The Atlanta Braves pulled out their ninth straight win with Saturday’s 5-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies, cashing in 12 innings as 138 road favorites. Sunday night’s finale has a pair of lefties dueling, with Atlanta’s Alex Wood (1-2, 3.51 ERA) meeting Phillies veteran Cliff Lee (10-4, 3.05 ERA).
Braves, Uggla extend streak
Atlanta erased an early 3-0 deficit in Saturday’s victory, with Freddie Freeman poking a two-run single to tie the duel. Braves second baseman Dan Uggla drove in the game’s deciding go-ahead run, despite finishing with a 0-for-5 day.
Philadelphia’s John Mayberry cracked his eighth homer of the year, with mates Jimmy Rollins and Carlos Ruiz drilled one double each. Phillies outfielder Delmon Young was held to a 0-for-5 outing from his lineup’s cleanup spot, while logging one of his side’s two errors.
Atlanta’s six relievers combined to allow two hits over the final 5 2/3 frames. Braves closer Craig Kimbrel logged his 33rd save, while the contest’s nine runs ducked UNDER the ‘total’ of 9 ½.
Wood notches first win
Wood picked up his first win in Tuesday’s 11-3 triumph for Atlanta over the Colorado Rockies, collecting as 152 home ‘chalk.’ The rookie allowed all three of Colorado’s runs, giving up six hits over seven innings.
Braves catcher Brian McCann logged three RBIs, while outfielder Justin Upton poked a pair of doubles. Atlanta’s Jason Heyward hit 3-for-5 from the leadoff spot, with third baseman Chris Johnson finishing 2-for-4.
Lee shelled in New York
Lee has been idle since July 21, logging his second straight loss in a 5-0 defeat for Philadelphia to the New York Mets. The 34-year-old gave up three homers over six frames, losing as a minus 101 road choice.
Phillies outfielder Domonic Brown struck out four times in a 0-for-4 day, leaving two men on base from the cleanup spot. Philadelphia was edged in hits, 7-4, while the duel’s five runs dipped UNDER the ‘total’ of 6 ½.
Back the UNDER in Philly
William Hill opened Lee as a 130 home favorite, while early MLB betting on Atlanta dropped the premium to minus 120. The ‘total’ was first set at 7 ½, with initial action moving the UNDER to a minus 115 tag.
I am also backing the UNDER here as part of Sunday’s free picks, agreeing with the contest’s early ‘steam.’
Lee has been lit up for seven homers over his last two starts, but some extended rest and playing a ‘stopper’ role tonight should have his juices flowing for a tight outing. The four-time All-Star has allowed a stingy .286 OBP at Citizens Bank Park, while the UNDER is 5-1 in Philadelphia’s last six home dates against clubs with winning records.
Wood faced the Phillies last month in 1 2/3 frames worth of relief for Atlanta, allowing two hits. The North Carolina native faces a Phillies lineup that has hit just .226 against left-handed pitching at home, while held to 3.2 RPG in its last 12 home dates.
The UNDER is 5-2 in Philadelphia’s last seven spots that followed allowing five runs or more in its prior game, while Lee has seen the same wager cash at 4-1 in his last five outings against Atlanta. Umpire Kerwin Danley has had the UNDER collect at a 14-4 clip in his 18 called games this year, with another tight affair looming here.
Free Pick: UNDER 7 ½ at William Hill