The Atlanta Braves (44-39) and Philadelphia Phillies (37-48) will continue a National League East series on Saturday night at Citizens Bank Park, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:15 ET
Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta broke through with a five-run eighth inning to capture a 5-0 road victory over Philadelphia on Friday night, as the club improved to 24-17 away from Turner Field. Braves catcher Brian McCann provided the big hit, blasting a two-out grand slam, which wasn’t much of a surprise due to this .357 career average with the bases loaded. He has homered in two straight games and is 8 for 21 with two round trippers in his career against tonight’s opposing starter. Atlanta is 9-9 on the road with a money line of -100 to -125, with the “under” going 12-5 in those contests.
Braves starting pitcher Tommy Hanson (9-5, 3.70 ERA) has led the club to five wins in his last six starts, but he comes off a 4-1 home setback to the Chicago Cubs, allowing four runs and seven hits over seven frames. The right-hander is 6-2 with a 2.89 ERA in nine road outings, surrendering 10 home runs in 53 combined innings. In eight career games versus the Phillies, Hanson has compiled a 1-2 record and 2.93 ERA, including an 0-1 mark and 1.20 ERA in three outings at this ball park.
Philadelphia is 11 games under .500 for the first time since the 2002 campaign, as the return of first baseman Ryan Howard to the lineup wasn’t enough to provide a victory. The Phillies still need to be respected over the weekend, considering they’ve won 16 of their last 26 meetings with the Braves at this ball park. Howard is expected to sit in this affair, and return to the lineup on Sunday. Philadelphia is 1-7 as a home underdog of +100 to +125, with the “over” going 4-3 in that situation.
Phillies starting pitcher Joe Blanton (7-7, 4.85 ERA) suffered a 5-2 road loss to the Miami Marlins in his last start, giving up three runs and six hits over six frames. The right-hander is 4-2 with a 4.47 ERA in eight home outings, serving up 11 big flies in 52.1 combined frames. In 12 career games (11 starts) versus the Braves, Blanton has tallied a 2-4 record and 4.65 ERA, including a 4-0 shutout victory on May 3.
Bettors will likely back the Phillies due to their 8-0 mark in Blanton’s last eight home starts with a total of 9.0 to 10.5, while the Braves are 2-5 in their last seven outings versus divisional foes.