The Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies square off on Thursday with first pitch set for 6:05 p.m. ET. The game takes place at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and will be available to watch on ESPN+. Atlanta will start Ian Anderson (6-4, 4.60 ERA) while Philadelphia sends Aaron Nola (4-5, 2.98 ERA) to the mound as they look to avoid a sweep.
The Braves (44-32) moved to 21-5 in the month of June as they picked up the 4-1 victory over the Phillies on Wednesday. Atlanta has now moved to only three games back of the New York Mets in the NL East. They are 3-2 over their last five games but are poised for a big series sweep against a divisional rival. Anderson will be making his 15th start of the season and only pitched four innings giving up six hits and four earned runs in a losing effort in his last appearance. Atlanta will continue their road trip with a three-game set against the Cincinnati Reds starting on Friday.
The Phillies (39-37) are feeling the absence of outfielder Bryce Harper as they have lost each of the first two games of this divisional series. They sit in third place in the NL East, eight games back of the Mets and five games back of the Braves. Nola will be facing Atlanta for the second time this season. In his last, he pitched 8.1 innings and gave up only five hits and one earned run while striking out 10 for his second win of the year. Philadelphia will next host the St. Louis Cardinals for a three-game series starting on Friday.
Braves vs. Phillies
Pitchers: Ian Anderson vs. Aaron Nola
First pitch: 6:05 p.m. ET
Braves local broadcast: Bally Sports Southeast
Phillies local broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Live stream: WatchESPN, ESPN app with an ESPN+ subscription
Odds, picks & predictions
Run Line: Philadelphia -1.5
Run total: 8.5
Moneyline odds: Atlanta +130, Philadelphia -150
Moneyline pick: Atlanta +130
Philadelphia is the favorite in this one and gets to send their ace to the mound. The only reason that Atlanta is getting the nod from me in this one is just that they have momentum and their team is finding ways to win. Once Harper went down for Philly, they won their next game, but then dropped the first two of this series. They need a spark, but unfortunately, I don’t think it comes on Thursday.
Player prop pick: Ian Anderson over 4.5 strikeouts (-130)
Anderson pitches better when he sees the lineup generating run support. The strikeout total is a bit low since it’s expected that Nola will prove a tough test for the Braves lineup, limiting their run support. Even so, Anderson has struck out at least five batters in six of his last seven starts. He will punch out at least five batters in Thursday’s series finale.
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