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July 4, 2016

There is one pick today.

Take Philadelphia Phillies (-160) on the ML against Atlanta Braves risking 4.8% to win 3%.
(Eickhoff and De La Cruz must both start for wager to have action)

The Phillies will have the pitching edge this afternoon as Jerad Eickhoff squares off against Joel De La Cruz. Eickhoff has been the Phillies most reliable starter this season with 10 of his 16 starts being quality ones. At home, however he has been even more impressive and is coming off what can only be described as a spectacular June. He has certainly found his rhythm and confidence as his ERA was 2.23 over 6 starts! We expect that success to carry over into July. Eickhoff has also had quite a bit of success against the Braves as well as he owns a 1.47 ERA in his 3 previous appearances against them!

His counterpart meanwhile is making only his 2nd MLB start ever and his very first one on the road in a hostile environment! We anticipate that nerves could be a factor this afternoon for De La Cruz and in a hitter friendly ballpark, which could be an issue for a pitcher who doesn't possess a strong strikeout skill set. Philadelphia is seeing the ball extremely well at the moment and their offense has seemingly found its swagger with a series win over the defending champion Kansas City Royals. They erupted for 7 runs on double-digit hits in their rubber match yesterday and we expect that momentum to carry over this afternoon.

This is also a strange scheduling spot for the Braves as they played in the historic game at Fort Bragg last night. To go from playing a primetime TV game to having a short travel day and turning around and playing an afternoon game in a different city could play both a mental and physical role in this matchup! The Phillies would certainly have the edge, not having had to travel. Atlanta is also missing two important pieces of their outfield in Mallex Smith and Ender Inciarte. The two lefty bats provide great speed and defense and can also be a base-stealing threat. As it is, Emillio Bonifacio will be getting a rare start at Center Field.

Phillies should not only have an advantage with the starting pitching matchup but also with their offense, confidence and momentum, several intangibles. They should arguably be a -175 favorite in this spot which shows value at their current odds.

Other notable facts to consider:

  • Braves have lost 10 in a row after they gave up 12+ hits as an underdog!
  • Phillies are 3-1 (75%) as a home favorite in the -150 to -175 range this season.
  • Atlanta's 43 home runs on the season is by far the worst mark in the Majors!

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