Braves vs. Phillies Odds, Preview, Prediction: The Total Has Value in NL East Opener (Tuesday, June 8)

Braves vs. Phillies Odds, Preview, Prediction: The Total Has Value in NL East Opener (Tuesday, June 8) article feature image
Credit:

Matthew Stockman/Getty Images. Pictured: Aaron Nola.

Braves vs. Phillies Odds

Braves Odds +132
Phillies Odds -156
Over/Under 8.5
Time Tuesday, 7:05 p.m. ET
TV MLB.TV
Odds as of Monday and via FanDuel

After an off-day for both teams on Monday, the Atlanta Braves will come to Philadelphia and take on the Phillies for a three-game series.

The Braves (28-29) enter the set in second place in the National League East, 3 1/2 games behind the first-place Mets with the Phillies (28-30) one-half game back of them.

Philadelphia’s offense has been on a roll of late, averaging 7.2 runs per game over its last five games, including a 12-run outburst on Sunday. The Braves’ lineup is at 4.6 runs per game over its last five, which is above the league average.

With the chance to firmly take over second place in the division on the line, will we see the offenses come out strong again here, or can we expect to see a low-scoring pitchers’ duel?

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Braves Hope Smyly Finds Form

Drew Smyly is scheduled to take the hill for the Braves for what will be his 10th start of the season.

It’s safe to say that Smyly has struggled so far during his first season in Atlanta. Over 49 2/3 innings, he’s pitched to a 6.29 FIP and allowed a staggering 2.70 HR/9, one of the highest marks in the league. He’s also allowed an alarming 48.6% Hard Hit rate thus far (per Statcast) and has seen a similarly high 12.5% Barrel Rate.

Smyly will face a Phillies team that has been above average against left-handed pitching, collectively hitting to a .322 wOBA and 103 wRC+ in 2021. This same Phillies lineup also found success against Smyly in their last matchup, racking up five runs on two home runs over five innings.

If Smyly runs into trouble, manager Brian Snitker won’t hesitate to turn to a bullpen that has been solid so far this year. Over 205 1/3 innings, Atlanta’s relief corps has compiled a 4.24 FIP and allowed a respectable 1.18 HR/9.


Philadelphia Phillies

On the other side, the Phillies will turn to their ace, Aaron Nola, to open this series.

Overall, Nola’s numbers reflect the type of dependable season we’ve come to expect from him. Over 70 1/3 innings, he’s pitched to a strong 3.21 FIP and allowed a low home run rate of just 1.09 per nine innings.

That said, Nola hasn’t been his impressive self of late. Over his last five starts, Nola has pitched to a 4.42 FIP and allowed 1.7 HR/9. He’s also seen a decrease in his strikeout rate from last season, down slightly from 12.1 per nine innings in 2020 to 10 this year.

On Tuesday, Nola will face a Braves lineup that has been well above average against right-handed pitching this season with a .321 wOBA, the seventh-best mark in the league. Their .193 team ISO also ranks No. 1 in all of baseball.

The Phillies will look for some distance from Nola in this one and hope to avoid turning the ball over to their subpar bullpen. Over 192 1/3 innings so far this season, the Phillies relievers have combined for a 4.47 FIP, the ninth-worst mark amongst all teams.

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Braves-Phillies Pick

This game sets up to provide ample opportunities for both offenses to score runs early and in bunches. Smyly has been one of the worst starting pitchers in baseball and takes on a Phillies team that has more than held their own against southpaws so far this season. They also already demonstrated success in this same matchup back on April 11.

On the other side, Nola has struggled of-late and has the unfortunate luck of lining up against a Braves team that has been of the best against right-handed pitching this season.

I’m wagering that the starting pitchers will provide the bulk of the scoring opportunities in this one and will be placing a bet on the F5 over here as long as it stays at -115 or less.

Pick: F5 Over 4.5 Runs (-104)

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