|ATL (-132) @ caesars|
My 10* Game of the Week is on the Atl Braves at 7:20 ET.
The Atlanta Braves opened the 2021 season with a three-game series at Philadelphia against the Phillies. The Braves are looking for a FOURTH NL East title (last season led the Dodgers 3-1 in the NLCS before losing THREE in a row), while Philadelphia opened the season seeking its first winning season since 2011, with hopes of ending a NINE-year postseason drought. The Phils swept the Braves 3-0 in the season's opening series for both teams, holding the Braves to just THREE runs. The Braves fell to 0-4 with a 6-5 Tuesday loss at Washington but then swept a Wednesday doubleheader (again, 7-inning games this season) by beating the Nats 7-6 and 2-0. As for the Phillies, they took two of three from the Mets and visited Atlanta for this three-game series at 5-1.
Friday's contest marked Philly's first road game of the season and was also the Braves' first home game. The starters were Zach Wheeler and Charlie Morton, who squared off against each other last Saturday in Philadelphia. Wheeler out-pitched Morton in that 4-0 Philly win, throwing seven shutout innings (allowed just ONE hit) with a 10-0 KW ratio. Morton pitched six innings, allowing three ERs on six hits in five innings. However, Morton and the Braves turned the tables last night, winning 8-1. Morton allowed just ONE run in six innings, while Wheeler allowed three runs in 4.2 innings plus Philly's bullpen allowed FIVE runs in 3.1 innings.
The pitching matchup for Saturday is Zach Eflin (0-0, 1.29 ERA) of Philadelphia and Ian Anderson (0-0, 1.80) for Atlanta, the same pair who dueled last Sunday. Eflin made 10 starts last season and went 4-2 with a 3.97 ERA, striking out 70 and walking only 15 in 59 innings. In two starts against the Braves in 2020, Eflin was 2-0 with a 2.92 ERA, striking out 14 in 12.1 innings. He was excellent last Sunday vs the Braves, allowing just four hits and one ER in seven innings (8-1 KW ratio). Anderson made six starts as a rookie in 2020 and went 3-2 with a 1.95 ERA, striking out 41 and walking only 14 in 32.1 innings (1.08 WHIP). He countered Eflin last Sunday by allowing four hits and one ER over five innings (7-2 KW ratio).
I had Morton and Atlanta over Wheeler and Philly in last night's quick "re-hook." I'm back again with the very same set-up here. Anderson also made four playoff starts in 2020, allowing just two ERs on 11 hits over 18.2 innings (0.96 ERA) with a KW ratio of 24-10 (1.13 WHIP) and an opponent's BA of average .172. This guy's the "real deal," while Eflin is 29-33 with a 4.58 ERA and 1.36 ERA in his 90 career appearances (85 starts). Want more? After last night's win, Atlanta is a MONEY-MAKING 54-21 in its last 75 games as a home favorite (72%). Second verse, same as the first.