Fresh off a marathon 12-inning game on Saturday night, the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies will close out the baseball weekend on Sunday night. The Braves captured Saturday’s game 8-7 in walk-off fashion, earning a split of the first two games of the series. However, Philadelphia is a slight favorite in Sunday’s rubber match with a moneyline of -115 compared to Atlanta’s moneyline of -105.
Saturday’s loss put a stop to Philadelphia’s five-game winning streak. The good news for the Phillies is that those five wins brought them over .500 for the first time since the first week of the season. They begin Sunday tied with the Mets for first place in the NL East.
As for the Braves, they’ve now won four of their last five games after sweeping three games for the Nationals earlier this week. Sunday’s game is a chance for Atlanta to get back to .500 on the season. However, the Braves trail both the Mets and Phillies by 1.5 games in the NL East standings.
Meet the Kid
Amidst injuries to their starting rotation, the Braves will send 22-year-old Huascar Ynoa to the mound on Sunday. He’ll be making his seventh start of the season, going 3-1 with a 2.76 ERA. Over his last 12.1 innings, Ynoa has allowed just one unearned run on eight hits with 13 strikeouts, so he’s been brilliant early in his big league career.
Of course, the Phillies have scored 12 runs over the first two games of the series. Jean Segura is 7 for 9 with a home run since returning from the IL on Friday, while Bryce Harper is also back from a minor wrist injury. Andrew McCutcheon is also starting to come around, batting .370 with three home runs over the past week to give the Phillies more length in their lineup.
Ace on the Hill
Philadelphia ace Aaron Nola will get the ball for the Phillies in Sunday’s rubber match. He’s 3-1 with a 2.89 ERA over his first seven starts of the season, with the Phillies going 5-2 in his starts. Nola has struck out 10 batters in two of his starts this year, including his most recent start against the Brewers. He also struck out six over 6.2 innings when he faced the Braves on opening day, getting a no-decision.
On Sunday, Nola will face an Atlanta that’s had wild ups and downs this year but is coming off an eight-run performance on Saturday. On the other hand, Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuna Jr. have both slumped over the past week. Of course, the Braves have still managed to hit seven home runs from seven different players over the past week, including one from Ynoa.
The Phillies have won five of eight head-to-head games with the Braves this season and remain one of the hottest teams in baseball. However, Ynoa has been something special this season while Atlanta hitters have combined for nine home runs against Nola in 200 career at-bats, getting the better of the Philadelphia ace on more than one occasion. Bet on the Braves to win the rubber match at home on Sunday night.
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