Series Preview: Phillies look to make some noise, keep pace in NL Wild Card in final regular season series with the Atlanta Braves
The Philadelphia Phillies will dance with the Atlanta Braves one final time in the 2023 regular season.
The Hunt for Red October
Fresh off taking 2 of 3 from the St. Louis Cardinals over the weekend, the Phillies improved to 81-68 on the season. The month of September hasn’t been kind to The Fightins. They have posted a 7-9 record and are a lowly 4-6 over their last 10 games.
Still, they have managed to hold a three-game lead atop the NL Wild Card standings.
The Arizona Diamondbacks now hold the second Wild Card ticket, while the Cubs, losers of 5-straight, and Marlins, winners of 3-straight, battle it out for the final spot in the 2023 postseason.
Games Remaining: at ATL (3), vs. NYM (4), vs. PIT (3), at NYM (3)
Braves swept by Marlins, outscored 36-13 over the weekend
As for the Atlanta Braves, they clinched the National League East in Philadelphia last week before getting swept by the Miami Marlins over the weekend. The Braves, absent of NL MVP frontrunner Ronald Acuna Jr, were outscored 36-13 in the series.
Call it whatever you want, but this is exactly what we expected to happen with Atlanta.
The division race is over and now they will play meaningless baseball for the remainder of the regular season before having even more time off during the Wild Card round of the playoffs.
They will finally begin postseason play in the divisional round, which if the regular season ended today, would be against the Phillies in a rematch of last year’s NLDS. We all know how that turned out.
Starting Pitchers: Phillies at Braves
- Zack Wheeler (11-6, 3.70 ERA) vs Kyle Wright (0-2, 7.48 ERA)
- Cristopher Sanchez (2-4, 3.40 ERA) vs Spencer Strider (17-5, 3.73 ERA)
- Aaron Nola (12-9, 4.62 ERA) vs Bryce Edler (12-4, 3.50 ERA)
Pitching Note: The Phillies’ plan on utilizing a piggyback situation with Cristopher Sanchez and Michael Lorenzen tomorrow night. Why? I have no idea. Lorenzen has been horrible since his no-hitter while Sanchez has continued to shine as the Phillies’ fifth starter this season. Aaron Nola will now start Wednesday since Lorenzen is no longer considered a part of the Phillies rotation.
All Gas, No Brakes for the Phillies in Atlanta
The Phillies obviously need to stay ahead of pace in the NL Wild Card race. They also need to give the Braves something to think about over the next few weeks.
A potential NLDS matchup awaits in October and after losing 3 of 4 last week at Citizens Bank Park, I’m sure Atlanta is feeling pretty confident as they already look ahead to playoff baseball.
I will gladly take the Phillies -1.5 at +134 tonight.
Wheeler should bounce-back and handle business against Kyle Wright, who has struggled throughout his limited appearances this season.
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