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MLB: Braves at Phillies

The Phillies have been struggling for the past month, as their offense has had trouble scoring runs, but they are favored tonight against the first place Braves because Ace Roy Halladay is on the mound.

Atlanta Braves (48-34) at Philadelphia Phillies  (42-38)

Bovada has the Phillies at -165 with the Braves at +145 with a run total of 8.

Philadelphia begins a seven game home stand tonight facing Atlanta for three games and tonight’s game is on ESPN. The Phillies are coming off a loss, are 4-6 in their last 10 games, and are in third place in the NL East. The Braves are also coming off a loss, but are 6-4 in their last 10 games and lead the division two games ahead of the Mets and five games ahead of the Phillies.

This season the Phillies are 22-16 at home and the Braves are 18-24 on the road.

In these teams last games yesterday the Phillies lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-5 and the Braves lost to the Florida Marlins 3-2.

The Braves have won four of their last five games against Philadelphia.

Atlanta is in first place in the NL East and have the best home record in the Majors, but is six games under .500 on the road.

The Phillies’ offense has been struggling for a while now and they will have a harder time getting back on track since they recently lost All-Star second baseman Chase Utley (.277 11 HR 37 RBI), who is out for eight weeks after having thumb surgery.

The Braves’ offense has come alive in the past several weeks after struggling to for the first few weeks of the season. They do not have much pop in their lineup ranking 23rd in the Majors in HR’s, but they are hitting and getting timely hitting ranking 11th in RBI’s.

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Taking the mound for the Phillies tonight is All Star Roy Halladay (9-7 2.42 ERA), who gave up four runs in eight innings in his last outing taking a loss. In the loss Halladay gave up 13 hits, which is the most he has given up in his career.

Derek Lowe (9-6 4.53 ERA) is on the hill for the Braves tonight and in his last outing he gave up four earned runs in five innings in a loss. Before this loss Lowe had given up three or fewer runs in eight if his last nine starts.

Halladay has owned Atlanta going 2-0 with a 0.46 ERA in three career appearances against the Braves. Lowe is 7-3 with a 3.26 ERA lifetime against the Phillies. 

Atlanta is 1-5 in Lowe’s last six starts against teams in the National League East and Philadelphia is only 1-4 in Halladay’s last five starts.

In the last four games between these two teams in Philadelphia the total has gone Under every time.

In Game 2 tomorrow night Cole Hamels (6-7 4.02 ERA) is slated to start for Philadelphia and Jair Jurrjens (1-3 5.59 ERA) is scheduled to start for Atlanta. The probable starters for the series finale on Wednesday are Jamie Moyer (9-7 4.03 ERA) for the Phillies and Kris Medlen (3.01 ERA) for the Braves, who will be making his first start of the season.

In some other big series’ that begin today the Chicago White Sox host the L.A. Angels, the Tampa Bay Rays host the Boston Red Sox, The New York Mets host the Cincinnati Reds, and the Oakland A’s host the New York Yankees.