Braves are going through the dog days of a great season

The Atlanta Braves look like they’re just ready for October to get here already.

Sunday night was another example of a great team looking unfocused. They took a 3-0 lead on a New York Mets team that has been mostly awful since selling at the trade deadline. Then the Mets scored the next seven runs and held on to a 7-6 win over Atlanta.

The Braves are 5-5 in their last 10 games. It’s easy to be distracted in August when you’re more than 30 games over .500. The Braves still have a four-game lead on the Los Angeles Dodgers for the best record in the NL.

The good news for the Braves might be that the New York Yankees are coming to town. The Yankees’ season reached a low point on Sunday when they blew a 7-1 lead and lost to the Tampa Bay Rays after giving up five runs in the ninth inning. The Braves are -225 favorites at BetMGM for the series opener.

The Braves have been mediocre for a month. They were 61-29 after winning on July 14. They’re 14-13 since. That’s one of the challenges of betting baseball: The Braves are clearly the best team in MLB, but it’s a long season, and it’s hard to expect them to win two-thirds of their games over an entire season. Atlanta will probably be fine by the postseason, but betting them as a huge favorite the past few weeks has been a bad idea. It’s even worse if you’ve been taking them as a -1.5 favorite on the run line. Those Braves bets that were cashing for months all of a sudden dried up.

It’s scary to bet against the Braves, especially when they’re facing a flailing Yankees team, but you might not want to be betting Atlanta too often until their cool stretch passes.

Ronald Acuna Jr. and the Atlanta Braves have cooled off a bit since a great start to the season. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images)
Ronald Acuna Jr. and the Atlanta Braves have cooled off a bit since a great start to the season. (Photo by Daniel Shirey/MLB Photos via Getty Images)

Here’s the first look at the sports betting slate for Monday:

MLB has 9 games

A few teams have a day off Monday, but there’s still a healthy schedule for baseball on Monday.

An interesting series starts in San Diego, where the Baltimore Orioles travel to face the San Diego Padres. The Padres are 5.5 games back in the wild-card race and if they’re going to make any noise it needs to start now. They’re -130 favorites against the AL East-leading Orioles.

English Premier League is back

The EPL season started last week and has one match on Monday afternoon. Manchester United is a -350 favorite on the three-way line against Wolverhampton. A draw is +500 and the Wolves are +950.

What’s the best bet?

The Orioles have been profitable all season, so why not ride with them again on Monday? I’ll take the O’s as a +120 underdog. The Padres are just an underachieving team and that’s unlikely to change over the rest of the season.

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