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Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves Free Pick- 8/2/2013

Atlanta Braves (64-45) at Philadelphia Phillies (50-58)

MLB Baseball: Friday, August 2, 2013 at 7:05 pm (Citizens Bank Park)

The Line: Philadelphia Phillies +135 / Atlanta Braves -145 --- Over/Under: 8.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: FS-South, CSN-Philadelphia

The division leading Atlanta Braves visit Citizen's Bank Park to face the Philadelphia Phillies.

After a hot start to 2013, Atlanta has struggled to put together winning streaks that would give them some breathing room in the National League East. All will be forgotten if the Braves continue there current hot streak that reached seven games following an 11-2 rout of the visiting Rockies. Atlanta has been getting both the arms and bats on the same page and both were at the top of their game Thursday. Starter Julio Teheran gave up one run on five hits and two free passes over five frames, while striking out eleven. The offense pounded out 14 hits and walked six times with Jason Heyward going deep, while Justin Upton launched a pair of bombs and drove in five. The Braves turn to Kris Medlen for the start in the series opener versus Philadelphia. Medlen looks to build on a 5-2 victory over the Cardinals in which he gave up both runs on on eight hits and a BB in six innings.

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves Free Pick- 8/2/2013

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

As a Philadelphia fan, the team did absolutely nothing at the trade deadline, which angered many fans that hungered for change. Supposedly some deals are still in the works, although nothing that could suddenly convert the Phillies into contenders. A  2-1 loss to the Giants Thursday was the Phils ninth in eleven contests. Neither the work on the mound or at the plate has stood out in this stretch, although Cole Hamels tossed scoreless baseball for eight innings Thursday only to watch Jonathan Papelbon give up two in the 9th for the loss. Despite Papelbon's implosion, the bats continued to struggle with only seven hits and and a pair of bases on balls producing an RBI single from Hamels. Rookie right hander Ethan Martin makes his major league debut on Friday against Atlanta. Martin gets his shot at the big time with Cliff Lee nursing soreness in his upper back/neck area.

I don't know if I can back my team after Thursday's debacle and I hate backing Atlanta in this match up on principle. I'm afraid I think the Braves are the pick and I would be thrilled if I'm wrong...


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