After this series versus the Philadelphia Phillies it will be all but official: the Braves choked and the Phillies won the division title.
There’s still a shred of hope as it’s still mathematically possible that the Braves (86-65) could win the NL but at 4.0 games back with the Phillies (90-61) magic number at just 8 games it’s highly, highly, highly improbable.
A win during Wednesday’s baseball lines matchup of these two teams would all but seal the deal.
Philly took the first game in this series with a thrilling 3-2 win on a night when starting pitcher Cole Hamels (12-10) turned in a stellar performance (8.0 innings, 1 ER). With the meet of their starting rotation due up the Phillies have to be extremely confident entering this baseball odds matchup and have to smell the stables.
If Philadelphia sweeps the series it would be all but impossible for them not to win the division and in a very worst case scenario they would still likely make the playoffs as the Wild Card.
On Wednesday the Phillies chances look good as they’ start the newly acquired Roy Oswald who has been a revelation since coming over from Houston. He’s 13-13 with a 2.90 ERA for the season but since coming to the Phillies, and despite losing his first start, has won 7 straight decisions and given up just 9 runs in his past 8 starts –including a complete game gem against the Mets a week ago.
Atlanta will start Tommy Hanson and hope for the best. Hanson (10-11, 3.62 ERA) got off to a decent start to the season like all of Atlanta’s starting rotation, but like the rest of the starters he’s struggled mightily over the past month. He’s gotten just 2 wins in his past 10 starts and given up 19 runs in his past 6 starts.
Right now the Phillies are the best team in the NL baseball odds and look to like they’ve got a course plotted to the World Series. Expect Oswalt to be brilliant again and the Phillies to win this matchup.