Opening Day betting preview: Braves visit Phillies in NL East clash – Metro US

Opening Day betting preview: Braves visit Phillies in NL East clash

Max Fried Braves Phillies Opening Day
Max Fried and the Braves provide the Phillies with a stiff first test on Opening Day.
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The first of two NL East Opening Day matchups features the defending division champion Atlanta Braves travelling north to play the Philadelphia Phillies.

Vegas sees this game as a coin-flip, with both teams an even -110 on the moneyline and +165 on the run line (-1.5).

The total is set at seven, foreshadowing a low-scoring pitcher’s duel between two divisional foes.

Tale of the Tape

A pair of 27-year-olds will take the mound, as Braves lefty Max Fried will start in lieu of the injured Mike Soroka, while Phillies right-hander Aaron Nola will get the nod from Joe Girardi.

Fried had a breakout year in 2020, posting career highs in ERA, FIP, and WHIP, albeit in a shortened season.

However, he hasn’t been his typical self against this Phillies lineup, as his 4.15 ERA and 1.47 WHIP are well above his career thresholds.

Nola on the other hand has been a godsend for Philly, as he’s been a stalwart for this rotation since his resurgence in 2018.

He put together another admirable year in 2020 and will continue to spearhead this Phillies staff that has many question marks surrounding him.

He has done well to contain All-Star 1B Freddie Freeman, limiting him to a pedestrian 11-45 and one home run in 53 career at-bats.

Nola will have his hands full slowing down a Braves lineup riddled with talent, as the re-signing of LF Marcell Ozuna will be critical to Atlanta’s continued success on offense.

Despite the pitching matchup, I actually suspect this game to go over the current total of seven, as both offenses should be able to string together some good at-bats.

Unfortunately for the home team, Atlanta is just a better ball club top to bottom and should be able to gnaw at a Phillies bullpen that endured their fair share of struggles last season.

Expect the Braves to mark their territory Thursday.

The Pick: Braves -110, Over 7 (-110).