The Atlanta Braves (56-27) take one of the most productive lineups in the league on the road to face the Cleveland Guardians (41-42) at Progressive Field on Monday to open a three-game Interleague series.
The Braves are playing their first of six games on the road after wrapping up a perfect six-game homestand. They are coming off a three-game sweep of the Marlins, taking the finale 6-3 on Sunday at Truist Park for their eighth straight win.
Ronald Acuna Jr. was 2 for 3 with a double and one run, extending his hit streak to 13 games. Travis d’Arnaud added a home run and two RBIs. The Guardians are back home for a seven-game homestand after finishing up a successful six-game road trip (4-2).
They won two of three against the Cubs in their last series, taking the finale 8-6 on Sunday at Wrigley Field. Andres Gimenez went 2 for 4 with a home run and a double.
He scored three runs and had two RBIs. The teams are meeting for the first time since April 21, 2019, when the Braves finished off a 2-1 series win with an 11-5 victory at Progressive Field.
ON THE MOUND
Bryce Elder (6-1, 2.44 ERA) is set for the start for Atlanta. The right-hander ranks second in the NL in ERA. Elder allowed two runs over six innings in his last start, a 6-2 road win over the Twins on Tuesday.
He got the win, yielding four hits while striking out four and walking four. RHP Gavin Williams (0-0, 2.84 ERA) gets the ball for Cleveland. In his last start on Tuesday, Williams took a no-decision on the road against the Royals. He threw seven scoreless innings and gave up one hit, striking out six and walking one in the 2-1 win.
AT THE PLATE
The Atlanta offense is averaging 5.7 runs per game for the season, second best in MLB, with a slash line of .272/.341/.497. Five Braves hitters have an OPS of .800 or better, led by Acuna Jr. (1.018).
The right fielder is slashing .336/.415/.604 with 21 home runs, 54 RBIs, and 76 runs over 83 games. Over the last five games, however, Atlanta has averaged 7.6 runs a game partially due to improved slugging (.697).
Against righties like Williams this season, the Braves have a .818 OPS, the highest in the league. Matt Olson is the team’s most productive hitter against right-handers with a 1.039 OPS in 233 at-bats.
Cleveland is slashing .248/.313/.373 for the season and averaging 4.0 runs per game, the fifth lowest in MLB. Jose Ramirez leads the team with an .873 OPS. The third baseman has 13 home runs, 52 RBIs, and 51 runs scored with a slash line of .293/.362/.511.
Cleveland is averaging 6.4 runs per game in the last five with a higher slash line (.273/.333/.412). The Guardians have a .693 OPS against right-handers in 2023. With a .963 OPS over 213 at-bats, Ramirez also has been their best hitter against right-handers.
HOME AND AWAY
Atlanta is 26-12 away from Truist Park in 2023, scoring 5.6 runs per game while allowing 3.7 runs. Cleveland has gone 20-19 at home this season, averaging 3.5 runs per game while surrendering 3.9. In six games between the teams at Progressive Field, Atlanta is 4-2 with an average scoreline of 6.0-5.2.
The Braves lead the NL East by nine games over the Marlins. The Guardians are second in the AL Central, zero games behind the Twins.
SportsTips’ MLB Pick:
Atlanta Braves (-150)
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*Odds correct at time of publication, courtesy of BetMGM.