The Philadelphia Phillies opened up their three-game series against the Atlanta Braves with a disappointing 8-1 loss on Friday. The Braves have now won three straight games after starting the regular season 0-4.
Atlanta received a fantastic outing from Charlie Morton, who only gave up four hits, one earned run, a walk, and struck out seven in 6.0 IP. Meanwhile, Zack Wheeler struggled on the mound. The Phillies No. 2 starter was lit up for three earned runs and seven hits in 4.2 innings pitched, which included a monstrous home run from Ronald Acuna Jr.
Acuna went 4-for-5 with two RBI and a run scored. He now has three home runs on the season. For the Phillies, J.T. Realmuto went 2-4 at the plate, while Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins were a combined 0-for-6 with two walks.
On Saturday night, Atlanta will start Ian Anderson, while the Phillies will give the ball to Zach Eflin. We’ll go over some ideal picks on DraftKings Sportsbook centered around the game here.
Moneyline pick: Phillies +118
The line for Saturday night’s game is currently set at -1.5 runs, with the Braves listed as the favorite. They are also the favorite on the moneyline at -137. The Phils are hoping that Eflin can get them back on track after Wheeler’s early exit. Last weekend against this same Braves team, Eflin allowed four hits, one hit (home run) and struck out eight batters in 7.0 IP. Philadelphia went onto the win game, 2-1 and captured the opening season sweep over the Braves.
Bryce Harper will be looking to leave his mark on Saturday night’s game as he has not hit a home run yet in seven games. The perennial All-Star outfielder is slashing .238/.467/.286 with zero home runs, two RBI, and eight walks. Last season, Harper hit .226/.333/.484 with two home runs and seven RBI against the Braves. Over his career against Atlanta, Harper is slashing .271/.395/.521 with 34 home runs (most vs. any team) and 86 RBI. Also, the veteran outfielder hits better against right-handed pitching, slugging .281/.399/.531 with 176 home runs and 463 RBI.
For the Braves, Anderson is looking to replicate what he did last weekend, but hoping for a different result. Last week, the 22-year-old gave up four hits, one earned run, one hit (home run), and struck out seven in 5.0 IP against Philadelphia. If both pitchers are on their game, then this could be another close game. With Matt Moore on the mound Sunday, the Phillies need to take this game. If Eflin can keep Acuna off the basepads at the top of the lineup, then they got a shot.
Player Prop: Bryce Harper to hit a home run (+360)
If there’s any game for Harper to hit his first home run of the season it would be on Saturday night. The superstar outfielder has not had many opportunities to hit a long ball this season as he’s been walked a team-high eight times. Last weekend, we saw Anderson give up a home run to Andrew Knapp, which was the lone hit allowed. Over Harper’s career, the All-Star has hit right-handed pitching well, slashing .281/.399/.531 with 176 home runs. Harper has also hit 34 homers against the Braves, which is the most versus any other team in the MLB.
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