Two familiar foes do battle in the second of a four-game set as the Philadelphia Phillies (82-67) play host to the Atlanta Braves (93-57) on Friday night. This will be the fifth meeting between these clubs in the last eight days. Philadelphia is favored after winning the series opener. See below for more on this matchup, including a Braves vs Phillies prediction.   

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Braves vs Phillies Opening Odds

It’s pretty rare you see the Braves as underdogs, but that is the case for tonight’s contest. The opening line had them at +120. Atlanta swept the Phillies just last weekend and leads the season series 9-7. The total opened at 7. The UNDER is 6-0 in the Braves’ last six games and 4-1 in the Phillies’ last five.

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Starting Pitchers

Jake Odorizzi will be on the mound for Atlanta in search of his sixth win of the season and first in over a month. He is 5-5 with a 4.04 ERA in 19 starts. His pitched well in his most recent outing, which also came against Philadelphia. He wasn’t a factor in the decision, going 4.2 innings, giving up just one earned run and two hits.

The Phillies will give the ball to hard-throwing Aaron Nola, who is also looking for his first win this month. He is just 9-12 on the season, but does sit fifth in the majors with 210 strikeouts. After beating the Braves twice early in the season, Nola has dropped two straight decisions to Atlanta, including a loss last week.

Braves Remain In Heated Battle For Top Spot In NL East

Atlanta has lost two straight games after ripping off five consecutive wins. The Braves struggled to find their offense last night, collecting just six hits, three of them by Austin Riley, en route to a 1-0 loss in the series opener.

They now sit a game and a half behind the New York Mets, who lead the National League East Division. It should be noted the Braves have already clinched a wild-card spot.

September hasn’t been kind to Atlanta’s top hitters. Matt Olson is struggling badly, hitting just .118 this month, while Riley and Dansby Swanson are hitting .225 and .221 respectively.

Ronald Acuna Jr., who missed last night’s game with back tightness, is questionable for tonight’s contest.

Philadelphia Hanging On To Final Wild-Card Position 

The Phillies have now won two straight after dropping five games in a row. Ranger Suarez was brilliant last night, shutting down Atlanta’s lineup, but the unlikely hero was once again Matt Vierling.

He delivered an RBI sacrifice fly in the second inning, which proved to be the only run of the game. This came one night after he went 5-for-5 against Toronto, including a walk-off RBI single in the 10th inning.

Last night’s victory, combined with a Padres loss, vaulted the Phils to within a half-game of San Diego for the second wild-card spot and kept them 2.5 games ahead of the Brewers, who are currently on the outside looking in.  

Braves Player Prop: Austin Riley – To Record 2+ Total Bases (+130)

This seems like a no-brainer. Riley has seven multi-hit games against Philadelphia this season and has picked up at least one hit in 14 of their 16 meetings. And just in case that doesn’t comfort you enough, he is also a career .400 hitter against Aaron Nola.  

Phillies Player Prop: Kyle Schwarber – To Record A Home Run (+225)

Schwarber is second in all of baseball with 40 home runs, so you know hitting the long ball hasn’t been an issue. He has gone deep four times against Braves pitching already this season. Any time you can get this type of odds for Schwarber to hit a homer, I’d say go for it.

Braves: Keys To Victory

The health of Ronald Acuna Jr. The Braves are hoping he is fit to play as he has owned Nola throughout his career,  hitting .361 lifetime against the Phillies starter with four home runs and nine RBIs. They will likely need his energy and production in the lineup if they are to put the brakes on their current losing streak.

Phillies: Keys To Victory

If the Phillies are going to make a run, they will need their stars to contribute. Bryce Harper is hitless in his last 11 at-bats and doesn’t have a hit in three of the last four games vs the Braves. Some would say he is due! If he can turn things around tonight, then taking the home team when making your Braves vs Phillies pick may be the play.

MLB Computer Pick: Phillies ML -155

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Shark Bites
  • Philadelphia is 4-1 in its last 5 home games vs Atlanta.     
  • Atlanta is 15-3 in its last 18 games vs NL East teams.  
  • The UNDER is 4-1 in the last 5 head-to-head meetings.  
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