Philly evened this series with a 3-0 victory Tuesday night, getting a two-run homer from Ryan Howard and a complete-game shut-out from Cole Hamels. With Hudson and Kendrick taking the mound tonight, who should you back?
By: Ron Patrick -
Last night's setback means that Atlanta lost a game to division-leading Washington in the NL East
standings, and now trails by four games. However, the Braves remain 2.5 games
clear of the field in the NL Wild-Card race.
The Phillies won Tuesday as -135 chalk on the MLB odds board, and the game stayed 'under' its total of 7.5, as we hoped it would.
Despite the loss Atlanta still leads the season series with
Philly eight games to three.
Hudson is only nine-for-18 on quality starts this year; we thought
he'd be better than that. He is, however, three for his last four. Most
recently Hudson held Houston scoreless on four hits through 7 1/3 innings, and
over his last four outings he's allowed just seven ER through 27 1/3 innings.
In his two starts this year against Philly Hudson has given
up two ER in 12 2/3 innings.
Kendrick, back in the rotation after the trade of Joe
Blanton, is five-for-14 on quality starts this season. His last time out he
gave up two ER on five hits in four innings against Arizona last Friday. But
before that, in seven relief appearances coming out of the All-Star break, Kendrick
had thrown a cumulative eight innings of shut-out ball.
In one start and one relief appearance against Atlanta this
season Kendrick hasn't allowed a run through 7 1/3 innings.
The Braves are 14-4 in Hudson's starts this season, while
the Phillies are 4-10 in Kendrick's starts.
Odds and Trends
As of Wednesday AM most baseball betting shops were listing
Atlanta at around -145 for Wednesday's game, with a total of eight. The Braves
could also be played at upwards of +115 on the run line at some outlets.
Early action on Wednesday's game has seen about 65 percent
of play on the side going toward the Braves, and about 55 percent of play on
the total going toward the 'under.'
Free MLB Pick
Hudson has been solid this season against the Phillies, but
Kendrick hasn't been too bad against Atlanta. So in a game we see as closer to
a pick 'em than the betting line indicates we'll go with Philly and the home
The Braves have now beaten the Phillies seven times in a
Also, Atlanta pitching has now held 11 of its last 14 foes
to two runs or less.
A couple of lefties go at it Tuesday night as Cole Hamels
(11-6, 3.34) goes for Philly against Mike Minor (6-7, 5.01) for Atlanta.
Minor is only seven-for-20 on quality starts this year, but
he's working on a string of four in a row. And that doesn't count his last time
out, last Friday against Miami, when with a 6-0 lead in the fourth inning a
rain delay put an early end to his night.
Over his last five outings Minor has allowed just six ER on
18 hits in 31 innings, walking six and striking out 27. So after a rough first
couple months of this season maybe Minor has found a groove.
In his only start this year against the Phillies, last
weekend, Minor picked up a win, giving up just one run on four hits over eight
innings, walking none and whiffing nine.
Hamels, meanwhile, is 13-for-21 on quality starts this year,
but only two for his last five. His last time out Hamels gave up three runs in
seven innings against Washington last Thursday, walking one and striking out
nine. But over his last five starts he's allowed 16 ER on 35 hits in 34 2/3
innings. Not bad, but not great, either.
In his two starts this year against Atlanta, including a
losing effort 10 days ago, Hamels has given up five ER on 10 hits through 11
As of Tuesday morning most online sportsbooks were listing
the Phillies as favorites of around -140, with an 'over/under' of 7.5.
In early betting on Tuesday's game action on the side has
been split about right down the middle, while play on the total has leaned
toward the 'under' by nearly a 60/40 margin.
Free MLB Pick
The Phillies let us down Monday night, and we're leery of
taking them for Tuesday. On the other hand we're tempted by the Braves with the
underdog price, until we see that they're just 18-22 this season against left-handed
starting pitchers. So instead, we'll go with the 'under' 7.5 runs for Tuesday's
Braves vs. Phillies:
Atlanta just took two of three games from Houston over the
weekend, winning Sunday 6-1. The Braves have now won four series in a row, 10
of their last 12 games and 20 of their last 27.
Philadelphia, meanwhile, has won its last two series, after
taking two of three games from Arizona over the weekend.
So while Atlanta, at 62-46, sits three games back of
first-place Washington in the NL East, they also continue to own one of the two
NL Wild-Card spots, 2.5 games clear of the third-place Cardinals.
Philly, meanwhile, at 49-59, is still 12.5 games out of the
nearest playoff berth.
Atlanta will go with Ben Sheets (3-1, 1.46) for Monday's
series opener, while Philly will counter with Vance Worley (6-6, 3.63).
Sheets is three-for-four on quality starts this season since joining the Braves less than a month ago. Most recently, Sheets gave up
three earned runs on 11 hits in 6 2/3 innings in a 4-2 Atlanta loss to Miami
last Wednesday, but so far the former Brewer has allowed just four ER and 24
hits in 25 innings, walking six and striking out 23.
In his one start this season vs. the Phillies, Sheets held
them to one run on six hits through six innings of a 6-1 Braves victory 10 days
Worley is nine-for-18 on quality starts this year. In his
most recent outing last Wednesday vs. the Nationals, Worley allowed two unearned
runs on six hits through seven innings of a 3-2 Philly win, although in his two
starts previous to that, he'd allowed nine runs in 11 1/3 innings.
On the season Worley has given up more hits, 115, than
innings pitched, 109, and the OVERS/UNDERS are 12-6 in his starts.
In his only outing this year vs. Atlanta, Worley gave up
three runs on seven hits through six innings of a 4-3 Philly loss back one
Monday's Betting Odds
As of early Monday morning, Atlanta with Sheets could be
gotten at -115 at a couple of online sportsbooks, while Philly with Worley
could be had at +113 at 5Dimes.
The Braves could also be played on the run line at +145 at a
couple of baseball betting outlets.
And most book are listing the total on Monday's game at 8.5.
Early betting on Monday's game has seen about two-thirds of
play on the side go down on the Braves, while about 65 percent of action on the
total has come in on the 'under.'
Atlanta is a solid 30-20 on the road this season, while
Philly is just 23-30 at home.
The Phillies are 63-42 on the OVERS/UNDERS this season, and
Phillies home games have leaned toward the OVERS by a 30-20 margin.
The Braves lead the season series with the Phillies seven
games to two, with the totals going 2-6-1, as these games have trended
Atlanta IF Chipper Jones is questionable for Monday's game
as he deals with some private issues. The Braves are 14-15 this year without
Chipper in the lineup.
Free MLB Pick
The Phillies signaled
their motivations for the rest of this season with the recent trades of Shane
Victorino and Hunter Pence. But that doesn't mean they wouldn't love to cause
some headaches for Atlanta. So, in handicapping a game that looks pretty darn
close to a pick 'em we'll go with the home dog here and back Philly.