Las Vegas Odds: Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies
Saturday, July 07, 2012
Ryan Howard is back in the Philadelphia Phillies lineup, but the slugging first baseman can't solve his club's relief woes. The Phillies started the weekend ranked 28th in baseball in bullpen ERA, and Antonio Bastardo made matters worse in the eighth inning of a scoreless game Friday against Atlanta Braves, surrendering five runs as the Braves won the series opener. Howard, who missed the first 84 games of 2012 after injuring his Achilles tendon in last year’s NL Division Series, finished 2-for-4 in his return.
While Howard’s return is positive news for the last-place Phillies, the Braves have to be encouraged with Brian McCann’s effort the past two nights. The struggling catcher homered Thursday, then hit a grand slam in the eighth on Friday to raise his average to .231. Both teams send hot pitchers to the mound for the middle game of the series. Atlanta’s Tommy Hanson won four starts in June, while Philadelphia’s Joe Blanton won three times last month.
Hanson has established himself as one of the top right-handers in the National League. He lost his last start to the Cubs, allowing four earned runs in seven innings, but has won four of his past six starts. Right-handers are hitting .212 off Hanson, and he is 6-2 with a 2.89 ERA in nine road starts.
Like Hanson, Blanton did not pitch poorly but nonetheless lost his first start of July. The right-hander gave up six hits and three earned runs in six innings against the Marlins on Monday. Blanton has walked just five hitters in his past 35 2/3 innings, striking out 35 over that span.
1. The Phillies are 17-25 at home in 2012, one season after going 52-29 at Citizens Bank Park.
2. Hanson has made one start lifetime against the Phillies, allowing eight hits and four runs in 3 2/3 innings.
3. On the DL since June 25 with a sprained right ankle, Philadelphia C Brian Schneider could return shortly after the All-Star break.
Recent Trends on Atlanta: :
- ATL are 8-3 in their last 11 road games.
- Under is 12-5-1 in ATL last 18 road games.
- Under is 12-5 in ATL last 17 Sat. games.
Recent Trends on Philadelphia: :
- PHI are 9-23 in their last 32 overall.
- PHI are 9-23 in their last 32 games on grass.
- Over is 40-17-2 in PHI last 59 overall.
Head to Head :
- Under is 6-1-2 in Blantons last 9 starts vs. ATL.
- Under is 6-1-1 in the last 8 meetings.
Las Vegas Sports Betting MLB Prediction: Philadelphia -105
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