Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Max Fried (54) works against the Tampa Bay Rays during a spring training baseball game Sunday, March 21, 2021, in Port Charlotte, Fla. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
- The Atlanta Braves will visit the Philadelphia Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Thursday, April 1st at 3:05 PM ET
- The Phillies will have Aaron Nola on the mound going up against Max Fried for the Braves
- The two teams split their season series last year, going 5-5 in the 10 meetings.
The Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies will get their seasons started on Thursday in a mid-afternoon game that goes at 3:05 PM ET. The Braves will put Max Fried on the mound while the Phillies will counter with Aaron Nola. The Braves are a small favorite but what’s the best bet for this game? Let’s take a closer look.
Braves vs Phillies Odds
|Team||Moneyline||Runline||Total at DraftKings|
|Atlanta Braves||-113||-1.5 (+163)||Over 7.0 (-118)|
|Philadelphia Phillies||-104||+1.5 (-195)||Under 7.0 (-104)|
Odds as of Mar 31
Fried Dominated Phillies In 2020
Although the 2020 season was a shortened, wonky one (due to COVID-19), Fried still ended up facing the Phillies a couple of times. He dominated them in those two outings, winning both starts while holding the Phillies to a .237 team batting average. He allowed just one earned run in 10 innings of work while striking out 11 batters and only walking three.
It’s worth noting that the Phillies did beat him up pretty good in 2019. In his last three starts against them that season, he gave up a whopping 14 earned runs in 15 innings of work. Home runs were the big issue as the Phillies clubbed eight – yes, eight – jacks against him in those three games.
Max Fried’s 5Ks. pic.twitter.com/bFwuFD2TEX
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 28, 2021
Fried had issues with home runs in 2019 as he gave up 21 in 30 starts. That number dropped to just two last season. Overall, it does feel like 2019 was a bit of an aberration as he allowed 0.7 home runs per outing that year compared to just 0.4 for his career and 0.18 last season. If he keeps those in check, he should have a strong start.
Braves Career Stats vs Nola
|Ronald Acuna Jr.||22||7||2||4||8||.318|
Nola Is a Solid Bet at Home
Drilling down into Aaron Nola’s splits, there’s one thing that’s quite clear: he pitches better at home than on the road. In 2020, he was 3-1 at home with a 2.50 ERA while holding batters to a .150 average. On the road, he was 2-4 with a 4.26 ERA while batters hit .262 against him.
If you start going through the recent years, that same trend plays out. In 2019, his home ERA was 2.19 and his home WHIP was 1.21 compared to 5.19 and 1.34 on the road. In 2018, he was 10-2 at home with a 2.34 ERA compared to 7-4 with a 2.41 ERA. In 2017, the story was the same.
— Phillies Nation (@PhilliesNation) March 21, 2020
For his career, Nola has fared well against the Braves, posting an 11-6 record in 20 starts. While his career 3.06 ERA against them is a touch lofty, the 1.16 WHIP is strong. History isn’t necessarily a predictor of the future but based on what we know, Nola at home and Nola against the Braves is a decent wager.
Phillies Career Stats vs Fried
What’s the Best Bet?
Under feels like it would be a shrewd decision if we were further into the season but this early, especially with a low total of seven, it’s tough to know if the pitchers are in rhythm or if the teams’ hitters will be rusty. Instead, take a flier with Nola. He’s typically a good bet at home and you’re getting him at a PICK/as a small dog.
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For over 15 years, Dave has been working in mainstream media and sports betting. He hosted a station on Sirius Satellite Radio for four years, and is currently a senior writer for AskMen. He’s interviewed hundreds of hundreds of high-profile sports stars like Shaquille O’Neal and Floyd Mayweather.