Braves vs. Phillies Picks 8/4/13
Date/Time: August 4th, 8:05 PM ET
MLB Betting Odds from BetOnline Sportsbook
Probable Starters: Wood (Atlanta) vs. Lee (Philadelphia)
Moneyline: Phillies -130
The Atlanta Braves have continued to open up their lead in the NL East, as they are now 11.5-games up with just 51 games left to go on the slate. They are looking for their 10th win in a row in MLB betting action on Sunday Night Baseball when they take on the Philadelphia Phillies.
The Braves are as hot as could be right now, and it isn’t mattering where they are playing, who they are playing, or who is the starting pitcher. The club has been finding ways to scratch out games as it did on Saturday when it won in 12 innings, and it now has scored at least five runs in seven straight games and has held eight of its nine foes during this roll to four runs or fewer. On Sunday, it’s rookie LHP Alex Wood that will get the ball for just his fourth career start and his 19th career appearance. Wood was excellent in his last start against the Colorado Rockies, as he allowed three runs on six hits in seven strong innings of work. He struck out seven and allowed just one walk. This is nothing new for Wood though, as the southpaw has 38 strikeouts in just 33.1 innings of work this season. Batters are hitting just .250 against Wood this year.
The Phillies have had some major problems against left-handed pitching all season long. They’re batting just .238 against lefties this year, and they are going to have all sorts of problems in this one as well. The Phils have truly tanked it since the All-Star break, as they are 10-games below .500. GM Ruben Amaro Jr. never really seriously fielded offers for LHP Cliff Lee, who is scheduled to start on Sunday, and perhaps he is having remorse over taking any offers with just a grain of salt. Lee is 10-4 this year on a bad team, and he has a history of pitching well in the biggest of games. On top of that, he is a left-handed pitcher, and there isn’t a team in the game that can’t use more left-handed starters. Lee has a 3.05 ERA this year, and he has 131 strikeouts against 22 walks in 144.2 innings of work. This is only the first start since July 21st and the second start since June 10th for Lee though, and he hasn’t thrown 100+ pitches in a game since June 29th, and that is definitely a cause for concern as well.
The Phillies really have no business being favored right now. Both of these bullpens were used up on Saturday with the long game, and though you would think that bodes well for Philadelphia with Lee on the mound, we just haven’t seen him have that knack to go the distance of late. Atlanta could pull off the upset to procure the sweep.
Atlanta Braves @ Philadelphia Phillies Pick: Atlanta Braves +122