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Houston Astros vs. Atlanta Braves Pick & Prediction AUGUST 21st 2022

MLB | BASEBALL
TV: Bally Sports Network | MLBN | AT&T Sportsnet
Logo Houston Astros
VS
Logo Atlanta Braves
8.5
OPENNER
-135

8o -110
CURRENT
-1.5 +130

+145
MONEYLINE
-155

5
SCORE
4

The way Charlie Morton is pitching at home, the surging Atlanta Braves could be in good shape to sweep their three-game home set against the Houston Astros.

Amid a three-game scoreless stretch at home, the 38-year-old right-hander looks to help the Braves to a 12th win over their last 13 in Sunday's series finale against the Astros.

Morton (6-5, 4.04 ERA) is 4-1 with a 3.07 ERA in 12 home starts this season, but has been especially dominant there of late. In his last three home starts -- against the Los Angeles Angels, Philadelphia and the New York Mets, Morton has allowed eight hits, five walks and hit four batters while striking out 27 over 19 1/3 scoreless innings.

During Tuesday's 5-0 win over those NL East-leading Mets, Morton yielded three hits and a walk, while matching a season high with 12 strikeouts, over 6 2/3 innings.

"It's hard to prepare for somebody when they are throwing 96 and knowing exactly where it is going," Braves catcher Travis d'Arnaud said of the seemingly ageless Morton.

"Then, you have the devastating breaking ball, and add his slider, cutter and changeup."

Morton started Atlanta's 6-2 victory at Houston in Game 1 of last year's World Series. He lasted only 2 1/3 innings, but yielded just a hit and two walks while striking out three before exiting with his team up 5-0.

For his career, Morton is 4-6 with a 6.28 ERA in 11 games against the Astros.

The Braves have continued their success over the Astros this weekend. After winning 6-2 on Friday, they rallied for a 5-4, 11-inning victory to improve to 11-1 after losing five of six.

Promising infielder Vaughn Grissom continued the stellar start to his big-league career by homering for the third time Saturday. Grissom is batting .385 with eight RBIs in 11 career contests.

While the Braves are rolling at the moment, they could be in for a serious test against scheduled Houston starter Jose Urquidy (11-4, 3.69 ERA), who is 3-0 with a 2.66 ERA in his last six road starts.

The right-hander has yielded a run in each of his last two away from home. Most recently over 7 2/3 innings, while also giving up six hits, but no walks, during Houston's 4-2 loss against the Chicago White Sox on Monday.

This will be Urquidy's first regular-season start against the Braves, however, he went 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA in two outings -- one start -- during the 2021 World Series. D'Arnaud, who delivered the game-winning single in the 11th on Saturday, went 3-for-3 with a homer against Urquidy during the Fall Classic.

Houston hopes to have slugger Yordan Alvarez back in the lineup Sunday after he sat out Saturday's contest. Alvarez left Friday's opener with reported shortness of breath and was taken to an Atlanta-area hospital. Astros manager Dusty Baker said doctors did not find anything that appeared to be wrong with Alvarez, who leads the team with 31 homers and has 77 RBIs.

"He's a big, big part of this team," Baker said.

"He'll probably DH (Sunday) if he's feeling all right," Baker said.

--Field Level Media

PREDICTION
Houston Astros
3
5
Atlanta Braves

Houston Astros vs. Atlanta Braves Recap AUG 21TH 2022

Kyle Tucker's RBI single drove in the go-ahead run in the eighth inning to help rally the visiting Houston Astros to a 5-4 win over the Atlanta Braves on Sunday and salvage one game of the three-game series between last year's World Series contestants.

Tucker, who extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a single in the sixth inning, lined a single off reliever Dylan Lee (3-1) to right field to drive in Yordan Alvarez. Tucker took second when Guillermo Heredia bobbled the ball and was charged with an error. Jeremy Pena followed with a sacrifice fly.

Houston starter Jose Urquidy (12-4) went seven innings for the third time in his last four starts. He allowed two runs on five hits, two walks and six strikeouts. Urquidy is 7-1 with a 2.48 ERA over his last 11 starts.

Houston added an important insurance run against reliever Jackson Stephens in the ninth inning on a single by Yuli Gurriel that hit the second base bag and allowed Mauricio Dubon to score.

The Braves, who went down in order in the eighth against Rafael Montero, rallied for two runs in the ninth inning against Ryan Pressley. Matt Olson singled and scored on a triple by Travis d'Arnaud, who came home when Vaughn Grissom grounded out. But Pressley fanned Michael Harris II on three pitches and earned his 25th save.

The Braves took a 2-0 lead when Olson hit a two-run homer, his 26th, in the first inning.

The Astros tied the game with two runs in the third when Alvarez delivered a bases-loaded single. Alvarez was back in the lineup as the designated hitter after leaving Friday's game early because of shortness of breath.

Atlanta starter Charlie Morton pitched six innings against his former team and allowed two runs on five hits, two walks and 11 strikeouts. It was his fifth double-digit strikeout game of the season and 24th of his career.

Houston's Jose Altuve did not start because of shoulder soreness.

--Field Level Media

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