The first week of July leading up to Thursday’s 4th of July Holiday offers some great MLB betting matchups on the board at your favorite online sportsbook. Baseball is the only daily action on the board this time of the year and there is still plenty of value to found betting underdogs if you know how and where to look.
One of the heated division battles through the first half of the season has been in the NL East. The Atlanta Braves have forged a 5.5-game lead at 50-35 heading into a crucial three-game showdown at home against the second-place Philadelphia Phillies, who are 44-40 through their first 84 games.
Another division race that should be hotly contested come September is the AL East. Check out ATB’s Free Pick today, you guessed it, an AL East battle.
The Phillies started the season as clear favorites to win the division title, but things have not always gone as planned considering how much money this organization spent on adding the right pieces to the roster to get back on top in the NL East. The Braves won this division last year and they continue to prove that they should be heavy -700 favorites to win the title again in 2019. Philadelphia is now second on the list at +650 odds.
Turning to Tuesday night’s series opener at SunTrust Park, Atlanta knows that this could be a perfect opportunity to add to its current lead. The Phillies know that they cannot afford another letdown in this race after losing two of three to the Braves in a three-game road series in mid-June.
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Since that point, Philadelphia was swept by both Washington on the road and Miami at home in a pair of three-game sets ahead of a 5-2 turnaround over its last seven games. Atlanta has cooled a bit from a blistering run in early June with a 6-4 record over its last 10 games.
Top Underdog Bet- Take the Phillies at Atlanta
The Phillies are under the gun in this one with a 1-6 record in their last seven road games and a 1-5 mark in Game 1 of their last six series. Atlanta is 6-0 in its last six games coming off a loss and it has won the series opener in six of their last eight series.
MLB betting trends usually paint whatever picture you want them to depending on how deep you dig into the results. Philadelphia is 9-4 in its last 13 games following a day off and the Braves are 3-8 in their last 11 games played on a Tuesday.
You can see last week’s Dogs Ready to Bite the Books article here.
The bottom line in this series opener is a team that desperately needs a fast start against a team it is chasing in the standings. The Phillies have not played to expectations as of late, but the hype surrounding Atlanta right now tends to drains some of the value in its current betting lines. The Braves have a plus $608 return on the MLB moneyline heading into this game, but $568 of that total has been won on the road.
Turning to the starting pitchers for Tuesday night, the Phillies made the change to put Aaron Nola ahead of Nick Pivetta. Nola is 6-2 this season with a 4.22 ERA and a 1.36 WHIP. The right hander gave up five earned runs on six hits, including a pair of home runs in the Phillies 6-6 win over the Braves on June 15. He did pitch a gem against the New York Mets his last time out.
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The Braves added Dallas Keuchel to their starting rotation and the early results have been mixed. Through 10 2/3-innings pitched, the left hander has allowed six earned runs on 16 hits, including three home runs. He got the win against the Chicago Cubs on June 26 after losing his Atlanta debut against Washington on June 21.
This one will be decided by each team’s bats and I like the fact that Philadelphia has averaged 7.4 runs over their last seven games.
Article by Dave Schwab
Posted July 2nd, 2019