Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies Pick 9/11/19
Atlanta Braves (90-56) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (75-69) When: 7 p.m., Wednesday, September 11 Where: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia
Moneyline: ATL -135/PHI +125 (Bookmaker) Runline: Braves -1.5/Phils +1.5 Total: 9.5Starting Pitchers: Dallas Keuchel (7-5, 3.47 ERA, 1.32 WHIP) vs. Zach Eflin (8-11, 4.31 ERA, 1.34 WHIP)
The Phillies don’t have much of a chance of catching the Braves for the NL East lead, and perhaps the best they can do is prevent Atlanta from clinching a playoff spot on their field. Two Braves victories over the Phillies would officially eliminate Philadelphia from contention for the NL East, and Atlanta could even seal a playoff spot before leaving the City of Brotherly Love if the Cubs were also to lose twice to San Diego.
Philadelphia still has hope of catching the Nationals and the Cubs however they have to keep sight of that goal. They’ll get their chance to battle back into the race with five games against Washington later this month, but those games only mean anything if the Phils do their job against the Braves first.
Back on Track
Injuries have kept Dallas Keuchel from showing just how good he can be for the Braves, but it seems like he might be back to full strength based off of his previous five starts. Three of his past five trips to the hill have ended with him holding the opposition to no runs, and the other two produced a combined three runs. In contrast, the start before this stretch saw him give up eight runs in just 3.2 innings.
Keuchel isn’t going to overpower most teams by missing a lot of bats, but he doesn’t need to in order to be effective. As long as you put up zeroes, it doesn’t really matter how you get to that number.
The L’s Pile Up
Eflin has struggled at times this season, and it hasn’t seemed to matter what the Phillies try. They’ve used him as a traditional starter. They’ve used him out of the bullpen. They’ve given him a short leash and pulled him after three or four innings. None of it has worked, and the losses have kept coming when he’s been on the mound. In his past ten appearances, eight of them have come in a Phillies loss, and the Phils haven’t won with him involved since June 24.
But it’s the one time that he faced Atlanta this season that jumps out. The Braves blasted Eflin for seven hits and six earned runs, as the pitcher lasted just 2.2 innings in a 15-7 rout.
These two have battled each other hard all season long, and the series currently stands at seven apiece with five games between each other to play. The Phillies have a slight edge in the games played at Citizens Bank Park, as they’ve gone 5-3 against the Braves in Philadelphia this year. One more win for the Phillies would better their mark from last year against Atlanta when they went 7-12 against their NL East rivals.
- The Phillies are 2-12 in Eflin’s last 14 starts against a team with a winning record.
- The Braves have won their past five Wednesday games.
- The Braves have won Keuchel’s previous five starts.
- The Phillies have won seven of the last ten meetings in Philadelphia.
- The under is 6-1 in Keuchel’s past seven road starts.
- The over is 5-0-1 in the teams’ previous six meetings.
Summer is hanging around in eastern Pennsylvania, as the temperature is projected to hit 87 degrees for this game.
The Phillies need this game much more than the Braves do, but I can’t go against Keuchel with how well he’s been pitching as of late. Plus, there’s little reason to trust Eflin on the mound at the moment. He hasn’t been getting results, and even if things have improved slightly in his most recent outings, it’s impossible to ignore the fact that each time he pitches, it’s resulting in a loss for Philadelphia.
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