The Philadelphia Phillies visit the Atlanta Braves on Saturday in the middle of a weekend series between NL East rivals.
The Phillies and Braves are now in the midst of their second series of the young season, this one taking place in Atlanta. After pulling off the successful sweep at Citizens Bank Park last week, Philadelphia fell victim to Atlanta 8-1 on Friday night.
The Phillies scored the first run of the game, courtesy of an early Andrew McCutchen hit, but that was all they could muster.
Zack Wheeler did not bring his best stuff, and the team just could not figure out Charlie Morton. The reason that Atlanta wanted Morton on its staff was so he could deliver a line as he did on Friday: Six innings, one run, seven strikeouts on just four hits.
He’s a top-tier starting pitcher even at his older age now, so the Braves knew just what they needed. The Braves improved to 3-4 with the win.
The loss for Philadelphia dropped it to 5-2 on the season, and there isn’t much to worry about yet. Given that it has been a decade without a playoff trip, the team’s quick start is a good sign.
Bryce Harper will continue to get better as the year winds on, as will guys like Rhys Hoskins and JT Realmuto. The Phillies have a good lineup with a winning manager in Joe Girardi.
The moneyline in this one is in favor of the Braves at -140. The underdog Phillies are +118. The over/under is set at 8.5 runs.
Eflin Getting the Nod for Philadelphia
After a decent showing for the team last season, Zac Eflin is hoping for a strong 2021 campaign. He began his year on a high note, firing seven innings of one-hit ball against Atlanta on April 4.
He allowed four hits, striking out eight batters and walking only one. The team could not have asked for much more from him. He wound up with a no-decision for his effort.
A career 4.58 ERA is not ideal for Eflin, but it seems he is continuing to trend in the right direction. His future with the Phillies organization is very bright, and he hopes to remain as one of the top arms in the team’s starting rotation for the months and years to come.
Braves Trotting Out Anderson
Now in his second year in the majors, 22-year-old Ian Anderson is looking for continued success. He posted a 3-2 record across six starts a season ago, striking out 41 batters in his limited work. He ended up with an impressive 1.95 ERA across 32 1/3 total innings.
Anderson’s first start of 2021, which came against the Phillies, was good but too brief. He lasted five innings, allowing four hits and just one run.
He struck out seven while walking two. Hopefully, he can make it a little farther this time so that some of the pressure can be taken off the arms in the bullpen.
Phillies Get Their Revenge
Coming off a Friday loss, the Phillies will waste no time getting themselves right back into the win column. They’ll improve to 6-2 with a Saturday win.
Free Play: Phillies +118
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