While this MLB season is unlike any we have ever seen, it is beginning to follow a rather familiar formula. It is not uncommon to see some dark horse teams emerge in the early going, while the teams that start the season as the favorites get off to a slow start. Cream has a way of rising to the top, though, which is what we are beginning to see happen right now. The teams that are currently occupying the top spots in each division are exactly the ones that we expected to be there. We are fast approaching the halfway point of the shortened season, so building a big lead now make it very tough for the chasing pack to close the gap in the coming weeks. The Atlanta Braves are on top of the NL East as they go in search of their third-straight division crown. They will be on ESPN on Sunday night as they try to complete the 3-game sweep of the Philadelphia Phillies. The Braves come into this one favored by 1 ½, with the run total set at 9 ½.
When: Sunday, August 23 at 7 PM EST
Where: SunTrust Park, Atlanta
Starting Pitchers: Zach Elfin Vs Josh Tomlin
MLB Odds: Get the Latest Odds at YouWager.lv
Why bet on the Philadelphia Phillies
After playing .500 ball through the first 18 games of the season, the Phillies have gone off the rails in a big way, losing 5 in a row to drop to 9-14 on the season. Two of those losses have come against the Braves in tis series, so Sunday night is all about avoiding the sweep for the Phillies. Playing on the road has proven to be an absolute disaster for Philly, with those 5 straight losses coming away from home and taking them to 1-6 SU. They have had serious issued when playing in Atlanta and are now 4-12 SU in their last 16 visits to SunTrust Park. In games versus teams from the NL, the Phillies have seen 5 of their last 7 go OVER. They will have Zach Elfin (0-1, 5.14 ERA) on the mound for this one.
Why bet on the Atlanta Braves
The Atlanta Braves are on top of the NL East and have a 2-game lead, but they also have some injury concerns to deal with. Their pitching has been especially hard hit, so it is perhaps no real surprise that they are giving up runs at an alarming rate. On the positive side of things, they are loaded on offense and have put up 141 runs through 27 games. They all too often get sucked into shootouts, with 4 of their last 5 games going the way of the OVER. The Braves have been very good at home this season and are now 10-3 there after those back to back wins over the Phillies. They will send Josh Tomlin, who has a 2.35 ERA this season, to the mound on Sunday night.
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
The Braves have been playing good ball of late, winning in 4 of their last 5 games, with a ton of offense delivered during that run. I think we see them get the sweep here, and I also think we see the OVER hit again.
Philadelphia Phillies 4 Atlanta Braves 7