In the first of a three-game series between the Philadelphia Phillies (5-11) and the Atlanta Braves (5-11) at Citizens Bank Park, Aaron Harang (2-1, 1.96 ERA) and Alex Wood (1-0, 3.93 ERA) take the mound. The game gets underway at 7:05 p.m. ET on Friday, Apr. 24 and will air on FSN-S and TCN-PHI.
Harang is 2-3 with a 4.21 ERA, 46 strikeouts and 29 walks against the Braves in his career. Cody Asche (.333, 4 Rs, 2 HRs, 3 RBIs) went 1 for 4 yesterday. In his pitching opportunities against the Phillies, Wood is 2-1 with a 2.57 ERA. He gets a less-than-stellar Philadelphia offense that's batting just .213. Nick Markakis (.373, 9 Rs, 5 RBIs, 1 SB) has been hitting the ball well for the Braves, going 2 for 4 yesterday with one run.
Philadelphia is a small underdog (-101) and the Over/Under (O/U) is set at seven runs. The Phillies perform poorly as an underdog with a 5-8 record and have an overall money line of -391. They are 2-7 as the underdog over their last 10 games. Don't expect the Philadelphia hitters to swing wildly. They average only 7.6 strikeouts per game.
Moving on to the opposing team, the Braves come into this game with a solid win percentage of .667 when playing as the favorite (2-1) and an overall money line of +375. Against divisional foes, they are 6-5 SU and 2-1 as the favorite. When it comes to scoring, the Braves haven't performed as well against teams from the NL East. During those games, they averaged three runs per game, below their 4.1 runs per game season average. Atlanta has an eye for the strike zone, ranking 3.4 in the NL with fourth walks per game. Shifting to the pitching staff, they have the fifth-lowest road ERA in the NL at 3.47. They also allow just 7.8 hits per game, good for fourth in the NL.
The right-handed Harang will take the mound against the Braves, who have a 6-5 record against righty starters this season.
Predictions: SU Winner - ATL, O/U - Under
The Braves hold a split 6-6 record against NL East teams, but the Phillies are 4-9 in such matchups.
When leading after 7 innings, Philadelphia is 4-5, while Atlanta is 3-6.
Having scored one run in their last game, the Phillies are going to have to up their game if they want to win this matchup. The Braves have a 2-0 record in games where opponents scored that many runs or fewer.
When they are outhit, the Braves are 1-5. The Phillies have a 2-9 record when opponents outhit them.
Ranking 25th in home runs, Philadelphia has hit nine this season. Atlanta ranks 13th with 14 home runs.
Ranking 15th, Philadelphia is in the top half of the league in hits, notching 6.93 per game. Atlanta ranks in the top 10 at 10th with 7.93.
Ranking 29th, Philadelphia is near the bottom of the league for its on-base plus slugging percentage (.593). Atlanta ranks in the top half at 15th with an OPS of .694.
The Braves are 2-4 when they allow at least one home run. The Phillies perform similarly when they allow one or more homers with a 4-7 record.