The Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves are set to begin a three-game series on Tuesday, and what is set to be one of the best pitching matchups of the week. According to most sports books, the Braves are the favorite at -1.5.
Overall, Atlanta has the edge in offense with 5.42 runs scored per game. They also have the edge in hits with 9.16. Philadelphia has the advantage in walks with 3.74 and strikeouts with 8.61.
On the season, Atlanta has a 50-35 record while Philadelphia is 44-40. The Phillies have a 17-23 record on the road, while the Braves have compiled a 24-17 record at home. As the favorite, Atlanta is very successful. At 41-21, it is safe to say they enjoy that role. As the underdog, Philadelphia has struggled with a 6-16 record.
Philadelphia has a 41-43 record ATS while the Braves have a 40-45 mark. At home, they are slightly better at 19-22. To their credit, Philadelphia has done well ATS away at 21-19.
Nola tries to keep rolling
Aaron Nola was absolutely masterful in his last start against the Mets on June 27. In seven innings, he gave up one hit and one walk while striking out 10 batters.
To their credit, the Braves have hit well against a tough pitcher. Although his numbers may not look pretty, Freddie Freeman has done a lot of damage against Nola.
In 31 at-bats, he has seven hits, including a home run. With six runs batted in and five walks, he has found a way to get on base. Interestingly enough, he has a .226 batting average.
Josh Donaldson is another player who has seen Nola well. In 11 at-bats, he has six hits and two home runs with four runs batted in and four walks, as Nola can’t seem to tame him. For his part, Donaldson has a .545 batting average.
Keuchel looks to keep improving
Dallas Keuchel fared a little bit better in his second start of the season against the Chicago Cubs on June 26. In that contest, he pitched 5 2/3 innings, giving up eight hits and three earned runs while striking out two batters. He also had trouble with the long ball, as he gave up two.
A plethora of Philadelphia hitters see the ball well off him. Brad Miller, Sean Rodriguez, and Jean Segura all have two runs batted in off of the lefty. The Phillies as a whole have batted .292 off of him.
For Keuchel, he needs to make sure he can have command of his pitches and last six innings. Going deep into starts has been a problem for him to this point. The Atlanta Braves would undoubtedly like to see him put forth a more quality start.
I would go against the spread and bet Philadelphia in this one. Nola has been sharp all season, and I would expect that to continue on Tuesday. This is a tough Atlanta lineup, but if anybody is up for the challenge, it is him. Make sure to take the Phillies at +1.5 in this one.