponents 50-22. A lot has changed since that Field of Dreams game against the Chicago White Sox, including New York’s dominance. The Yankees trail the Tampa Bay Rays by 4.5 games for first place in the American League East. The Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays are falling behind as the days go on. New York leads the Oakland Athletics by 2.5 games in the wild card chase, as well.

Andrew Heaney is expected to start for the Yankees. He carries an 8-8 record with a 5.51 ERA to the matchup.

Offensive analysis


The Yankees live and die by the long ball. The makeup of their team hasn’t indicated they like to play the field; look to their acquisition of Joey Gallo for that. But adding Anthony Rizzo can help in that department. But as it stands, the Yankees are a bottom-half batting team (18th) but are tied for 12th in home runs. The addition of Soler has added a boost for the Braves in the power department; they’re third in the league in homers and a decent overall batting team, collecting a .243 clip.

Defensive analysis


While they have the starpower at the plate, the Yankees’ pitching rotation continues to be one of the best in the league, led by Cole. New York’s 3.63 ERA is fifth best in the major leagues, while the Braves are just below 4.00, good for 13th best in the league.

Prediction


Here for a competitive series, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see the Yankees win this series, but I have a hunch the Braves are going to at least take this one game. Braves win 8-7.

Betting trends


The Yankees are 16-4 on Tuesday (+9.9) with the over being 14-6.

The Braves are 98-54 in their last 152 (+31.6) when they’re favored -100 to -150. The under has slightly cashed at 74-72 in that time

Key injuries


Yankees: SS Gleyber Torres (thumb, 10-day IL)
Braves: SP Ian Anderson (shoulder, 10-day IL), LF Eddie Rosario (abdomen, 10-day IL)

Players to watch


Yankees: Aaron Judge has seen a dip in his batting average as of late, but the All-Star outfielder has been great in August, batting .286 with six homers and 17 RBI.

Braves: Reigning NL MVP Freddie Freeman is on another MVP hunt, and has been stellar during this winning streak. Freeman enters Monday on an eight-game hitting streak with five multi-hit games accounted for, and three of his four homers this month in that time.

Projected lineup


Yankees:
DJ LeMahieu (R) 2B
Anthony Rizzo (L) 1B
Aaron Judge (R) CF
Giancarlo Stanton (R) RF
Rougned Odor (L) 3B
Andrew Velazquez (S) SS
Kyle Higashioka (R) C
Tyler Wade (L) LF
Andrew Heaney (L) P

Braves:
Ozzie Albies (S) 2B
Jorge Soler (R) RF
Freddie Freeman (L) 1B
Austin Riley (R) 3B
Dansby Swanson (R) SS
Adam Duvall (R) LF
William Contreras (R) C
Joc Pederson (L) CF
Charlie Morton (R) P

Statistical leaders


Yankees:
Batting average: Aaron Judge (.281)
Hits: D.J. LeMahieu (127)
Home runs: Aaron Judge (27)
RBI: Aaron Judge (65)
Stolen bases: Gleyber Torres & Tyler Wade (12)
Wins: Gerrit Cole (12)
Saves: Aroldis Chapman (23)
ERA: Gerrit Cole (2.92)

Braves:
Batting average: Freddie Freeman (.299)
Hits: Freddie Freeman (138)
Home runs: Freddie Freeman (27)
RBI: Ozzie Albies (84)
Stolen bases: Ozzie Albies (16)
Wins: Charlie Morton (12)
Saves: Will Smith (28)
ERA: Charlie Morton (3.47)

Managers
Yankees: Aaron Boone (4th season)
Braves: Brian Snitker (6th season)

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