- NL East-leader Atlanta comes into Wednesday with a 3.5-game cushion over Philadelphia
- With St. Louis clinching the second Wild Card on Tuesday, the Phillies now need to win the NL East to make playoffs
- Read on for a preview, full odds, and a best bet for this crucial Wednesday evening contest
The Philadelphia Phillies (81-76, 34-42 away) visit the Atlanta Braves (84-72, 38-37 home) on Wednesday, September 28th, for the second in a three-game series that can make or break their season. Currently second in the NL East, 3.5 games back of Atlanta, the Phillies will be officially eliminated from postseason contention if they get swept.
The Braves come into this game on a roll, having now won four straight following Tuesday’s 2-1 victory over Philadelphia, which has now lost two in a row.
Phillies vs Braves Odds
|Philadelphia Phillies||+120||+1.5 (-170)||Over 8 (-115)|
|Atlanta Braves||-140||-1.5 (+150)||Under 8 (-105)|
Odds as of September 28th at DraftKings.
With Philadelphia essentially facing must-win games down the stretch this week, Aaron Nola and his 9-8 record will be first to go under the microscope on Wednesday.
Aaron Nola… here we go again!
— SportzStew Ⓥ (@sportzstewcom) September 24, 2021
While his 4.64 ERA is nothing to hang your hat on, he does have the luxury of going 1-1 against the Braves this year. Better still, the right-hander has gone 12-7 with a 3.28 ERA against them over his career, so Philly fans will be hoping the 28-year-old can recapture some of that former glory.
Nola vs Fried Stats
However, they will likely be mindful that most of his success against the Braves has come at home. At Truist Park, Nola is just 2-5 with a 4.56 ERA and hasn’t won there since the 2019 season. His last two starts there, in particular, are the stuff of pitching nightmares, with Nola giving up nine earned runs in a combined 6.2 innings.
Batting Average vs Starting Pitchers
|Braves Batters||Batting Average vs Aaron Nola|
|Phillies Batters||Batting Average vs Max Fried|
Braves fans will have few such worries around their starter, Max Fried. The left-hander is enjoying another standout season, having gone 13-7 with a 3.12 ERA so far. He comes into this game having pitched a complete-game 4-0 shutout of the San Diego Padres in his last start.
Another Max Fried masterpiece.
Complete game shutout. pic.twitter.com/kjPXXemAZh
— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) September 25, 2021
While he has had mixed success against the Phillies in his career, going 3-3 with a 4.43 ERA, he has been largely dominant at Truist Park, no matter the opposition. Fried has a career mark of 19-7 at the ballpark, with an ERA of 3.10.
Max Fried since the All-Star break:
.193 opponents batting average
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) September 25, 2021
And the results against them have been anything but great this year, with Fried having an 0-1 record in two starts giving up six earned runs across 10 innings.
Phillies On An NL East Roll
When it comes to playing teams within their own division, the Phillies have been laughing of late, winning 14 of their previous 18 games against teams in the NL East. That run has the team at 40-31 against its division rivals this season.
Within that record, Philadelphia has gone 8-9 against the Braves so far, with two more games still to play in 2021.
The two teams have been extremely closely matched in recent years, with the teams going 5-5 last year and 10-9 in Atlanta’s favour in 2019. You have to go back to 2018 to see one team really take control, as the Braves did that year with a 12-7 mark.
Phillies vs Braves Prediction
While the postseason still looks like an extremely long shot for the Phillies, for them to have really any shot at all, they basically have to win here. So Atlanta had best be ready for an extremely desperate ball club.
Pick: Phillies (+120)