San Francisco vs. Atlanta, 05/04/2018 19:35 EDT, Score: 9 - 4

Money Line: -140 Atlanta

Sportsbook: PinnacleSports

Result: Loss

The set-up: The Atlanta Braves have have won five in a row after finishing a three-city road trip at 7-3 with a three-game sweep of the Mets at Citi Field on Thursday. The Braves absolutely dominated the Mets in that three-game road sweep, outscoring New York 21-2 and they now lead the NL with 172 runs scored (5.77 per ranks 2nd in MLB) along with a plus-57 run differential. Thursday’s 11-0 rout. of the Mets pushed Atlanta's record to 19-11, putting them on pace to win 100 games this year, after averaging 71.5 wins per season the last four! The Braves return home for a three-game series with the SF Giants, who have won of eight of their past 11 contests, moving above .500 at 16-15, for the first time since the Giants were 4-3 back on April 7.

The pitching matchup: The Giants turn to Chris Stratton (2-2, 3.90 ERA) in Friday's series opener, while the Braves counter with Mike Foltynewicz (2-1, 2.53 ERA). Stratton last took the mound last Saturday in the opener of Saturday’s doubleheader against Los Angeles Dodgers. He had allowed more than two earned runs just once in his first five starts before that game but got rocked six runs on six hits with four walks in just 1 1/3 innings. That effort was in complete contrast to him going 2-0 in his three previous outings (Giants were 3-0), giving up just three ERs on 10 hits with 17 strikeouts in 20 2/3 innings (1.31 ERA). Stratton made two relief appearances against Atlanta in 2016, not allowing a run in two innings. Foltynewicz has yet to give up more than two ERs in any of his six starts this season. He held Philadelphia to one on three hits with six strikeouts over six innings in a 4-1 victory last Saturday. Foltynewicz is 2-2 in five career starts against the Giants with a 4.45 ERA.

The pick: The Giants and Braves are two of the hottest teams in the National League as they get set to meet Friday night and with the Braves in first place for the first time past April since 2014, their fans finally get a chance to see one of the reasons why in a home uniform. The Braves are a disappointing 2-4 in Foltynewicz's six starts in 2018 but that should (will?) change, as he not only owns a 2.52 ERA but he is also holding opponents to a .209 average this season. He's pitching too well for a team that ranks first in BA (.277) and OPS (.802) to not start winning. Make Atlanta an 8* play.

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