The Phillies and Braves are set for a 3-game series! It’s time to continue our MLB odds series with a Braves-Phillies prediction and pick.
On the morning of this game, both teams are handling brutal injuries to crucial players. For the away side, the Braves put closer Kenley Jansen on the 15-day IL with an irregular heartbeat. That is a scary situation and the hope is that Jansen will be okay very soon. His presence will be missed big time as he is one of the best closers in the game and has been over this past decade.
Now for the Phillies, who are in desperate need of a resurgence. However, that will be even tougher now that superstar Bryce Harper is out for an unexpected time with a fractured thumb. Harper had surgery over the weekend and is expected to return at some point this season. For now, the Phillies will need to rely on a group effort between Nick Castellanos, JT Realmuto, and Kyle Schwarber to do the heavy-hitting.
Here are the Braves-Phillies MLB odds, courtesy of FanDuel.
MLB Odds: Braves-Phillies Odds
Atlanta Braves: +1.5 (-205)
Philadelphia Phillies: -1.5 (+168)
Over: 7.5 (-106)
Under: 7.5 (-114)
*Watch MLB Games LIVE with fuboTV (click for free trial)
Why The Braves Could Cover The Spread
On the mound for the Braves is veteran Charlie Morton. The right-hander is (4-3) on the season with a 4.84 ERA in 74 innings. Morton continues to pitch well as he is coming up at 39 years of age. This will be his 15th start of the season and it’s an important one as the bullpen is a little thinner. His last two starts showed great signs as he has given up two runs in his last 14 innings. Morton pitched seven innings each in his last two outings and struck out 20 combined. He has stuck out at least eight batters in each of his last four starts.
On the offensive side, the team is still missing star second baseman Ozzie Albies. SS Dansby Swanson is stepping up in his absence as he is hitting the ball very well right now. Swanson is batting .304 with 13 home runs and 43 RBIs. If Matt Olson and Austin Riley can improve their average and get on base more often, then this lineup should keep winning them games.
Superstar Ronald Acuna Jr. is dealing with a foot injury but is expected to be out just a few days. He likely won’t play tonight, so that isn’t a good sign for Braves’ bettors.
Why The Phillies Could Cover The Spread
Toeing the slab tonight for the Phils is ace Zack Wheeler. After missing the start of the season, Wheeler is back and helping the Phillies stay in the playoff picture. He is (6-4) with a 2.77 ERA in 74.2 innings. Wheeler didn’t have the best start against the Texas Rangers last week, but only allowed one run in his previous two starts prior to the start against the Rangers. If Wheeler pitches well tonight, the Phillies will have a great shot at covering this spread.
The offense is going to struggle without Harper. It’s hard to replace a reigning NL MVP who is batting .318 with 15 home runs and 48 RBIs. His slugging percentage is .599 and OPS at .985. Replacing that will be impossible, however, the lineup is still good enough to win games until he returns. The team knows that it won’t be easy and going on a huge win streak will not happen. But if this team can stay consistent and stay above .500, then when Harper returns around late August this team could make a run late in the season.
Final Braves-Phillies Prediction & Pick
The stars won’t be shining tonight but that doesn’t mean it won’t be an exciting matchup. Both teams are missing crucial players and I think the under is the best call to make as a result. Hammer the under as two elite pitchers will face off.
Final Braves-Phillies Prediction & Pick: Under 7.5 (-114)