MLB Baseball Picks: Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves
Saturday, July 28, 2012
With Zack Greinke now heading to the Angels, the Braves will look elsewhere to bolster their starting rotation. But the recent good work of Saturday starter Mike Minor has eased at least some of the consternation surrounding the back end of Atlanta Braves’s rotation. Minor seeks his fourth strong start of July when he takes on the Philadelphia Phillies in the middle game of a weekend series at Turner Field. Philadelphia’s four-game winning streak ended in Friday’s 6-1 loss.
Philadelphia’s Joe Blanton starts Saturday looking to stay away from the long ball. Blanton is tied for third in the majors in homers allowed (22); Minor also has struggled with homers, ranking seventh with 21 surrendered this season. The Phillies will try to keep Atlanta catcher Brian McCann in the ballpark. McCann has homered in his past six games against Philadelphia, including a three-run blast to dead center Friday.
Blanton has turned into an innings-eater for the Phillies, going seven innings or longer in five of his past seven starts. He received a no-decision in his last start Sunday, holding the Giants to three runs on seven hits in eight innings. Blanton has walked just five hitters in his past 51 1/3 innings, striking out 47.
Minor deserved a better fate in his last start Monday at Miami, taking the loss despite allowing just two earned runs in seven innings with no walks and four strikeouts. After struggling through the first three months, the 24-year-old left-hander has steadied himself in July. Minor is 1-1 this month with a 2.33 ERA, holding opponents to a .182 batting average in 19 1/3 innings.
1. The Braves are 14-8 in July, matching their win total from April (14-9) and May (14-15) and exceeding their June total (13-12).
2. With Philadelphia 3B Placido Polanco landing on the disabled list Thursday, Mike Fontenot started Friday and committed an error that led to two unearned runs.
3. Atlanta signed free-agent RH reliever Miguel Batista and assigned him to Triple-A Gwinnett. Batista went 1-3 with a 4.82 ERA for the Mets before being released Thursday.
Recent Trends on Philadelphia::
- Over is 6-1-1 in PHI last 8 Sat. games.
- PHI are 4-12 in their last 16 Sat. games.
- Over is 6-2 in PHI last 8 overall.
Recent Trends on Atlanta::
- ATL are 6-2 in their last 8 home games.
- ATL are 13-5 in their last 18 overall.
- ATL are 13-5 in their last 18 games on grass.
Head to Head :
- Under is 8-1-2 in the last 11 meetings.
- Under is 6-1-2 in the last 9 meetings in Atlanta.
USA Sports Betting Lines MLB Prediction: Atlanta -130
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