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St. Louis Cardinals vs. Atlanta Braves Free Pick - 8/22/13

Atlanta Braves (77-49) at St. Louis Cardinals (73-53)

MLB Baseball: Thursday, August 22, 2013 at 8:15 pm (Busch Stadium)

Paul Maholm (L) (9-9) (4.411) vs. Joe Kelly (R) (4-1) (2.153)

The Line: St. Louis Cardinals -134 / Atlanta Braves +124 --- Over/Under: 8.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: SportSouth, FS-Midwest

The St Louis Cardinals welcome the Atlanta Braves to Busch Stadium to kick off a weekend set.

Atlanta has been on a rampage for quite awhile with winning the National League East being just a formality. Unless the Braves forfeit their remaining games, the team with the best record in the game is in great shape. Atlanta continued to roll in a 4-1, ten inning decision over the Mets that saw Chris Johnson club the game winning three run jack while Freddie Freeman recorded a run scoring 6th inning single in the Bravos nine hit, three walk attack. Alex Wood allowed the lone run on six hits and a pair of free passes, while four relievers held the Mets scoreless. Atlanta is scheduled to start lefty Paul Maholm who is coming off the disabled list with a sprained wrist. Maholm had dropped his last three with 15 runs given up on 23 hits and seven BB in 13.1 frames.

St. Louis Cardinals vs. Atlanta Braves Free Pick - 8/22/13

Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

After several weeks of looking average, St Louis has shown some signs of getting back in the groove. After out slugging the Brewers 8-6 on Wednesday, the Cardinals have won four of five and seven of eleven with both the bats and arms contributing to the success. It was all offense Thursday as starter Jake Westbrook was charged with five runs (four earned) on nine hits and a base on balls through 4.2 innings pitched. The pen held the fort and the Redbirds 12 hits and three walks provided plenty of fire power. Carlos Beltran, Allen Craig and Westbrook each knocked in a pair of runs with the Cards almost blowing a 7-0 lead. Joe Kelly will be on the mound looking to control the Braves bats on Thursday. Kelly is coming off a stellar performance in a 4-0 victory at Wrigley Field with four hits and three walks given up in six shut out innings.

My initial thoughts were take the Cardinals because Maholm worries me and after thinking about it I believe this game might fall in to the watch only category but I'll sleep on it...

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