Thursday MLB preview: Phillies at Braves, Cardinals at Cubs

Profile Picture: Robert Criscola

September 19th, 2019

TeamRun LineMoneylineTotals
Philadelphia Phillies
+1.5 (-160)
Over 8 (-115)
Atlanta Braves
-1.5 (+135)
Under 8 (-105)
Two of the National League's better starters in 2019, the Phillies' Aaron Nola (12-5, 3.62 ERA) and the Braves' Mike Soroka (12-4, 2.57 ERA), will meet at SunTrust Park on Thursday. Despite their overall records, situational splits indicate that these offenses will have little trouble plating runs in the series finale.

Nola owns a 4.06 ERA in five starts against the Braves this year and has produced a 4.72 ERA in 13 road efforts. Third baseman Josh Donaldson (1.396 OPS, 16 at-bats), center fielder Ronald Acuna Jr. (1.034 OPS, 18 at-bats) and right fielder Nick Markakis (.873 OPS, 35 at-bats) have all given Nola plenty of trouble in the past.

Soroka has fared worse at home than he has on the road during his rookie campaign, with a 4.18 ERA in 12 starts in Atlanta compared to a 1.35 ERA in 15 starts anywhere else. The difference in opponent batting average is stark, as well, as Soroka is allowing batters to hit .276 at SunTrust Park but .195 elsewhere. Philadelphia's lineup has seen Soroka twice this year and chased him early both times, posting a .395 batting average in the process.

MLB free play: Over

St. Louis Cardinals (85-67) at Chicago Cubs (82-70), 7:15 p.m. ET, FOX

TeamRun LineMoneylineTotal
St. Louis Cardinals
-1.5 (+160)
Over 7 (-125)
Chicago Cubs
+1.5 (-195)
Under 7 (+105)
The Cardinals' Jack Flaherty (10-8, 3.05 ERA) and the Cubs' Kyle Hendricks (11-9, 3.26 ERA) should treat the Wrigley Field faithful to a Thursday-night pitchers' duel and Under bettors to an easy score.

Flaherty has been among the NL's best hurlers since the All-Star break. The Pitcher of the Month for August owns a 1.05 ERA and .157 opponent batting average over his last 12 starts.

Hendricks is 6-2, with a 1.75 ERA and .194 opponent batting average, in 13 home starts this year. He has faced St. Louis three times in 2019 and aced them in each instance, with a 3-0 record and a 0.39 ERA.

MLB free play: Under