Major League Baseball
Preview
Atlanta at Philadelphia
When: 7:05 PM ET, Thursday, July 30, 2015
Where: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves were extremely active off the field heading into Thursday's opener of a four-game series in the City of Brotherly Love. One day after trading closer Jonathan Papelbon to National League East rival Washington, Philadelphia agreed to send ace Cole Hamels and reliever Jake Diekman to Texas for fellow left-hander Matt Harrison and as many as five prospects, including catcher Jorge Alfaro.

The news of the Hamels trade came shortly after the majors-worst Phillies saw their five-game winning streak end with a thud in an 8-2 setback to Toronto on Wednesday. Atlanta was quite busy in its own right, reportedly agreeing to acquire Cuban infielder Hector Olivera, injured reliever Paco Rodriguez and minor-league pitcher Zach Bird from the Los Angeles Dodgers as part of a blockbuster three-team deal with Miami. The Braves have seen their offense go limp, mustering just four hits en route to dropping a 2-0 decision to Baltimore and scoring just 10 runs while losing six of their last seven to fall a season-high nine games under .500. Atlanta has been atrocious on the road as well, losing 16 of its last 20 to fall eight games behind the first-place Nationals.

TV: 7:05 p.m. ET, SPSO (Atlanta), CSN Philadelphia

PITCHING MATCHUP: Braves RH Shelby Miller (5-7, 2.27 ERA) vs. Phillies RH Aaron Harang (4-11, 4.08)

Miller's winless stretch extended to 12 outings on Saturday despite allowing just one run on two hits in 7 1/3 innings of a 1-0 setback to his former team in St. Louis. The 24-year-old is 0-6 in his pronounced run of futility since scattering two hits in a complete-game gem against Miami on May 17. Miller has pitched well in all three meetings with Philadelphia this season, posting a 2-0 mark while permitting just two runs on 13 hits in 21 1/3 frames.

Sidelined for four weeks with plantar fasciitis, Harang was slated to make a rehab start with Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Wednesday before the Phillies elected to press the 37-year-old into action. Harang has dropped eight straight starts overall, but improved to 3-3 in his career versus Atlanta after allowing one run on five hits in six innings in a 5-2 triumph on May 4. Freddie Freeman is mired in a 2-for-21 stretch overall, and is 2-for-17 with five strikeouts in his career against Harang.

WALK-OFFS

1. Philadelphia RF Jeff Francoeur is 10-for-20 with three homers, seven RBIs and five runs scored in his last seven games.

2. Atlanta CF Cameron Maybin has hit safely in eight of his last 10 contests.

3. Phillies 1B Ryan Howard is 6-for-16 with two homers, six RBIs and four runs scored in his last four games.

PREDICTION: Braves 4, Phillies 3
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away East Central West IL
Atlanta 46-55 L3 26-20 20-35 21-21 12-14 8-13 5-7
Philadelphia 38-64 L1 23-26 15-38 15-25 9-18 7-13 7-8
Last Meeting
Atlanta Philadelphia
Date Away Home Avg HR OPS Avg HR OPS
7/5/15 PHI 4 x ATL 0 .200 0 .472 .300 0 .691
Player Stats
Season Series
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Atlanta C. Maybin .370 10 .969
Philadelphia F. Galvis .441 15 .943
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Atlanta A. Simmons 2 7 2
Philadelphia R. Howard 3 3 7
Pitching ERA Avg K
Atlanta 2.80 .262 58
Philadelphia 4.27 .266 52
Season
Batting Player Avg Hits OPS
Atlanta N. Markakis .290 111 .733
Philadelphia B. Revere .298 108 .711
Offense Player HR Runs RBI
Atlanta F. Freeman 13 44 43
Philadelphia R. Howard 18 34 54
Pitching ERA Avg K
Atlanta 3.91 .250 740
Philadelphia 4.65 .249 734