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Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves Free Pick - 9/8/13

Atlanta Braves (85-56) at Philadelphia Phillies (65-77)

MLB Baseball: Sunday, September 8, 2013 at 1:35 pm (Citizens Bank Park)

Paul Maholm (L) (10-10) (4.411) vs. Cole Hamels (L) (6-13) (3.497)

The Line: Philadelphia Phillies -118 / Atlanta Braves +106 --- Over/Under: 7.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: FS-South, PHL 17

The Philadelphia Phillies hope to deal the rival Atlanta Braves another loss in Sunday action.

Atlanta is in a position where they could go on a season ending slump and still capture the National League East. Obviously, that's not how they want things to workout, but that's a luxury they enjoy with such a huge lead over the rest of the division. The Braves have lost three in a row following a 6-5 defeat at Citizen's Bank Park. Some late scoring wasn't enough to over come a poor effort from Alex Wood who gave up four runs in 4.2 frames with Freddy Garcia up a walk-off jack for the loss. Andrelton Simmons homered and knocked in two, while Freddie Freeman drove in two more. Lefty Paul Maholm gets Sunday's starting assignment against Philadelphia. Maholm has been up and down at times with a 10-10 record and 4.41 ERA but he looks to finish the season strong in preparation for the playoffs.

Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves Free Pick - 9/8/13

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

By all accounts, this has certainly been a disappointing season for the Phillies, but as a Philadelphia fan I can tell you that beating the Braves eases the pain. The Phils knocked off their biggest rival again Saturday and, in the process, maintained their grip on third in the National League East. A struggling Kyle Kendrick gave up three runs over six frames, but received a no decision when Jonathan Papelbon gave up two in the 9th and got the win when the Phils scored in the bottom half of the inning for the win. Carlos Ruiz drove in three runs, while Freddy Galvis cracked a walk off bomb and knocked in two. Cole Hamels has a chance to deal Atlanta another loss when he takes the mound on Sunday. Hamels has thrown the ball better than what his 6-13 record indicates, with the bats not giving him support.

The Phillies have shot at the sweep, which would at least be satisfying if nothing else. I believe Hamels is the better choice on the hill and, if true, the pen needs to do their job.

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