Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies
|Date & Time||Thursday March 28, 2019, 3:05 PM (EDT)|
Citizens Bank Park
The Line:Atlanta Braves +170 / Philadelphia Phillies -180 -- Over/Under: 7.5
The Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies meet Thursday in MLB action at Citizens Bank Park.
The Atlanta Braves are fresh off winning the NL East, but many will question if they did enough this offseason to repeat. While most of the teams in this division got better, the Braves didn’t improve their questionable pitching staff and simply settled for adding Josh Donaldson to the lineup. The Braves batting order is impressive and can hang with just about any in baseball, but this team must address the starting rotation and possibly even the bullpen if they’re going to make a World Series run. Still, the Atlanta Braves are super talented and have enough offense in them to win a lot of regular season games and will be in the thick of the playoff race regardless of what they do move wise in the summer. Julio Teheran gets the ball, and he was 9-9 with a 3.94 ERA and 162 strikeouts last season. Teheran is 10-6 with a 3.85 ERA and 134 strikeouts in his career against the Phillies.
The Philadelphia Phillies won the offseason with the additions of Andrew McCutchen, Jean Segura, Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto and David Robertson. For a team that almost made the playoffs last year, the Phillies have to be considered the early favorites to win the NL East and have improved their World Series odds drastically as well. The one question for the Phillies is how this team comes together, as it’s easy to add a ton of big names, but it doesn’t always guarantee success. Championships aren’t won in February and March. The Philadelphia Phillies are searching for their first playoff berth since 2011, the year they set a franchise record with 102 wins. Aaron Nola gets the ball, and he was 17-6 with a 2.37 ERA and 224 strikeouts last season. Nola is 9-5 with a 2.15 ERA and 83 strikeouts in his career against the Braves.
The Braves are 1-4 in their last 5 vs. National League East, 0-4 in their last 4 road games and 5-2 in Teherans last 7 starts. The Phillies are 4-1 in their last 5 home games, 22-6 in Nolas last 28 home starts and 21-8 in Nolas last 29 starts. The Phillies are 5-1 in Nolas last 6 home starts vs. Braves and the Braves are 6-2 in Teherans last 8 road starts vs. Phillies. The under is 32-14-5 in Nolas last 51 starts overall. The under is 11-5 in Teherans last 16 starts overall.
I'm higher on the Atlanta Braves than most people and even have a future bet on them entering the season, so getting them at plus money is tough to turn down, especially with their ace on the hill. With that said, the Philadelphia Phillies are going to have a jacked up park with the increased expectations, and Nola is nothing but money at home. Not only have the Phillies won 22 of Nola's last 28 home starts, but he's allowing a .224 batting average at home with a 3.08 ERA for his career. I'll side with the Phillies to draw first blood in the NL East.