Phillies vs Braves: The Biggest Series in 10 Years Starts Tonight
The Phillies kick off their biggest series in the last decade tonight. The team travels to Atlanta to take on the Braves, in a crucial three-game series to (most likely) determine the outcome of the NL East. After dropping the series finale to Pittsburgh on Sunday, the Phillies made their chase for the playoffs a lot more difficult. Sitting 2.5 games back with six to play, anything less than a series win will basically eliminate the Phillies from the playoffs.
The Phillies’ best three will be going up against the Braves’ best three, and both offenses are healthy. Everything will be on display this weekend, and the better team over these next three days will (probably) be the team taking the NL East title. Wheeler, Nola, and Gibson will be taking the hill for the Phils, let’s see who they’ll be matching up with.
Phillies Pitching Matchups
Tuesday: Zack Wheeler (14-9, 2.79 ERA) vs Charlie Morton (13-6, 3.53 ERA)
Wednesday: Aaron Nola (9-8, 4.64 ERA) vs Max Fried (13-7, 3.12 ERA)
Thursday: Kyle Gibson (4-5, 4.87 ERA) vs Ian Anderson (8-5, 3.60 ERA)
The premier pitching matchup will take place tonight. Zack Wheeler and Charlie Morton will square off on FS1 to get this series started off on a high note. Wheeler has pitched the most dominant season of his career, and if there’s one game we need him to continue doing just that, it’s tonight. Charlie Morton has been fantastic this season, tallying 200+ strikeouts and 13 wins. We’re in for a good one tonight.
Aaron Nola will get the ball for the Phils on Wednesday going up against Max Fried. Fried is coming off one of his best starts of the season in San Diego, retiring 15 in a row in a Braves win just a few days ago. Nola was bad in his last start, going six innings allowing six earned runs, and giving up six hits, in a somehow Phillies win and Nola win. The inconsistent Aaron Nola will look to throw away his September struggles in his biggest start of the season.
Kyle Gibson will close out the series for the Phils, going up against Ian Anderson of the Braves. Gibson is coming off a mediocre start, allowing four earned runs in 6 innings, while hitting his first career home-run as well. Game 3 will take place on Thursday night, and if things go as planned in the first two matchups, Gibson will be pitching to secure the lead back in the NL East.
Importance of the Phillies Offense
Over their five-game win streak, the Phillies combined for 30 runs over 5 total games. The bats were starting to feel confident on a consistent basis, and the whole team was contributing, not just one or two players. Hopefully, the Sunday loss didn’t kill the offense again, because this team has no chance without a strong offensive performance.
Bryce Harper looks to continue his MVP season and put the Phillies on his back for the rest of the year. Harper is slashing .313/.434/.621 on the year, good for an OPS of 1.055. Harper has 34 HRs, 82 RBIs, with 146 hits, including 40 doubles. Bryce Harper has put together one of the best single-player seasons in recent Philadelphia history. Harper needs to carry his dominance to the very end of the season to give this team a shot at a Red October.
We knew it would come down to this series, and it’s finally here. The Phillies travel to Atlanta to take on the Braves, looking to sweep a series and put them in control of the NL East. Consistent pitching and hot bats will be the key to this series, as the Phillies try to end their near-decade-long drought of October baseball in Philadelphia. (We still have a Marlins series after this, but let’s just get through this one first).
Here we go, people. Let’s win a division this week. Go Phils.
Mandatory Credit: Myself.
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