Atlanta Braves (6-8 SU, 7-7 RL, 9-5 O/U) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (5-9 SU, 9-5 RL, 8-6 O/U)
MLB: Friday, April 21, 2017, Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 7:05 pm ET
Lines: Philadelphia -115, Atlanta +106; Over/Under: 8
A pair of NL East rivals open up a weekend set in the City of Brotherly Love. The Atlanta Braves are on the road as they take on the Philadelphia Phillies Friday night. Atlanta closed out a three game set with the Nationals at home Thursday night hoping to avoid a sweep. Philadelphia played the rubber game of a three game set in the Big Apple against the Mets Thursday night. The Braves held an 11-8 advantage in the season series last season, including a 5-4 mark here at Citizens Bank Park.
Atlanta Braves Look to Draw First Blood in Season Set
Atlanta closed out their first homestand at SunTrust Park Thursday night against the Nationals trying to avoid a sweep. The Braves lost the opener 3-1 on Tuesday before getting hammered 14-4 Wednesday night. Atlanta led 2-1 after an inning before the wheels came off as the Nationals scored five in the second and never looked back. Freddie Freeman (two runs, two RBI) and Nick Markakis (RBI) each had two hits for the Braves in the game. Freeman hit his sixth homer of the season in the third inning while Brandon Phillips drove in the other Atlanta run. Julio Teheran (1-1) took the loss on the mound as he was roughed up. He allowed seven runs on seven hits with three walks and three strikeouts over four innings.
The ageless Bartolo Colon takes the mound for his fourth start of the year for Atlanta. He is 1-1 with a 4.24 ERA, a 0.824 WHIP, four walks and 14 strikeouts over 17 innings of work. Colon picked up his first win of the season in his last start, which came Sunday against the Braves. He threw seven innings, allowing one run on one hit with one walk and six strikeouts. The Braves won the game by a 9-2 score. Colon logs his 20th career start against the Phillies in this contest. He is 11-5 with a 3.43 ERA and a 1.202 WHIP over 120.2 innings of work. Colon is 6-2 with a 3.19 ERA and a 1.155 WHIP over 53.2 innings in his nine starts at Citizens Bank Park in his career.
Philadelphia Phillies Look for Home Success
Philadelphia returns home after their three game set against the Mets, but the flip side of that equation is that they are just 2-4 at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies missed a chance to set up for a potential sweep with Wednesday’s loss as they blew a 2-0 lead. Philadelphia was tied at three in the bottom of the eighth before giving up a go-ahead two-run homer. The Phillies got one in the ninth but couldn’t push across the equalizer. Michael Saunders (RBI) and Freddy Galvis (run) each had two hits for the Phillies. Vince Velasquez had a decent outing, throwing six innings, allowing three runs on five hits with three walks and two strikeouts. He also drove in a run but came up with a no-decision. Edubray Ramos (0-2) took the loss as he allowed two runs on two hits with a strikeout in one inning of work.
Jeremy Hellickson makes his fourth start of the year for the Phillies in this contest. He is 2-0 with a 0.96 ERA, a 0.824 WHIP, three walks and five strikeouts over 17 innings of work this season. Hellickson beat the Nationals in his last start, which came on the road Saturday. He threw seven innings, allowing two runs on four hits with a walk and two strikeouts. Philadelphia won the game by a 4-2 score. Hellickson makes his fifth career start against the Braves here: he is 1-0 with a 3.43 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP over 21 innings of work. Hellickson is 7-4 with a 3.01 ERA and a 1.032 WHIP over 17 starts totaling 104.2 innings at Citizens Bank Park.
- Braves are 11-4 in their last 15 road games vs. a team with a home winning % of less than .400
- Braves are 5-2 in their last 7 overall
- Phillies are 0-4 in their last 4 Friday games
- Phillies are 0-4 in their last 4 vs. a team with a losing record
The Phillies have gotten good showings out of Hellickson so far this season as he tries to have a solid year on this one year deal in an effort to cash in next offseason. Atlanta saw Colon turn back the clock with his vintage outing his last time out when he stifled the Padres. The Braves have to have some success on the road to prove they aren’t a lost cause this season. Facing a Philadelphia team that struggled in their first home sets of the year may help. Look for Colon to take advantage of a free swinging Philadelphia lineup to lead Atlanta to a win.