Phillies at Braves: Cole Hamels Welcomes Back Baseball

Phillies at Braves: Cole Hamels Welcomes Back Baseball

There are plenty of familiar faces on the 2013 Philadelphia Phillies. This team still has that feeling of a team you know all too well, with many of the key components of their 2008 World Series run. But as mentioned in our look at the roster earlier today, 15 of the guys suiting up today weren't in the dugout on opening day in 2012.

The first change will be noticeable on the first pitch of the game tonight in Atlanta. Fans should be happy to see Ben Revere and his speed at the top of the order this evening in Charlie Manuel's first lineup of the season. All spring we wondered if he'd stick with Jimmy Rollins as his leadoff man or go with the speedy Revere.

Ruben Amaro Jr. brought in Revere as an affordable, young, high-upside guy this offseason in the hopes of plucking the next Juan Pierre out of Minnesota. Whether that ever comes to fruition remains to be seen. But at least for night one, J-Roll gives up his leadoff spot. That should please many.

While Revere's star qualities remain a question mark, it's the guy at the bottom of the order tonight that makes us feel most confident in the 2013 Phillies. Cole Hamels is your opening day starter. He's got the biggest contract in Philly sports history in his bank account and it's time for him to earn it.

It used to be every fifth day that Roy Halladay took the ball, we expected a win. Now, Cole's the man that makes you feel like the Phillies are the favorites every time he takes the hill, no matter the opponent. Confidence in Cole is high.

The Fightins will get after it with their division rivals right from night one. The Atlanta Braves don't get quite the hype that the Washington Nationals do these days, but with the addition of the Upton brothers, the Braves are many experts picks to get one of the NL wildcard spots, typically at the cost of the Phillies being left out in the cold making golf reservations.

For the first time in a long time the Phillies will have to prove doubters wrong instead of living up to high expectations. It'll be a different mentality for both the players and fans alike.

It's the Phillies 131st season of baseball. We're pretty stoked. Hell, we're even excited to hear Wheels call a meaningful baseball game.

I'm going with 88 wins and a wild card game. It's a long summer. It always is. It starts tonight.


Charlie's Lineup: 1. Ben Revere 2. Jimmy Rollins 3. Chase Utley 4. Ryan Howard 5. Michael Young 6. Dom Brown 7. John Mayberry (4-13, 2 HRs vs. Hudson) Jr. 8. Erik Kratz 9. Cole Hamels

Atlanta's Lineup: 1. Andrelton Simmons (SS) 2. Jason Heyward 3. Justin Upton 4. Freddie Freeman 5. B.J. Upton 6. Dan Uggla 7. Chris Johnson 9. Gerald Laird (C) 9. Tim Hudson

Get your predictions on the record in the comments. We'll be here all night talking ball.

7:10 start from Turner Field. PHL17 and ESPN2 on your television. Franzke and LA on the radio on WPHT and WIP.

Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor among Bovada's favorites to be traded this season

Nerlens Noel, Jahlil Okafor among Bovada's favorites to be traded this season

The logam at the center position has dominated talk surrounding the Sixers as they approach the start of the 2016-17 season.

While a trade has yet to be made, Bovada believes there's a good chance two of the team's three young centers won't be in Philadelphia by season's end. 

Bovada released their NBA player props for the upcoming NBA season Tuesday, listing Nerlens Noel (5/7) and Jahlil Okafor (8/5) as two of the league's favorites to be dealt before February's trade deadline. On the other hand, Noel's odds to not be dealt are even, while Okafor's odds to remain a Sixer past this season are 4/9.

Kings swingman Rudy Gay was between Noel and Okafor with the second-lowest odds to be traded at 5/9. Gay's teammate DeMarcus Cousins had the fourth-lowest odds at 3/1. 

Bovada's over/under player props featured bets involving six different Sixers. Joel Embiid's rookie stat line was set at 13.5 points, 8 rebounds and 1.7 blocks. In five preseason games, Embiid has averaged 11.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 0.8 blocks in just 14.4 minutes of action. If his limited preseason action is any indication, Embiid could certainly reach Bovada's averages once his minutes restriction comes off. 

Here are the rest of the Sixers' over/under prop bets: 

  • Jahlil Okafor: 15 points, 6.5 rebounds
  • Nerlens Noel: 9.5 points and 7.5 rebounds
  • Gerald Henderson: 10.5 points
  • Robert Covington: 12.5 points
  • Dario Saric: 5 rebounds

Flyers tickets cheapest on resale market since at least 2010

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Flyers tickets cheapest on resale market since at least 2010

After skating to their best record in four years, the Philadelphia Flyers quelled the notion that they would show the growing pains of a rebuilding franchise in 2016. A playoff berth in Dave Hakstol’s first year as head coach brought about the emergence of a new noisemaker in the crowded Metropolitan division, one that stretched the Presidents’ Trophy-winning Washington Capitals to six games in the Quarterfinals.

The Flyers will look to build on the success of last season by relying more on budding players Shane Gostisbehere and Ivan Provanov while veterans Claude Giroux, Mark Streit and Boyd Gordon all look to lead the team back to another postseason. And while excitement continues to build in Philadelphia, fans can find comfort in the fact that Flyers tickets on the secondary market are the least expensive they’ve been this decade.

On TicketIQ, a leading online aggregator that pools both primary and secondary market listings to give consumers the most transparent buying experience, Flyers tickets are averaging $108.32 across all 41 home games at Wells Fargo Center this season. That marks a 12.4 percent drop from the $123.64 average at the beginning of last season. It is the cheapest home average the Flyers have posted since 2010, when TicketIQ began tracking resale ticket data.

While Thursday’s home opener served as one of the NHL’s most expensive games this week, a March 15 matchup with the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins will be the most expensive Flyers home game this season. That game currently owns a $183.16 average, 69 percent over the season average, and the cheapest available tickets are priced for $73 each. Other top-priced games at Wells Fargo Center this season include January 4 against the New York Rangers ($163.62 avg./$57 get-in) and October 29 against the Penguins ($156.36 avg./$90 get-in).

For those looking for tickets to the cheapest Flyers games this season, an October 27 matchup with the Arizona Coyotes is the least expensive home game to attend. Tickets are averaging just $63.50, 41 percent below season average, and the get-in price is $16. Back-to-back games against the Ottawa Senators and Winnipeg Jets on November 15 and 17 follow, with tickets starting from just $20 each at both contests.

For the best deals on Flyers tickets this season, make sure to download the TicketIQ app. Fans can save up to 10 percent on all IQ Certified listings in the only engagement-based loyalty program in the marketplace. Download the TicketIQ app and start saving today!