Free Pick: Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies
Time: 7:05 PM ET
Where: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA
Listed Pitchers: Anibal Sanchez (Atl) vs. Aaron Nola (Phil)
TV: FS South, NBCS Philadelphia
Moneyline: Braves +150/Phillies -160
The Braves are chasing home-field advantage for a playoff series while the Phillies are finishing this season in a very disappointing fashion. How are we playing this contest with our daily free MLB picks?
MLB Betting Line
Saturday’s MLB betting odds opened Philly at around -145 for this game, with an over/under of 7.5 runs. The early betting action then bumped that line as much as 15 cents, to around -160.
The Phillies could also be found getting around +140 giving the run and a half on the MLB run line.
Atlanta took the opener of this series Friday night 10-2, banging out 19 hits. The Braves won as -140 favorites on the MLB betting odds and covered against the run line at a price of +115.
The victory snapped a two-game losing skid for Atlanta.
At 90-70 overall the Braves have won the NL East and are now battling with the West Division powers for the No. 2 seed and home-field advantage for a divisional-round playoff series. Atlanta is tied with Colorado for that “two spot”, a game ahead of the Dodgers.
The Braves also played way over their season wins over/under, which was 75.
Philadelphia, meanwhile, has lost nine games in a row and 20 of its last 26. At 78-82 overall the Phillies are going to miss the playoffs for the seventh straight season. However, they did play over their season over/under, which was 76.
Atlanta leads this season series with Philly 12 games to five.
This pitching match-up is a rematch of a game played last Sunday, a 2-1 Braves victory.
Nola (16-6, 2.45), by our strict standards, is 23/32 on quality starts this season, but only two for his last five. Last Sunday held these Braves to two runs and four hits through six innings, while over his previous five starts he’s allowed 15 runs and 24 hits, including nine homers, through 29 1/3 innings. On the season the Phillies are 21-11 with Nola, but only 2-4 over his last six outings.
In four starts this year against Atlanta Nola allowed eight runs and 18 hits through 24 1/3 innings. Philly went 1-3 in those games.
Sanchez (7-6, 2.96) is 10/23 on quality starts this year, and two for his last three. Last Sunday he held these Phillies to one run and four hits through five innings, and over his previous three starts, he’s allowed just four runs and 14 hits through 17 innings. On the season the Braves are 13-10 with Sanchez and 3-1 over his last four outings.
In that one start this year against Philly last Sunday Sanchez only needed 57 pitches to get 15 outs. As mentioned above Atlanta won that game 2-1.
Nola might seem like an easy choice in this pitching match-up, but when factoring in recent performance, we’re going to call this department a push.
Saturday’s Batting Splits
Atlanta owns a .254/.321/.410 team batting average/OBP/slugging percentage split against right-handed pitching this season.
Philadelphia owns a .235/.313/.405 split against righties this year.
So we’ll give the Braves a short edge in the splits with the sticks for Saturday.
The Atlanta bullpen owns a 4.14 ERA and a 1.39 WHIP.
The Philly pen owns a 4.25 ERA and a 1.35 WHIP. This unit also gave up eight runs and 14 hits in 5 2/3 innings of work yesterday.
We’ll give the Braves a short edge in the comparison of the bullpens, too.
Overs are 39-37 in games played at Citizens Bank Park this year, which are averaging 9.0 total runs per.
Unders are 8-7-1 in Braves-Phillies games this season.
Unders are a combined 35-16 with Nola and Sanchez this year.
Free MLB Picks
Atlanta is a .605 team, 69-45, against right-handed starters this season, while Philly is just a .463 team, 57-66, against righties. Also, we’re giving the Braves one full star in our major baseball handicapping factors, and they’re getting a nice underdog price. We’re going with Atlanta for our free MLB pick for Saturday and guys help your bankroll out by getting more outs to shop for lines by checking out our list of top betting sites.