Teams that lead their division on July 4 go on to win it around 60 percent of the time in the Wild-Card era. That’s good news for the Atlanta Braves as they sit atop the NL East. They look to add to that lead when closing out a home series against the Philadelphia Phillies on the July 4 holiday with the MLB Odds by their side.
Phillies vs Braves MLB Spread & Prediction
- When: Thursday, 7 PM ET
- Where: SunTrust Park
- TV: MLB Extra Innings
- Live Stream: MLB.tv
- Radio: 680 The Fan
- MLB Spread: Atlanta Braves -165 (Total 10.5)
Why Bet on Philadelphia?
Might the Phillies finally learn the fate of outfielder Odubel Herrera? Herrera was arrested back on May 27 after allegedly attacking his girlfriend inside the Golden Nugget Casino in Atlantic City. But the charges against Herrera, including simple assault and knowingly causing bodily injury, were dropped Wednesday morning in a New Jersey court. Herrera has been on administrative leave since the incident and will almost certainly be handed a suspension from Major League Baseball despite avoiding any legal trouble. The Phillies have been using Scott Kingery in center field on most days.
Catcher J.T. Realmuto was selected to his second consecutive All-Star Game. Realmuto is the first Phillies catcher to be selected to play in the ASG since Carlos Ruiz in 2012. Among all National League position players, Realmuto ranks 17th in WAR (2.5) and among all NL catchers, he ranks 1st in runs, hits, games & at-bats.
In high leverage situations this season, Rhys Hoskins has a 1.198 OPS in 33 plate appearances which rank 4th among all National League players and Bryce Harper has a 1.169 OPS in 37 plate appearances which rank 7th among all NL players.
Overall, Hoskins is slashing .348/.545/.652 in high leverage spots and Harper is slashing .355/.459/.710 when the heat is on. As a team, the Phillies have a .848 OPS in high leverage spots which is 3rd-best among all NL teams. High leverage is explained as crucial situations in which the game is typically close and late.
Philly starter Zach Eflin allowed three runs on eight hits with one walk and three strikeouts across six innings in a no-decision against the Marlins on Saturday. The right-hander placed the Phillies in a position to win, throwing his fourth quality start in his last five appearances, but Eflin is just 2-2 during that stretch. Eflin is 7-7 with a 3.34 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, and 80 strikeouts in 97 innings this season.
Eflin will be facing the Braves for the first time since Aug. 8, 2017. The Phillies have lost six of his past eight starts, and he has a 4.30 ERA in that span, after producing a 2.47 mark over his first eight outings.
- Runs: 4.84
- Hits: 8.20
- Walks: 3.72
- Strike Outs: 8.56
- Runs: 4.85
- Hits: 9.10
- Walks: 3.33
- Strike Outs: 8.41
Why Bet on Atlanta?
Excellent Anthony Swarzak is expected to return to the Braves’ bullpen right after the All-Star break. Swarzak was placed on the 10-day injured list on Sunday due to right shoulder inflammation. The veteran setup man owns an impressive 0.52 ERA and 21/6 K/BB ratio in 17 1/3 innings since the Braves acquired him from the Mariners in May.
Outfielder Ender Inciarte (shoulder) began a rehab assignment with High-A Florida on Monday. He’s been on the shelf since mid-May, so he’ll likely need at least a few games before he’s ready to go. He was struggling with the bat before the injury.
Fellow outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. has become the 17th player in the modern era (since 1900) with two 20-home run seasons prior to his 22nd birthday. Two of the previous 16 were Braves: Hall-of-Famer Eddie Mathews (1952 & 1953) and Bob Horner (1978 & 1979). Tony Conigliaro is the only player from the list with three such seasons, reaching the mark in 1964-1966. Acuna Jr., last year’s NL Rookie of the Year, will compete in next week’s Home Run Derby at the All-Star Game.
Atlanta’s Mike Soroka (9-1) picked up the win in Friday’s 6-2 victory over the Mets, allowing two runs on seven hits over 6.1 innings while striking out four. The rookie right-hander didn’t appear to be affected by the forearm bruise he suffered from the HBP in his last outing, cruising to his 10th quality start in 14 trips to the mound. Soroka will carry a 2.13 ERA and 67:19 K:BB through 84.2 innings.
The All-Star will be making his final start before the Midsummer break. Soroka enters this game with a 2.13 ERA, the lowest for a qualified Braves pitcher since Greg Maddux in 1995. Soroka, 21, and Acuna Jr., 21, both making the National League team marks the first time in major league history a single club will have two players under the age of 22 go to the All-Star Game in the same season.
- Runs: 5.40
- Hits: 9.11
- Walks: 3.56
- Strike Outs: 8.62
- Runs: 4.80
- Hits: 8.60
- Walks: 3.67
- Strike Outs: 8.54
Phillies vs Braves MLB Betting Trends
- Phillies are 1-4 in Eflin’s last 5 starts following a Quality Start in his last appearance
- Braves are 6-0 in Soroka’s last 6 starts with 5 days of rest
- Phillies are 2-7 SU in their last 9 games on the road
- The total has gone UNDER in 5 of Philadelphia’s last 5 games played in July
- Braves are 8-2 SU in their last 10 games when playing at home against Philadelphia
- The total has gone UNDER in 9 of Atlanta’s last 13 games this season
Expert Final Score Prediction for Phillies vs Braves
Philadelphia Phillies 3 – Atlanta Braves 4