Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies
The Atlanta Braves and the Philadelphia Phillies face off on Thursday in Atlanta in game three of their season opening series. The Braves are -130 favorites over the Phillies with an over/under point total set at 7.
In their first two games of the season the Atlanta Braves have made a statement pounding the Philadelphia pitching staff. On Wednesday Justin Upton, Jason Heyward, and Evan Gattis all hit home runs as the Braves scored nine runs on nine hits in the route. Paul Maholm allowed six hits and struck out six over 5.2 innings to get the win as the Braves used four other pitchers to close it out. For Thursday’s game Atlanta starts Kris Medlen who was outstanding last season. Last year Medlen went 10-1 with a 1.57 ERA while allowing 103 hits and striking out 120 over 138 innings of work.
For the second straight game the Philadelphia Phillies fell behind early on Wednesday but this time they were never able to catch up. Jimmy Rollins and Dominic Brown each had two hits and Chase Utley and Michael Young each had hits as the Phillies scored two runs on nine hits. Starting pitcher Roy Halladay was shelled allowing six hits and five runs while striking out nine over 3.1 innings of work to take the loss and Jonathan Papelbon looked less than inspiring in his first work of the year allowing two hits and two runs including a home run. For Thursday’s game Philadelphia starts Cliff Lee who had a tough luck season in 2012. Last year Lee was 6-9 with a 3.16 ERA as he allowed 207 hits and 74 earned runs while striking out 207 in 211 innings of work.
Atlanta is 27-10 in their last 37 home games, 15-6 in their last 21 games overall, and 25-2 in Medlen’s last 27 starts. Philadelphia is 9-4 in their last 13 games as an underdog, 1-5 in their last six games against a team with a winning record, and 15-4 in Lee’s last 19 road starts against a team with a winning record. Philadelphia is 2-6 in their last eight games in Atlanta.
From what we have seen from the Phillies in the first two games there isn’t any way I can take them to beat Medlen here and while they have the talent to compete I will need to see them show it on the field first.
Atlanta Braves -130 Philadelphia Phillies