The Philadelphia Phillies enter Friday’s series opener with the Atlanta Braves owners of the top spot in the NL East. They got to that point by sweeping their division rivals in their opening series outscoring Atlanta by six total runs; all three tilts combined for low scorers. The Braves’ bats simply failed to show up for that series, and the Phillies much-improved bullpen was able to take advantage of it. That likely won’t sit well with Ronald Acuna Jr. and company who just rediscovered their offensive stroke by taking two of three from the Nationals in D.C. by way of averaging 4.7 runs per game. That leads me to believe they’ll be hell-bent on hanging crooked numbers over the course of this series, and especially on Sunday night when they run up against their first left-hander of the 2021 MLB betting season.
First pitch for this NL East showdown between the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves is scheduled for Sunday, April 11, 2021, at 7:08 p.m. ET from Truist Park. This week’s Sunday Night Baseball telecast will air live on ESPN. Bet on MLB odds at BookMaker.eu every day of the season.
MLB Betting Lines at BookMaker.eu
Online sportsbooks currently have the New York Mets installed +150 favorites to win the NL East. The Braves clock in right behind them at +160 with the Phillies off the pace at +500 regardless of sitting in the catbird seat through just over a week of play. Atlanta was one of the better home teams in all of baseball during the COVID shortened season in winning 19 of 30 overall games for a $356 overall return on investment. Philly sported a winning record at Citizens Bank Park a season ago (17-13, $95), but played eight-games under the breakeven point on the road which ended up costing MLB bettors nearly $1K overall. It’s been nearly a decade since the Phillies put forth a winning mark on the road during the regular season, and that’s likely the main reason why the team still sits well off the pace on the futures odds to win the division.
Matt Moore: I did a double-check when perusing the starting pitchers for games played on April 5 after seeing Matt Moore going for the Phillies. Was it the same Matt Moore that flamed out with the Rays? In fact it was! After rejuvenating his career in the Orient, the now 31 year old left-hander is back in the bigs. His season debut against the Mets was nothing to throw your hat on. He tossed 3.1 innings of 4 hit and 2 ER ball while striking out just as many batters as he walked (4). It also took him 74 pitches just to earn those 10 outs! Though he’ll be the first southpaw the Braves will stare back at this season, Atlanta has routinely been one of the better offenses in the league against left-handers. Moore will be lucky to go five in this one, so I’d look to bet his innings pitched prop under the impost if you can find it.
Drew Smyly: Another oldie but goody will take the bump for the Braves in the form of veteran left-hander Drew Smyly. Since returning from numerous bouts of injuries, the southpaw has thrown to decent splits over the last few seasons. He was amped in his Atlanta debut after tossing six innings of four run ball (2 ER) with 8 K and only 1 BB in a no decision effort against the Nats. Of his 94 total pitches, the lefty logged 13 whiffs and a 36 percent called strike whiff percentage – yeah baby! Whether or not he can sustain this output or it was just adrenaline fueling the fire remains to be seen. Regardless, the Phillies’ offense has had issues against left-handed pitching in recent seasons, so Smyly could be in line for another quality start.
Phillies vs. Braves Prediction
So I’m thinking the Phillies are in for a rude awakening in the series finale. Moore’s stuff looked extremely hittable in his debut, but a struggling Mets offense simply wasn’t able to take advantage. That won’t be the case in this one with the Braves likely determined to put forth a much better showing offensively over the course of this series than they just did in the City of Brotherly Love. Pair that with Philly struggling against lefties and being a terrible bet on the road, and it only makes perfect sense to be heavily invested on the home side come Sunday night. Hit the Braves on the moneyline, run-line and click next to the over of their team total and press submit!
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