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Braves @ Phillies Preview

Are the Atlanta Braves hitting the skids?

That is a question some Braves fans are asking themselves as their team has now lost three in a row.  However, those with a bit more of a level head realize we still have a lot of baseball left to play and the Braves still hold onto a commanding lead in the NL East.  The largest division lead in the entire MLB, in fact.  It doesn’t help things, though, that the Braves dropped their last game to their rivals, the Philadelphia Phillies, and Kyle Kendrick will be starting for Phili in the next game in the series.

Kyle Kendrick has, simply put, dominated the Braves throughout his career.  He has not lost a start to the Braves since July of 2008.  He has a 7-1 overall record against Atlanta with a 2.86 ERA.  However, Kendrick’s last start was a rough one where he allowed four runs on a season-high 10 hits against the Los Angeles Dodgers.  Kendrick also had a mild concussion during that game but has been cleared to play.  Perhaps these could be considered signs that it is time for his streak to end.

On top of the pressures of playing a division rivals, the Phillies know with the July 31 Trade Deadline rapidly approaching it is now time to start mounting a come back.

Everybody saw what the Oakland A’s did last year, we could do that easily.  We have a good enough team. In baseball, anything can happen. The team we have right here, we can go on a run just like that.

-Ben Revere, Phillies Center Fielder

The Braves will be starting Tim Hudson who will be looking to break a 10-start losing streak.  Hudson was scheduled to start on Friday for the season opener but was replaced by Paul Haholm due to some soreness in his neck.  He is now ready to start.

The Braves have been struggling on the road going 4-8, which also plays into the hands of the Phillies, who are looking to get back into the playoff hunt.

The odds are very close for this ball game with the Braves being the slight favorites.  The moneyline for Atlanta over at Bovada is set at -118 compared to the Phillies +108.  Game 2 in this series starts at 7:15 p.m. ET tonight.

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