Philadelphia Phillies (9-5 SU, 6-8 RL, 7-6-1 O/U) vs. Atlanta Braves (8-6 SU, 9-5 RL, 5-6-3 O/U)
MLB: Monday, April 16, 2018 at 7:35 p.m. EST
The Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies will get a three-game series started when they clash at SunTrust Park in Atlanta on Monday night. Philadelphia is off to a stellar 9-5 start and has won six contests in a row. The Braves, are not far behind at 8-6, took one of two against the Cubs before getting rained out on Sunday.
The Phillies are playing well in the early stages of the season, having extended their winning streak to six games with Sunday’s 10-4 victory at Tampa Bay. Red-hot rookie Scott Kingery has 12 RBIs in his past eight games and he delivered a three-run double to help Philadelphia build a commanding 10-3 advantage in its finale against the Rays. The Phillies have scored 6.2 runs per game during this current surge.
“We’re rolling right now and having fun with it,” Kingery commented. “I think one of the big things is everybody is positive out there, no matter if we’re down a couple of runs or up a couple of runs.”
Right-hander Aaron Nola (1-0, 1.96 ERA) is taking the mound for Philadelphia on Monday. Nola pitched brilliantly against the Braves in the season opener, giving up one run on three hits in 5.1 innings before being removed after 68 pitches in a game Atlanta would rally to win. Nola picked up his first victory of the season Tuesday against Cincinnati, allowing one run on three hits in eight stellar innings with six strikeouts. The 24-year-old has held opponents to a .161 batting average and just two extra-base hits through three starts.
Back from a road trip
The Braves’ recent road trip could have and should have better than the end result. A Sunday rainout against the Cubs certainly did not help team morale, but it was the game a day earlier that really threw Atlanta for a loop. The Braves blew an eight-run lead over Chicago, as a 10-2 advantage soon evaporated in the form of an epic meltdown that led to a 10-2 loss. Still, Atlanta compiled a respectable 4-4 record during its eight-game, three-city trek and an overall mark of 8-6 will not disappoint anyone involved with a team for which expectations are not exactly high.
“If you’d have told me in the middle of March that we’d be sitting where we are, I’d have been fine,” manager Brian Snitker admitted.
Julio Teheran (0-1, 7.07 ERA) will oppose Nola on Monday. Any conversation about Teheran starts with his struggles at home, where in 19 career games at SunTrust Park he is 3-10 with a 6.20 ERA and 21 homers allowed in 101.2 innings of work. the right-hander gave up three homers in 2.1 innings at home against Washington on April 3, five days after he surrendered four runs on four hits in 5.2 innings in the season opener against the Phillies. Teheran pitched well in last Monday’s loss at Washington, giving up two runs on five hits in six innings.
The Philadelphia Phillies are:
- 31-67 in their last 98 road games
- 18-46 in their last 64 road games against teams with winning records
- 0-5 in Nola’s last five road starts
The Atlanta Braves are:
- 7-3 in their last 10 home games
- 7-3 in their last 10 home games against right-handed starters
- 6-2 in their last eight games against Philadelphia
The series is a rematch of the season-opening set in Atlanta, taken by the Braves two games to one. Atlanta is averaging 5.9 runs per game in the early stages of the 2018 campaign. Second baseman Ozzie Albies already has five games with multiple extra-base hits this season and he leads the majors with 14 extra-base hits (eight doubles, one triple, and five homers). Philadelphia has not won seven in a row since 2012. The Phillies are 31-67 in their last 98 on the road, 18-46 in their last 64 on the road against winning opponents, 15-42 in their last 57 on the road against right-handed starters, 0-5 in Nola’s last five road starts, 1-5 in his last six starts against the National League East, and 6-13 in his last 19 starts against winning opponents. Atlanta is 7-3 in its last 10 at home, 7-3 in its last 10 at home against right-handed starters, and 6-2 in the last eight meetings between the two teams. Expect those trends to continue.
Pick: Atlanta Braves
Philadelphia has scored only 40 runs this season in the fourth through ninth innings of games (compared to 39 in the first through third). Nola is off to a strong start to his 2018 campaign, while Teheran at least pitched well in his most recent outing. The under is 7-3-2 in the Phillies’ last 12 on the road, 4-1-2 in their last seven against winning opponents, 8-2 in their last 10 series openers, 5-2 in their last seven against right-handed starters, 4-1 in Nola’s last five starts against winning opponents, and 4-0 in his last four road starts against winning opponents. It is also 6-1 in the Braves’ last seven overall and 3-0-1 in their last four against the National League East. Additionally, the under is 7-3-1 in the last 11 meetings between the two teams and 6-2-1 in Philadelphia’s last nine on the road against Atlanta. Look for this one to stay under the total.