We came up just short last night when we backed the Seattle Mariners against the Oakland Athletics. I liked taking King Felix at home getting dog money as he always has a little extra at home. The King did not disappoint as he pitched six and a third strong innings and allowed just two runs and struck out seven. Unfortunately for us, two runs were enough as the Mariners just couldn’t get anything going on offense all afternoon long.
The game wasn’t without its controversy as the A’s Marcus Semien got picked off in the first inning and was called out. Instead, the call was later reversed, and they called a balk on Felix and Semien was awarded second base instead. On the next pitch, Jed Lowrie blasted a two-run home run that was the difference in the game. What can you do, sometimes the calls don’t go our way, and it cost us the game. Today we will switch focus to the National League and break down the matchup between the Philadelphia Phillies and the Atlanta Braves.
The Philadelphia Phillies are in Atlanta for game one of a three-game series with their division rivals, the Braves. The Phillies are amongst the hottest teams in all of baseball, having won six straight and eight out of their last nine. The Braves are enjoying some early season success as well and have a winning record on the season. They have stumbled just a bit over the last couple of games as they are 2-3 in their last five. This game features both teams best starting pitchers. For Philadelphia that is Aaron Nola (1-0 1.96 ERA) for the Braves that is Julio Teheran (0-1 7.07 ERA). The Phillies are -130 road favorites. The game total over-under is set at eight runs. First pitch is scheduled for 4:35 PM PST from Sun Trust Park.
The Philadelphia Phillies are playing great baseball right now. They are fifth in the league in runs scored and have reeled off six straight wins. A big reason for this early season success has been the pitching of tonight’s starter, Aaron Nola. Nola really established himself as a legit top of the rotation pitcher last year when he posted an ERA of just 3.54. Good things were expected form Nola this year, and he has gotten out to a hot start.
Nola is 1-0 with a 1.96 ERA in his three starts but pitched well enough in all three games to win. The one knock on Nola this year is that he has struggled to get deep into games, but that may have just been the Phillies letting him really stretch out before they rode him deep into a game. In his last start, he went eight innings and shut down the Cincinnati Reds. He faced this Braves team in his first start of the year and was solid. He pitched five and a third innings and gave up just one run on three hits. He left with the lead, but the bullpen blew it for him.
The Braves will start their opening day starter, Julio Teheran. I guess you could call him their ace, but his stats will say that he is certainly no ace. Teheran has been awful so far this season and is 0-1 with a 7.07 ERA in three starts. In his lone start against the Phillies this year he got blasted for four runs in five and two thirds while walking three hitters. This wasn’t that hard to see coming either as Teheran has seen his ERA rise three out of the last four years and last year had the highest ERA of his career as a starter.
This is a mismatch on paper. Aaron Nola is a future Cy Young Award winner that is just coming into his prime. He doesn’t have the name recognition just yet, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t an elite level pitcher, he is. He is facing a guy that is an ace in title only in Teheran, that hasn’t been good in three years. Add in the fact that Philly is steaming hot right now and this feels like a blowout.
This number is clearly undervalued with Philly at just -130, but I feel like this one won’t be close, so I am going to look at other options. The run line is offering us a +125 price on Philly laying a run and a half. It wouldn’t shock me to see Nola completely shut down Atlanta tonight, and Teheran is always going to give up runs, so I like it. The premium isn’t as much as I would like to get, sometimes on a run line you can get eighty or ninety cents of extra value, in this one, it is just fifty-five cents. So, the number isn’t exactly where I want it to be, but that isn’t going to scare me from taking the right side in this game that I don’t expect to be close. Give me the Philadelphia Phillies laying a run and a half at +125 tonight in Hotlanta!