- The Philadelphia Phillies are the -121 home favorites as they play host to the Atlanta Braves on Saturday afternoon
- The underdog Braves are offered at a betting line of +104
- Read below for analysis and a betting prediction for this game
Battles don’t get much more even that the series between the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves.
In this series, through eight meetings between these NL East rivals each team has won four games. Over their past 16 contests, they’ve again split it down the middle at 8-8.
During the 2020 season, neither team has managed to win more than two games in a row in head-to-head showdowns.
Philadelphia, which sends righty Zach Elfin to the mound Saturday (1:15 pm EST) at Citizens Bank Park, are the -121 favorites in the Braves vs Phillies odds. The Phils will carry a four-game winning streak to the diamond with them on Saturday.
Yet despite that overall success, Philadelphia is a disappointing 3-6 against the runline over the past nine games.
Braves vs Phillies Odds
|Team||Moneyline||Runline||Total at DraftKings|
|Atlanta Braves||+104||+1.5 (-185)||O 10.5 (-109)|
|Philadelphia Phillies||-121||-1.5 (+155)||U 10.5 (-112)|
Odds taken Aug. 29
The Braves, who counter with right-hander Josh Tomlin, are +104 underdogs. Elfin and the Phillies beat Tomlin and the Braves 5-4 on Aug. 23rd in Atlanta.
The Braves are 1-7 against the runline as a road underdog this season.
Philly’s Bullpen Woes
Philadelphia’s banged up bullpen got some good news and some bad news on Friday. On the positive note, Ranger Suarez looks close to being ready to return. He’s been in COVID-19 protocol since training camp.
The lefty went 6-1 with a 3.14 ERA in 37 games last season. He was especially effective against left handed hitters, checking them on a .213 batting average.
Happy 25th birthday to @Phillies southpaw Ranger Suarez. Signed out of his native Venezuela, Suarez has gone 7-2 with a 3.68 ERA for the #Phillies across 41 games (3 starts) over parts of the 2018-19 season. Suarez battled COVID but is now rehabbing at the club’s alternate site. pic.twitter.com/lCsKvpmts4
— PHILLIES BELL (@philliesbell) August 26, 2020
The bad news is that 11-year veteran David Robertson has suffered a setback in his return from Tommy John surgery. The right-hander isn’t unlikely to pitch at all this season.
Signed as a free agent in 2019, Robertson saw duty in just seven games before injuring his arm and requiring the surgery.
The Phillies acquired closer Brandon Workman from the Boston Red Sox to help their ailing relief corps. Philadelphia owns an MLB-worst 7.27 bullpen ERA.
Eflin Fooling No One
In his last three starts, Eflin has been bringing the heat. He’s struck out 24 batters over 15.1 innings during that span.
The splits against Zach Eflin’s sinker this year are pretty startling. Righties are batting .167 and slugging .300 against it. Lefties, meanwhile, are batting .500 and slugging .722 against it. The inability to be effective against lefties has killed him this season.
— Jonny Heller (@JonnyHeller) August 26, 2020
Eflin has also been feeling the heat, however. Over the same time frame, he’s allowed 11 earned runs for a dismal 6.46 ERA. For the seasons, the right-hander is 1-1 with a 3.93 ERA.
Braves Career Stats vs Eflin
As he got the win Aug. 23rd against the Braves, Eflin worked 5.1 innings, striking out six in the 5-4 victory. He coughed up six hits and three earned runs.
He’s 4-3 with a 3.38 ERA in eight career starts against Philadelphia. Overall, he’s 1-1 with a 5.12 ERA this season.
Phillies Rough On Tomlin
Tomlin made his return to the starting rotation for the Braves in that Aug. 23rd games against the Phillies. However, it was hardly a triumphant return.
Philadelphia touched the right-hander for three home runs, six hits and four earned runs over three innings. Tomlin took the loss in the 5-4 setback. On a positive note, he did strike out five through his three innings of work.
Phillies Career Stats vs Tomlin
Tomlin has faced the Phillies 10 times and has never beaten them. He’s 0-1 with a 6.00 ERA. Just one of his 10 appearances against Philly was a starting assignment.
The Phillies have clipped him for a .313 batting average. That includes 15 hits, five home runs and eight earned runs in 12 innings.
Josh Tomlin has a 1.59 ERA as a reliever and 7.71 as a starter. #Braves
— Cory McCartney (@coryjmccartney) August 24, 2020
As a starter, Tomlin is 57-51 in his career with a 4.69 ERA. Traditionally, Tomlin requires plenty of help for the decision to go his way. He’s 38-1 as a starter when his team scores six or more runs. Tomlin is 19-50 when his team scores five or less.
Pick: Philadelphia Phillies moneyline (-121)