The Phillies return home after a miserable two-game trip to Yankee Stadium, losing the finale in extra innings as New York completed the mini-sweep. They now open a massive four-game set with the Atlanta Braves tonight. Atlanta also had a tough day yesterday, dropping the first game of a home doubleheader with the Padres before playing 4.5 innings of Game 2, just to watch the game get suspended after a lengthy rain delay.
Let’s jump into a look at the betting odds and make some Braves vs. Phillies picks and predictions for this matchup on July 22, 2021.
Braves vs. Phillies Odds
Let’s take a quick look at the current Braves vs. Phillies betting odds:
|Braves||-1.5 (+115)||-130||O 9 (+100)|
|Phillies||+1.5 (-135)||+110||U 9 (-120)|
Now, a team which played an extra inning game on the road last night plays host to a team which endured most of a doubleheader and a 3-hour, 3-minute rain delay yesterday. Tonight’s game cannot be a throw-away for either club, as both remain in the hunt for the National League East title and are hoping to become buyers ahead of the trade deadline. But after draining days yesterday coupled with travel, there has to be some fatigue on both sides.
Braves vs. Phillies Betting Pick
On top of the mental challenges that tonight’s meeting presents to the Phillies and Braves, there is also the knowledge that both teams are running with less than optimal lineups right now. The Phillies seemed almost back to Opening Day health, but now an X-ray on Bryce Harper’s foot last night, an Odubel Herrera ankle injury, and a lingering Alec Bohm COVID-19 absence, along with a thinning pitching staff, have weakened the roster.
The Braves used their seventh catcher of the season yesterday, recently lost their best player, Ronald Acuna, to an ACL tear, continue to play without major signing, Marcell Ozuna, and could be without Ender Inciarte tonight, as well.
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The Phillies’ run production this season is still middling at best, despite a recent positive surge. The Braves went from scoring the second most runs in the league last season to plating just the 11th most per game in 2021.
Even more sobering is their 4.05 runs per game away from home, just the 21st best mark in the majors.
We do expect a playoff type approach to tonight’s game and this series, as both clubs know that a 1-3 or 0-4 weekend would likely force management to switch from buyers to sellers. We saw a similar situation and atmosphere last night in the Dodgers-Giants matchup and the result was a game that went to the ninth with a 2-1 scoreline.
Neither team sent their best pitcher to the hill and both teams offered less than ideal lineups, but the game meant a lot to each. Expect the pitchers in tonight’s Braves-Phillies game to set up in similar fashion, despite what the eye test might tell you.
— Brodes Media (@BrodesMedia) July 16, 2021
Both teams’ bullpens here are bad and neither starter is likely to go 7+ innings.
Still, both have the ability to be successful here against depleted opposing bats. The Phillies send LHP Matt Moore to the mound to face a Braves team that has seen less lefty starters this season than all but three other teams. Philly is 6-1 in his seven starts, despite Moore failing to go deeper than five innings in any outing this season. He has allowed two runs or less in four straight starts and none of those opponents scored more than three runs in the game, despite his somewhat brief appearances.
Philadelphia’s opponents average just 3.3 runs per game in Moore’s night starts and the Phillies give him just 4.7 runs of support in his home outings, which average just 9.3 total runs per game. Current Braves have gone just 13-for-53 (.245) off of Moore, hitting just three home runs and earning just five bases on balls (four by Freddie Freeman).
Atlanta will counter with RHP Charlie Morton, the free agent signing who has truly been the one healthy consistency in the Braves starting rotation. With Max Fried, Ian Anderson, and Mike Soroka all missing sizable chunks of the season, Morton will walk out to the mound tonight to make his 20th start of 2021.
Morton has a 2.83 road ERA this season and his 10.46 strikeouts per game rate will surely prove effective against a Phillies offense that fans more often than 21 other teams this season. His six road starts have resulted in five games that stayed under the posted total as both the Braves and their opponents averaged less than three runs per game in that sample space.
Morton has had a mediocre history against Philadelphia overall, but his two starts against them this season have seen him allow just one earned run in 6.2 innings.
And despite the goofy outing last time he faced Philly where Morton failed to survive a first inning that saw six unearned runs cross, current Phillies are only 38-for-141 (.270) against the right-hander with just three home runs and 30 strikeouts. Harper himself is responsible for a 7-for-14 clip with a homer. Without him tonight, only J.T. Realmuto would face Morton with a career batting average over .259 against him.
The last two games the Braves have played on no rest after a doubleheader have produced six and three total runs, respectively. Nine of the 11 games the Phillies played after an extra innings game have produced seven or fewer total runs.
The Braves have also managed just three games over the total in their last 14 as road favorites. Meanwhile, the Phillies have played 19 of their last 28 games under against the National League East, as well as 13 of their last 19 against starting pitchers with WHIPs under 1.15.
Expect tonight to be the sixth under in the last seven head-to-head between these two teams when they meet at Citizens Bank Park.
Our Pick: Atl/Phi Under 9 (DraftKings -120)