Braves Tries To Build On Success
The Atlanta Braves begin a three-game weekend series with the host Texas Rangers on Friday night looking to build on a series win at home over the Chicago Cubs. Atlanta took two out of three from Chicago, including a 5-1 victory on Thursday night, and is in fourth place in the NL East, a game behind the third-place Philadelphia Phillies. Texas is on a three-game losing streak and sits in last place in the AL West, four games behind the third-place Oakland Athletics and Houston Astros. These two teams are fighting to stay in their respective division races, so this should be a tight series and one you want to be informed about before you decide on how you want to bet online. Check out our in-depth preview of the series opener for help with that.
Braves Get Big Lift From Return Of Acuna
The Atlanta Braves won the World Series last season despite the fact that All-Star outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. didn’t play after a season-ending knee injury suffered on July 10. Acuna made his return to the lineup on Thursday night in a win over the Chicago Cubs, going 1-for-5 with two stolen bases, and the Braves are hoping his return will jumpstart the team’s season.
“I was just extremely excited,” Acuna said through an interpreter after Thursday’s win. “I think the adrenaline level was at a maximum. Those first few at-bats, I couldn’t contain myself.”
The Braves also got the first home run of the season from outfielder Adam Duvall, who had 38 in 2021 between the Miami Marlins and Atlanta. Duvall is hitting .200 with four doubles, 10 RBIs and seven runs scored.
Second baseman Ozzie Albies continues to be the big hitter for Atlanta this season, leading the team with six home runs and 11 RBIs. Albies was 0-for-9 over the last two games of the series against the Cubs, with his batting average down to .228 heading to Texas.
Right-hander Ian Anderson will be on the mound for the series opener. Anderson is 1-1 with a 5.40 ERA in three starts this season, striking out 12 and walking nine in 13⅓ innings of work. Anderson took a no-decision in his last outing, facing the Miami Marlins on Saturday and going five innings, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits, including a home run.
Rangers Not Feeling At Home This Season
The Texas Rangers are not having a good season at Globe Life Field so far, going 2-8 in their first 10 contests at their home park. Texas is hoping to get back to winning in this series before heading out on a five-game East Coast swing starting Tuesday.
Right-hander Garrett Richards will be on the mound for Friday’s opener. The veteran Richards is making his second start and seventh appearance for Texas this season. He has yet to record a decision and hasn’t had an outing of more than two innings, putting together a 2.25 ERA over eight innings of work.
First baseman Nathaniel Lowe continues to be a consistent threat at the plate, ranking 10th in baseball with a .342 batting average. Lowe had just one hit over the last three games against the Houston Astros, striking out four times.
Outfielder Adolis Garcia has been having his troubles at the plate lately as well, going 4-for-15 against the Astros. He did have a home run in the series, but his 22 strikeouts on the season are tied for 11th in the American League.
Braves vs Rangers Head-to-Head
It is rare for these two teams to square off, as the Atlanta Braves haven’t faced the Texas Rangers since the 2017 season. Texas won the lone series between the two teams that year, the fifth straight time they’d beaten the Braves in a series.
Atlanta hasn’t won in Texas since the 2008 season. The MLB lines have that changing in the opener, giving the visitors the edge.
Braves vs Rangers Game Information
- Game: Braves (9-11) vs Rangers (6-13)
- Location: Globe Life Field
- Day/Time: Friday, April 29th. 8:05 p.m. ET
- Braves vs Rangers Live Stream: MLB.tv
Braves vs Rangers Betting Lines
|Atlanta Braves||-1½ +125||-126||9 -105o||4½ -120o / 4½ -110u|
|Texas Rangers||+1½ -145||+116||9 -115u||3½ -130o / 3½ Evu|
Braves vs Rangers Prediction
The Atlanta Braves’ offense is coming together, with a heavy hitter in Acuna joining the fray now. That should be enough to get them a win over the host Texas Rangers in Friday’s opener.
When making your MLB picks, take Atlanta to pick up the road win.