A National League East battle concludes on Sunday Night Baseball when the Philadelphia Phillies (9-14) visit the Atlanta Braves (16-11) on August 23, 2020. The Braves currently lead the NL East by two games, while the Phillies sit in the basement five games back. This game will air live on ESPN at 7:00 p.m. EST.
Game one of this series was an ugly affair as the Atlanta Braves cruised to an 11-2 win. Marcel Ozuna hit two home runs, and the Braves used a four-run third inning and seven-run fifth inning, to easily finish the Phillies off. Game two saw a familiar sight for Phillies fans – the bullpen blowing a late lead. Philadelphia lad 4-2 heading into the bottom of the eighth, but the Braves rallied to put up three on the board to take a 5-4 lead. The Phillies tied it up in the top of the ninth only to lose the game in the bottom half of the inning.
Below is my pick for the Major League Baseball showdown between the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves. All odds are from BetRivers Sportsbook.
Philadelphia Phillies (+112) at Atlanta Braves (-130)
Pitching Matchup: Zach Eflin (0-1, 5.14 ERA, 1.50 WHIP) vs Josh Tomlin (1-0, 2.35 ERA, 1.04 WHIP)
Zach Eflin had a solid opening start to 2020 but has been struggling ever since. Eflin started his season with a four hit, two run (zero earned) outing against the New York Yankees but has subsequently had back-to-back starts with four earned runs given up.
Josh Tomlin is set to make his 10th appearance of 2020, but just his second start. Tomlin started the season with eight straight relief appearances and finally made his first start last time out. The righty faced the Washington Nationals and gave up six hits and two earned runs in four innings of work.
It has been the Bryce Harper and J.T. Realmuto show for Philadelphia this season as those two leads all the major offensive categories. Harper has a team high .343 batting average, 24 hits, and .478 on base percentage. Realmuto has a team high eight bombs and 22 RBI’s.
Dansby Swanson has been hot to start 2020 as the shortstop leads the Braves with a .306 batting average and 33 hits. Marcell Ozuna is powering the offense with seven home runs and 18 RBI’s, while Freddie Freeman is getting on base at a .420 clip.
Free MLB Picks: It’s hard to trust the Phillies right now, but I am still going to back Philadelphia to get the win and salvage the series.
2020 Picks Record: 31-19