Pitching Woes For Phillies vs. Braves Highlight O/U MLB Pick Value

LT Profits Sports Group

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 3:37 PM UTC

Wednesday, May. 11, 2016 3:37 PM UTC

Two pitchers that are off of their best form meet when the Philadelphia Phillies visit the Atlanta Braves, and the relatively low accompanying total makes the ‘over’ the MLB pick.

MLB Record: 18-19-1, +2.23

There could be a high scoring affair relative to the low posted total Wednesday night in the Peach State when young Jerad Eickhoff and the surprising Philadelphia Phillies (19-14, 11-9 away) pay a visit to veteran fellow right-hander Jhoulys Chacin and the Atlanta Braves (7-24, 1-16 home) in the second game of a three-game series from Turner Field in Atlanta, GA at 7:10 ET in a game available on FOX Sports - Southeast.

The posted total at Heritage Sports is 7½ for this contest with the current MLB odds on the ‘over’ set at a positive +105.


Not Battle for Last Place as Expected
Most experts felt these two teams would be competing for the worst record in baseball before the year, and we shared that belief ourselves. But the Phillies have defied expectations by being five games over .500 so far at 19-14 after winning the series opener here 3-2 last night, leaving them in third place in the National League East and just 1½ games behind the first place New York Mets! In fact, just six Major League teams have more wins than Philadelphia.

Meanwhile the Braves have performed as expected as Atlanta has been the worst MLB pick in baseball at a miserable 7-24. One small consolation is that at least the Braves are not the only team in the majors that has yet to reach double-digit wins, as they are actually just one-half game worse than the 8-24 Minnesota Twins of the American League. The difference however is that the Twins have much more upside going forward.


Claimed Off the Scrap Heap
The Braves on the other hand are in full blown rebuilding mode and it was no secret that they were basically throwing away this season by playing a bunch of youngsters and giving them on-the-job training at the big league level, which might bode well for the franchise in a few years. That youth is apparently restricted to the offense though, as Atlanta was so desperate for starting pitching it picked up the former Colorado Rockies pitcher Chacin off the scrap heap.

The Braves had to do something as they had the worst projected pitching WAR in the majors entering the year, but Chacin is not the answer. Sure he had some decent years in the altitude of Colorado earlier in his career, but he was discarded by the Arizona Diamondbacks last season and Atlanta is quickly discovering why as he is 1-2 with a 5.40 ERA in five starts, and he was rocked for eight earned runs on seven hits plus four walks in 4.2 innings by the Mets his last out.

Chacin does not figure to work deeply into the game, and the lousy Atlanta bullpen has been at its worst here at home, posting a collective 5.78 ERA and a just as ugly 1.70 WHIP at Turner Field.


Slumping Eickhoff
The key to the surprising Philadelphia success has been great young pitching, but unfortunately not much of that has come from Eickhoff after a promising first three starts of the year. The youngster has since posted a 6.75 ERA and 1.33 WHIP in his last three outings, and although he received credit for Quality Starts his last two efforts since allowing seven earned runs in 5.1 innings in Milwaukee on April 24th, they both met the bare minimum required to get a Quality Start as he allowed exactly three earned runs in six innings each time.

This is not to say that the 25-year-old Eickhoff does not have a bright future, but he simply does not seem as polished at this point as some other young Philadelphia starters in Aaron Nola and Vincent Velasquez, and if he again cannot go beyond six innings, the Phillies’ bullpen has also had its issues ranking 23rd in the majors with a 4.31 bullpen ERA.

And that is despite closer Jeanmar Gomez leading the league with 12 saves vs. just one blown while posting a 2.75 ERA, so the problem has been with the relievers leading up to him.


Bad Pitching Makes Braves ‘over’ Friendly
Finally, while the Braves are a poor offensive team this year, the ‘over’ has still gone 16-11-4, 59.3 percent in all of their games. That should give you an indication of just how bad the pitching has been with Atlanta ranking 25th in the Major Leagues in team ERA at 4.66 and 26th in bullpen ERA at 4.68.

Add this all up and this posted total does seem rather light, so go ‘over’ when Philadelphia continues its southern trek with another visit to Atlanta on Wednesday.

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Free MLB Pick: Over 7½
Best Line Offered: at Heritage

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