The Atlanta Braves have already clinched a playoff berth with their divisional title in the NL East. However, they’re still looking for the top seed in the NL Playoffs. That would provide Atlanta with home-field advantage until the World Series.
Therefore, Atlanta will still try to win games for the next few weeks. They’ll take on a Philadelphia Phillies team that is currently in the top spot of the NL Wild Card.
The Phillies are nowhere close to the Braves in the MLB standings. But they’ve got the best record in the NL Wild Card. While it’s likely that the Phillies make the postseason, it’s not official. Philadelphia must finish the season strong to stay in the NL Wild Card hunt filled with five other teams.
Can the Phillies win in the series’ first game to start the week?
Look at the Phillies vs Braves odds for Game 1 of this NL East rivalry weeknight series.
Location: Truist Park
Will Ronald Acuna Jr. Be Alright?
The answer is yes.
But the Braves were concerned over the weekend when Ronald Acuna left Friday’s game against the Marlins with right calf tightness.
Acuna described it more like a cramp. But the Braves will likely want to ensure all is good before putting him back in the fire.
Acuna didn’t play on Saturday or Sunday and is questionable for the series opener against the Phillies.
The right-handed hitter has an OPS above 1.000 and is on pace to accumulate 40+ home runs and 100+ RBIs with a batting average that could reach .340
He’s played the second-most games ever in a season, and it’s likely catching up to Acuna. The potential NL MVP is also on pace for 70+ stolen bases, and he’s never had more than 37 in a season up until this year.
Acuna’s last entire season came in 2019. But he only hit .280 with an OBP of .365. His WAR was at 5.5. This year, it’s nearing 8.
Because the Braves already clinched the NL East, the Braves should have Acuna sit as many games as possible. But he’s chasing an MVP and many records with how well this season has gone. Therefore, you know that Acuna will want to play every game leading up to the playoffs.
We’ll see how the Braves monitor Acuna’s calf injury.
Phillies Manager Created Chaos!
Rob Thomson wasn’t happy with Ronald Acuna’s home run trot over last week. The Phillies manager argued that the players should act like they’ve been there before.
This is an ongoing debate that will never end.
Some people believe that the game should be more fun and energetic. Those people love when they get to see bat flips and celebrations.
Meanwhile, others believe players need to be more professional with their approach. Those people also think you must hit home runs and put your head down while running the bases.
That approach is the old-school approach. The celebration and fun home run trot is the new school. Players can be offended all they want. But the best way to stop others from celebrating is by performing.
Eventually, Thomson backtracked his statements when there was some backlash.
Ronald Acuna replied to Thomson on Twitter, saying, “If you don’t like it, stop it. If you can’t stop it, admire it. If you can’t admire it, keep it down so everyone else can enjoy the show.”
It’s a difficult concept for the older generation to understand. But we’re in a new world now. The MLB will bring in more fans by having fun celebrations that can be cut for social media. Without fans, the sport is nothing.
Below, we’ll look at the Phillies vs Braves odds and probable pitchers for Game 1 of the series.
Early Odds:RL Atlanta -1.5 (+155), ML Atlanta -125, O/U 9 -120/+100
⚾ Game 1 ⚾
Zack Wheeler vs Kyle Wright
Zach Wheeler will get the start for the Phillies in Game 1 of the series. Wheeler has struck out nearly 30% of batters in the last 30 days, holding teams to a .148 ISO and wOBA of .260. He’s also induced almost 50% of ground balls and has only walked 5% of batters in that time.
Throughout the season, he has struggled with lefties, giving up a .153 ISO and wOBA of .314. But he’s recently been much better against lefties over the last 30 days.
His last 59 lefties faced have only hit a .089 ISO and wOBA of .234 over the previous month. He’s also induced nearly 55% of grounders against lefties in that time.
On the other hand, Wheeler has only walked 5% of his last 121 batters and has limited line drives to 15.2%. The All-Star righty has earned nearly 31% of whiffs and almost 17% of swinging strikes. These are way above-average numbers over the last 30 days.
Wheeler will face Kyle Wright of the Braves. Wright returned to the mound last Monday after being injured in early May. He faced the Phillies last week and allowed six runs on six hits in three innings. He’s had an up-and-down career when it comes to consistent baseball scores.
Wright allowed a .214 ISO and wOBA of .475 to those 18 batters. Before his injury, Wright allowed a .312 ISO and wOBa of .459 to his 43 lefties. He also allowed a .372 wOBA to 111 batters this season. Still, he earned a 56.2% ground ball rate and limited fly balls to just 15.1%.
But he struggled against this Phillies lineup last week. We can’t forget that.
The Philadelphia projected lineup has an ISO above .275 and a wOBA of nearly .400 against righties in the last month. They’ve got plenty of guys who will strike out at a high rate. But they’ve got batters hitting extra-base hits more frequently. Only J.T. Realmuto and Nick Castellanos have struggled to hit righties for power over the last month. Castellanos is an All-Star hitter, but he’s not batting 8th in the lineup against righties.
That’s ultimately how deep the Phillies’ lineup is.
The team has hit over 31% of fly balls and line drives as a lineup and has averaged over 56% of hard contact against righties. They’re a difficult team to get out right now. Wright saw it last week.
Meanwhile, the Braves have smashed an ISO of nearly .225 and a wOBA of close to .375 against righties in the last month. They’ve got five batters hitting an ISO of at least .234 with a wOBA of at least .402.
This lineup has also smashed over 29% of fly balls and line drives and has hit nearly 50% of hard contact. Austin Riley, Marcell Ozuna, Orlando Arcia, and Kevin Pillar are the four batters hitting at a really high rate. Travis d’Arnaud also has a .300 ISO over the last month.
Wheeler typically puts up low MLB scores, but our MLB predictions is that we see the Over hit in this game. When looking at the Phillies vs Braves odds, the Phillies are at +105, while the Braves are at -125. Meanwhile, the total is 9, with the Over juiced to -120. We’d grab Over 9 in this game, with many consistent hitters ready to perform in the series opener.
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