MLB Baseball: Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves Preview, Odds and Prediction - 05/08/2021

by Alec McMordie

The Philadelphia Phillies look to extend their winning streak to six games tonight as they play the Atlanta Braves on FS1 at 7:25 PM ET. Odubel Herrera clubbed a three-run homer as part of a six-run first inning. The Phillies banged out 16 hits with Jean Segura and Bryce Harper returning to the lineup. Segura scored twice with four hits. J.T. Realmuto added three hits, including a two-run homer. 

The victory kept Philadelphia in first place in the National League East by percentage points over the New York Mets. Philly has an 18-15 record with the Mets at 14-13 with five fewer games. The organization hopes for their first winning season since 2011 and to break a nine-year postseason drought. 

First-baseman Rhys Hoskins leads the team with eight home runs and 18 RBIs that accompany his .234 batting average. Harper adds six homers and 10 RBIs along with a .322 batting average. Realmuto has a .308 batting average with four homers and 15 RBIs. The Phillies score 4.2 runs per game, with a .233 batting average, .299 on-base percentage, and an OPS of .681. The team returned the starting lineup from last year that helped them finish tied for fifth in MLB in runs scored. 

Manager Joe Girardi turns to Vince Velasquez tonight. The right-hander allowed only one run in six innings of work in his last start at home against Milwaukee on May 3rd. The 26-year-old has a 1-1 record with a 4.91 ERA and a 1.64 WHIP in six appearances which includes three starts. The Philadelphia bullpen has a 4.77 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP with ten saves and six blown saves.

Atlanta had their three-game winning streak end with yesterday’s loss. Dansby Swanson homered in the second inning in the losing effort. Manager Brian Snitker’s team is in fourth place in the NL East with a 15-17 record. All five teams in the division are separated by three games. 

The Braves have won three straight National League East titles. They took a 3-1 lead in the NL Championship Series against Los Angeles before the Dodgers rallied to win the next three games to reach (and then win) the World Series.

Ronald Acuna leads the team with a .321 batting average. His ten home runs and 22 RBIs are team highs. Freddie Freeman adds seven homers with 18 RBIs but only has a .195 batting average. Marcel Ozuna has 20 RBIs with four homers and a .216 batting average. Atlanta is scoring 4.5 runs per game with a .227 batting average, a .302 on-base percentage, and an OPS of 714. Atlanta kept the core of their lineup intact in the offseason, and they bolstered their starting rotation with the additions of Charlie Morton and Drew Smyly.

The Braves have depth issues at catcher given injuries to Travis d’Arnaud and Alex Jackson. A thumb injury has d’Arnaud on the 60-day IL, and Jackson is on the 10-day IL with a hamstring injury.

Snitker gives the ball to Ian Anderson tonight. The 22-year-old right-hander has a 2-1 record with a 3.27 ERA and a 1.21 WHIP in six starts. The Braves bullpen has a 4.72 ERA with a 1.51 WHIP with eight saves and four blown saves. 

BetAnySports lists Atlanta as a -158 money line favorite with the total set at 9.

Computer prediction:  Atlanta Braves 6 Philadelphia Phillies 2

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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