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Moneyline pick, best player prop for Pirates vs. Braves on Thursday

We go over some of the best betting options for Thursday’s matchup between the Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves.

Starting pitcher Drew Smyly #18 of the Atlanta Braves throws to a Washington Nationals batter at Nationals Park on May 06, 2021 in Washington, DC. Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Pittsburgh Pirates and Atlanta Braves will open up a four-game set at 7:20 p.m. ET on ESPN+. Wil Crowe will be on the mound for Pittsburgh, while Drew Smyly will get the start for Atlanta. We’ll go over some ideal picks on DraftKings Sportsbook centered around the game here.

Pirates vs. Braves, 7:20 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Moneyline pick: Braves -200

The Braves are coming into this four-game series off of an exhilarating walk-off win over the New York Mets on Wednesday. NL MVP candidate Ronald Acuna Jr. hit a solo home run off of Jacob Barnes, which helped snap the Braves three-game losing skid. On the other end of the spectrum, the Pirates have lost three straight games by an average three runs per game.

Pittsburgh will try to snap its losing skid on Thursday with Wil Crowe on the mound. The 26-year-old has a record of 0-2 and an ERA of 4.35 through four starts. In his last start against the San Francisco Giants, the right-handed pitcher gave up 6 hits (1 HR), 3 earned runs, 1 walk, but managed to record 5 strikeouts in 5.0 IP. The young pitcher has pitched well on the road this season with an ERA of 3.38 and 10 strikeouts.

As for Atlanta, they will turn the ball over to Smyly (2-2, 5.23 ERA), who has bounced back in May after a tumultuous end to April. In his last start against the Brewers, the southpaw gave up only 4 hits, 1 earned run, 1 walk, but recorded 4 strikeouts in 6.0 IP. The veteran pitcher has not allowed a home run in two consecutive starts this month after giving up nine home runs to start the season. In four games against the Pirates, Smyly has a record of 0-1 with an ERA of 4.58.

Player Prop: Drew Smyly under 5.5 strikeouts (+112)

Usually, when we attack strikeout props in betting, we try to focus on the over. However, for both pitchers, the overs are juiced at for Crowe (-134) and Smyly (-143). That being said, the play here is Smyly under 5.5 strikeouts.

This season, the southpaw has gone under 5.5 strikeouts in five out of six outings. Smyly has not been a heavy strikeout pitcher and will be facing a Pirates’ offense that does not strike out a lot — averaging 8.64 Ks this season and 8 Ks in their last three games.

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