The Philadelphia Phillies (45-55) and Atlanta Braves (55-44) will continue a National League East series on Saturday night at Turner Field, with the first pitch scheduled for 7:10 ET
Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves
Philadelphia suffered a 6-1 loss in the series opener against Atlanta, which has placed a lot of pressure on the club heading into Tuesday’s trade deadline. “These three games are important, yeah,” commented Phillies general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. The Phillies are currently 10.5 games back of the NL Wild Card leaders at this point, while sitting 10 games under the .500 mark. Philadelphia is 11-24 against divisional foes this year, with the “over” going 21-13 in that situation.
Phillies starting pitcher Joe Blanton (8-8, 4.70 ERA) has led the club to back-to-back victories, including a 4-3 home victory over the San Francisco Giants, allowing three runs and seven hits over eight innings in a no-decision effort. The right-hander is 4-5 with a 4.83 ERA in 10 road appearances (nine starts), issuing eight walks and striking out 47 batters in 59.2 combined frames. In 13 career games (12 starts) versus the Braves, Blanton has registered a 2-5 record and 4.87 ERA, including a 6-3 home loss on July 7.
Atlanta has won four straight games against Philadelphia for the first time since 2009, with catcher Brian McCann leading the way offensively, hitting .321 with eight home runs and 19 RBIs over his last 15 games. “I like hitting right now,” commented McCann after last night’s contest. The Braves have tallied an impressive 16-6 record in their last 22 games against division opponents, which is important due to playing such foes in 12 of their next 15 games. Atlanta is 10-11 at home with a money line of -100 to -125, with the “over” going 13-8 in those games.
Braves starting pitcher Mike Minor (5-7, 5.49 ERA) has watched the club drop five of his last seven outings, including a 2-1 setback on the road to the Miami Marlins. The left-hander is 3-2 with a 4.69 ERA in eight home outings, with opposing hitters batting .221 against him. In two career games (one start) versus the Phillies, Minor has tallied an 0-1 record and 7.36 ERA.
Sports bettors will likely back the Braves due to their 10-2 mark versus right-handed starters, while the Phillies have lost their last eight games as a road underdog.