The Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves close out their weekend series with a pair of aces on the mound on Sunday afternoon at Turner Field
Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves
Philadelphia dropped a 5-3 decision at Turner Field yesterday and come in with a solid 10-1 daytime record this year. The Phillies were unable to solve Braves starting pitcher Jair Jurrjens, who improved to 5-3 with a 2.45 ERA in 11 starts against them. “Have our number? I don’t believe that,” said Phillies manager Charlie Manuel after the game. “It’s his pitching. It’s his location.” The two clubs have started out the season 4-4 against each other, as Philadelphia stands 4 1/2 games ahead of the third-place Braves in the National League East standings. Phillies outfielder Shane Victorino is expected to miss Sunday’s game with right hamstring soreness, but the lineup is anticipating the return of catcher Carlos Ruiz (back) after taking a scheduled day off. Philadelphia is 16-8 versus division opponents.
Phillies starting pitcher Roy Halladay is 5-2 with a 2.05 ERA in eight starts this season and his 174 career wins are second among active pitchers behind Boston’s Tim Wakefield. The right-hander has dominated divisional opponents in his career, posting a 26-6 record and 2.24 ERA in 39 games (35 starts) versus the NL East. The reigning NL Cy Young Award winner is 4-0 with a 1.26 ERA in five career appearances (four starts) against Atlanta. Halladay takes the mound for the fourth time this year on the road, coming in with a 2-1 mark and 1.40 ERA, allowing hitters to bat just .178 against him.
Atlanta’s offense has been much better of late thanks to the play of leadoff hitter Martin Prado, who has collected five straight multi-hit games. “I think we know who the player of the week is going to be,” said Braves third baseman Chipper Jones. “When he gets it going right, roll with it.” Extending the streak may prove difficult for Prado versus Halladay, coming in 1 for 13 lifetime against him. Atlanta is 11-10 at home this season and 107-79 over the past three years at Turner Field.
Braves starting pitcher Tim Hudson will be matched up with Halladay for the third time in his career, as both have split the previous two meetings. Since his last matchup with Halladay on April 21, 2010, the right-hander has posted a 3-0 mark and 3.48 ERA in three starts against the Phillies. Hudson is coming off one of his worst starts of the season, allowing seven runs (three earned) and five hits over five fames at home against Washington, as the club has alternated wins and losses over his last five outings. He has registered an even 2-2 record and 3.21 ERA in five home starts.
Bettors are likely to back the Phillies due to their 18-2 record in Halladay’s last 20 starts versus the National League East, while the Braves are 0-4 in their last four games after scoring five runs or more in the previous game