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Phillies vs Braves Odds and Picks – Velasquez vs Anderson (May 8)

John Perrotto

by John Perrotto in MLB Baseball

May 8, 2021 · 6:51 AM PDT

Vince Velasquez pitch follow through
Philadelphia Phillies starting pitcher Vince Velasquez works against the Colorado Rockies in the first inning of a baseball game Friday, April 23, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
  • The Atlanta Braves are -164 home favorites over the Philadelphia Phillies on  Saturday night at Truist Park
  • Rookie Ian Anderson (2-1, 3.27 ERA) will pitch for the Braves against Vince Velasquez (1-0, 4.91)
  • Analysis of the Braves-Phillies matchup and a prediction can be found below

The visiting Philadelphia Phillies will attempt to extend the longest active winning streak in MLB when they face the Atlanta Braves at 7:20pm ET on Saturday at Truist Park.

The Phillies (18-15) made it five wins in a row Friday night when they routed the Braves 12-2 to begin a three-game series. The streak has moved Philadelphia into first place in the National League East by one game over the New York Mets.

Atlanta (15-17) lost after sweeping the Washington Nationals in three games in its previous series and is favored in this one.

Vince Velasquez (1-0, 4.91 ERA) will pitch for the Phillies against rookie Ian Anderson (2-1, 3.27).

Phillies vs Braves Odds

Team Moneyline at DraftKings Runline Total
Philadelphia Phillies +146 +1.5 (-138) Over 9 (-102)
Atlanta Braves -174 -1.5 (-115) Under 9 (-120)

Odds as of May 8th

Velasquez Gets Another Chance

The Phillies have believed Velasquez has the potential to be a No. 1 starter since they acquired him from the Houston Astros in a trade during the 2015-16 offseason. However, Velasquez has never lived up to the billing, going 28-34 with a 4.77 ERA in six seasons.

Some Phillies fans would say Velasquez is a better left fielder than pitcher.

Velasquez began this year making three relief appearances before moving into the starting rotation to replace struggling left-hander Matt Moore.

He is coming off a good outing, though, as he beat the Milwaukee Brewers on Monday, holding them to one run in six innings. He allowed just four hits and two walks with six strikeouts.

It marked just the second time since 2019 that Velasquez completed six innings. He went four and 4.1 in his first two starts this season.

Velasquez is 1-0 with a 3.77 ERA in his three starts in 2021. He allowed four runs in four innings over his three games in relief.

The Braves have roughed up Velasquez over the years as he has a 1-6 lifetime record against them with a 4.83 ERA in 14 games, including 12 starts. At Truist Park, he is 1-3 with a 7.45 ERA in six games.

Braves Career Stats vs Velasquez

Ronald Acuna Jr. 13 4 0 0 5 .308
Freddie Freeman 29 10 0 4 7 .345
Marcell Ozuna 23 4 1 1 5 .174
Ozzie Albies 15 5 2 2 6 ,333
Austin Riley 1 0 0 0 1 .000
Dansby Swanson 18 6 0 0 6 ,333
William Contreras 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Cristian Pache 0 0 0 0 0 .000

Velasquez’s trouble spot in this game could be Ozzie Albies, as shown in the table. The second baseman has also been hot lately and had a 10-game hitting streak snapped Friday night.

Anderson Looks to Bounce Back

Anderson looks to bounce back after taking his first loss of the season against the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday. He surrendered four runs and six hits in four innings with five strikeouts and two walks.

Anderson had a streak of 15.2 scoreless innings before the Blue Jays scored in each of the first three innings. It was the first time in six starts this season that the 23-year-old did not make it through five innings.

Since being the third overall pick in the 2016 amateur draft, Anderson has been hyped as one of the top pitching prospects. He has lived up to the expectations, though, and is 5-3 with a sparkling 2.62 ERA in 12 starts since making his MLB debut last Aug. 26.

Anderson is winless in two career starts against the Phillies with a 4.35 ERA. In three home starts this season, Anderson’s ERA is 3.63 compared to 2.87 in three road starts.

Phillies Career Stats vs Anderson

Andrew McCutchen 4 1 1 1 1 ,250
Rhys Hoskins 6 0 0 0 1 .000
Bryce Harper 4 2 1 1 1 .500
J.T. Realmuto 0 0 0 0 0 .000
Alec Bohm 5 2 0 0 1 ,400
Didi Gregorius 4 2 0 2 2 .500
Jean Segura 4 0 0 0 2 .000
Odubel Herrera 0 0 0 0 0 .000

Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto and first baseman Rhys Hoskins could both reach a significant milestone Saturday. Each is sitting on 99 career home runs.

Yesterday’s News

Odubel Herrera hit a three-run homer in the Phillies six-run first inning Friday night as they set season highs with 12 runs and 16 hits.

Realmuto had three hits, including a two-run homer, and Jean Segura drove in two runs with four hits.

It is always a dicey proposition to back Velasquez but the Phillies are rolling. So let’s give a lean toward Philadelphia as an underdog in this game.

The Pick: Phillies (+146)

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