Free MLB Pick for Tuesday April 20th – Phillies vs Braves

Below is our Free MLB Pick for Tuesday, April 20th 2010.  This MLB Betting prediction is coming from the National League in an exciting game between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Atlanta Braves.

Philadelphia Phillies (8-4) at Atlanta Braves (7-5)

7 :10 PM ET on MLBTV

Starting Pitchers

PHI: K. Kendrick (0-0, 17.47)

ATL: T. Hanson (1-1, 2.38)

The Braves had won 14 consecutive division titles through 2005, but the Phillies have owned the NL East for the last two-year’s in row. Atlanta will look to take it back starting with a three games series against the visiting World Champions on Tuesday night at Turner Field.

The Phillies are back in control of the NL East thanks to a 7-1 start, but they’ve since lost three of four. They lead the majors with 78 runs but were held to one while losing its last two to Florida, getting shut out for the first time in Sunday’s 2-0 loss. Meanwhile, the Braves (7-5) have won four of their last five including a come from behind win over Colorado on Sunday when rookie Jason Heyward drove in two runs with a two-out, bases-loaded single in the ninth inning, lifting the Braves to a 4-3 victory. The Braves will try to carry the momentum into Tuesday’s opener of a three-game series against the visiting Phillies. Heyward is already living up to the team’s expectations, batting .302 with 15 RBIs in his first 12 major league appearances.

The Braves will go with 6’6’’ right-handed pitcher Tommy Hanson in Tuesday’s series opener. The 23-year old is 0-2 with an ERA of 6.43 in two career starts against the Phillies as a rookie in 2009. He is coming off a 6-1 victory at San Diego on Wednesday where gave up one run in six innings and already has 14 strikeouts in 11-1/3 innings. Despite a decent start, Hanson has been overshadowed by the Braves’ other young phenom, Jason Heyward.

The Phillies will counter with righty Kyle Kendrick, who has two no decisions in two appearances this season. Kendrick has struggled in his first two starts, both against Washington. After surrendering five earned runs on six hits in four innings in his season debut, he gave up six runs in 1-2/3 innings Wednesday, but was bailed out by his offense and bullpen in a 14-7 win. Kendrick has been much better against the Braves, going 4-1 with a 3.29 ERA in seven career appearances

Odds makers have the Braves as –1-½ – favorites with a run total of 8 ½.

Philadelphia slugger Ryan Howard remains hitless in his last two games.

Atlanta was still the only NL East team to win the season series against the Phillies last year, going 10-8. The Phillies bullpen is suffering from too many injuries so I expect the Braves to take game one behind a solid performance from Hanson and Heyward.

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