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September 8, 2015 (Posted at 2:00 PM ET)

There are two MLB picks tonight. 
 

#1: Take Philadelphia Phillies on the Money Line (-137) against Atlanta Braves risking 4.11% to win 3%. 
(Nola and Weber must start for wager to have action)

The Braves have actually been the statistically worst team in the second half of the season this year. They are the team with the worst run differential in baseball and have allowed the most runs to be scored (260) since the all Star Break. Their offense has been void of any kind of consistent power this season as well as they rank dead last in home runs and have the league’s worst OPS. There has also been speculation that the Braves organization has theoretically thrown in the towel and currently has their eyes on gaining the number one pick in the 2016 draft. 

While many figured the same would be true for the Philadelphia Phillies, this team has actually performed better in the second half of the season after trading away veteran hurlers Cole Hamels and Jonathan Papelbon. Unlike the Braves, the Phillies still appear to have some fight left in them. This is an extremely proud team and they surely don't want to finish in the NL East basement. With the Braves being the team that the Phillies are currently chasing, this actually becomes an extremely important series for them. 

The Braves may have come away with the win in Game 1 which snapped their recent 12 game losing streak and 13 in a row away from home, but we don't expect them to continue their success tonight. The Braves haven't won consecutive road game dating back all the way to July 7th. They are also starting a rookie pitcher in this contest, Ryan Weber, who will be making his major league debut! Meanwhile, Phillies pitcher Aaron Nola will be taking the mound and will look to rebound from a rare rough start in his last time out against the New York Mets. The good news for Nola is that he already has experience navigating this lineup as back on Aug 1 where he went 5 solid innings giving up just 2 earned runs. Having had a poor outing his last time out, facing an anemic Braves lineup should allow Nola to bounce back and put in a quality performance. The Phillies have had quite a bit of success against Atlanta at Citizen's Park having gone 4-1 in the last 5 meetings. We expect them to come away with another victory and even up the series tonight. 

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Phillies are 6-2 in Nola's last 8 starts.
  • Braves are 12-41 in their last 53 games overall.
  • Phillies are 4-0 in Nola's last 4 starts vs. a team with a losing record.
  • Braves are 5-17 in their last 22 road games vs. a team with a losing home record.
     

#2: Take San Diego Padres on the Money Line (-134) against Colorado Rockies risking 4.02% to win 3%.
(Rea and Gray must start for wager to have action)

San Diego comes into this contest off a rare loss to the Rockies in last night's series opener. The Padres have won 9 of 13 meetings with the Rockies this season and we should see a bounce back effort from them tonight. Petco Park has not exactly been kind to Colorado recently as this was only their second win in 10 tries at Petco Park.

The Rockies have not had much success on the road this season and even less against divisional opponents. They have not won a series against a divisional opponents since taking two of three at home from the Arizona Diamondbacks back on June 25th. They also haven't won a road series in the West since sweeping the San Francisco Giants in three games back in mid-April! 

A big reason for this team’s struggles this season can be attributed to lack of quality pitching and tonight should be no different. Jon Gray will take the mound tonight and in 6 starts this season he has yet to receive a decision. He is 0-0 yet has a 6.15 ERA. He started out the season rather impressively, yet he has struggled mightily since posting an 11.12 mark with a .472 opponent batting average in his last 11 1-3 innings. In his last start he gave up four runs and a season-high 10 hits in just 5 innings against Arizona.

Colorado is a team that is known for its offense but they could be a bat short tonight with 3rd baseman Nolan Arenado after he was removed from yesterday's game for an injury sustained while falling into the crowd after a attempting to grab a foul ball. Arenado currently leads the NL in homeruns along with Carlos Gonzalez (36) and even though he is projected to suit up tonight, he likely won't be 100% which takes a big bat out of the Rockies lineup. 

The Padres have had quite a bit of success against the Rockies and taking the loss in Game 1 likely won't sit well with them. Colorado's pitching is always a liability and given the struggles of Gray recently as well as the bullpen, San Diego should be able to mount enough offense to come away with the victory tonight. 

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Rockies are 1-5 in Grays last 6 starts.
  • Padres are 5-1 in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a losing record.
  • Rockies are 3-13 in their last 16 games as an underdog of +110 to +150.
  • Padres have won 15 of 20 games as a home favorite in this range (-125 to -150)! 



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