Red October: Phillies Start Times, Matchups, and Details for Games 1 and 2 of NLDS
The Philadelphia Phillies took care of business in two games in St. Louis and are now set to kick off the National League Division Series vs. the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday.
Game 1: Phillies @ Braves (1:07 PM)
Game 1 of this five-game series will take place in Atlanta, Georgia, kicking off at 1:07 EST on Tuesday. Not the ideal start for Game 1, considering everyone will probably be at work, but the MLB still hasn’t learned the proper way to schedule games during the MLB Playoffs.
Ranger Suarez vs. Max Fried
Ranger Suarez will make his first career playoff start, going up against Braves left-hander Max Fried.
Suarez finished the 2022 season with a 10-7 record, throwing a 3.65 ERA, 129 Ks, and a 1.33 WHIP. Suarez made five starts against Atlanta this season, going 28 total innings with a 3.21 ERA and allowing 23 hits, ten earned runs, and 23 Ks to just three homers.
Ranger pitched extremely well on the road, which is where he’s lined up to pitch most of his games if the Phillies keep advancing. He held a 3.20 ERA record away from CBP while also pitching a 2.81 record during the day (6 starts).
Suarez, a left-handed pitcher, was significantly better against lefties this year, holding just a .536 OPS compared to a .757 against right-handers. The Braves have a favorable matchup against Suarez, as their main hitters of Dansby Swanson, Ronald Acuna Jr, and Austin Riley are all righties. The Braves lineup is predicted to have six righties and three lefties.
Ranger Suarez came into the 2022 season with all the confidence in the world after a spectacular 2021 season. He got off to a rough start over the first three months but really settled in during July, holding a 0.00 ERA in 3 starts. He allowed just 19 earned runs across ten starts in August and September, with a combined ERA of just under 3.
Max Fried dominated for Atlanta this year, holding a 2.48 ERA and a 14-7 record in 30 starts. He threw 185.1 total innings, allowing 156 hits, 55 earned runs, and just 12 homers.
Nothing really phases Fried, as he holds just around the same ERA in Atlanta compared to any other stadium in the MLB. Right-handed hitters have had a slight advantage over Fried this year, tallying a .599 OPS compared to a .521 against lefties.
Compared to most teams, the Phillies have hit Fried fairly well this year, as Max holds a 3.13 ERA in 4 starts (23 innings) against the Fightins in 2022. The current issue with the Phillies’ offense has been swinging early, which is something they actually might want to keep doing on Tuesday afternoon. Fried has allowed a 1.038 OPS on 0-0 counts in 88 first-pitch hits. Jumping on him early in the count is going to be the key to success.
Game 2: Phillies @ Braves (4:35 EST)
Game 2 will be played on Wednesday, October 12th at 4:35 EST. Phillies ace Zack Wheeler will make his 2nd career playoff start, with Kyle Wright on the other side of the ball.
Zack Wheeler vs. Kyle Wright
Zack Wheeler will make his start on full rest, coming off a fantastic start vs. the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of the NLWCS. Wheeler went six and a third, allowing just two hits and one walk while striking out four batters. He threw 96 pitches, the most he’s thrown since August 20th.
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Wheeler came into 2022 fresh off a Cy-Young finalist year, and although he wasn’t as good, he was pretty close to it. He finished the year with a 12-7 record, tallying a 2.82 ERA and 163 Ks with a 1.04 WHIP. Wheeler held a 3.84 road ERA in the regular season, with 75 innings pitched in 13 starts. Zack came back from injury in September and made two starts in the month, allowing a 0.90 ERA in 10 total innings.
The key to Zack Wheeler’s dominance comes with his composure. Wheeler’s only negative tendency is to rush his pitches early in the game, which can lead to an early deficit based off of one swing, especially from an offense like Atlanta.
Wheeler tallied a 2.70 ERA in 3 starts against Atlanta this season, totaling 20 innings and 18 hits allowed (6 earned runs). Zack Wheeler has never been scared of the moment, and he showed that in Game 1 vs. St. Louis, holding Nolan Arenado and Paul Goldschmidt to an 0-6 day.
RHP Kyle Wright gets the ball for the Braves in Game 2 after a 21-5 season, the best record in all of baseball. He tallied just a 3.19 ERA while striking out 174 batters and tallied a total WHIP of 1.16.
Wright was 13-2 at home in the regular season with 104 strikeouts and a 2.86 ERA. He hasn’t allowed more than two earned runs since August 5th and before that, June 23rd. Wright had the Phillies’ number this year, holding a 2.84 ERA in three starts, going 19 innings, and allowing six earned runs and just eight hits.
As Fried struggles on 0-0 counts, Wright throws the worst on 2-0 and 2-1 counts. The Phillies will need to change their game plan from Fried compared to Wright and work to get deeper in counts.
- Game 3 @ CBP: Friday at 4:37 EST
- Game 4 @ CBP: Saturday at 2:07 EST (If Necessary)
- Game 5: Sunday at 4:37 EST (If Necessary)
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