The summer is truly starting to heat up as the Philadelphia Phillies welcome the Atlanta Braves to town for a inter-divisional battle. After winning the weekend series against the Washington Nationals, the Phillies are hoping to continue their momentum with their big horses – Aaron Nola, Zack Wheeler, and Zach Eflin – set to pitch during the series. The Philly Phaithful are likely feeling hopeful knowing that these studs are toeing the rubber, but Atlanta fans have reason to think they will be the ones to take the series, and maybe be above .500 for the first time this season.
The Phillies studs vs. Braves
Although Nola has struggled as of late, he and the Zac(h & k) Attack have fared well against the Braves this season. They have held Atlanta to a .226/.262/.432 slash line with a 42:8 K:BB ratio this season. That is their best combined numbers against a team in the NL East this season. Not only have they been good against Atlanta this season, they have good numbers against their rival in their career too.
|Phillies – Starting Pitcher||BA||OBP||Slugging %|
The offense has already scored double digits twice in the early days of June – doubling their total double digit games form the first two months of the season. With the three headed monster ready to take the mound this week, and the offense hitting on all cylinders, fans have reason to be excited.
Braves have some studs too…
The Phils trio in the rotation might have the Braves number as a whole, but their two biggest names know how to crush the Phillies. Ronald Acuña Jr. and Freddie Freeman have a storied history of demolishing baseballs – and that story is no different against the Phillies.
In their careers, both Acuña and Freeman kill right handed pitching (which all three Phillies starters this series are) to the tune of 266 HRs and 814 RBIs. This season, they’ve combined for 22 HRs and 44 RBIs against right handed pitching, even though 2021 has been a down year offensively for Mr. Freeman thus far. Not only do they do well against righties, but they love checking the matchups and seeing Eflin, Nola, or Wheeler penciled in to the lineup card. Acuña and Freeman combine for a .316 AVG and a .572 slugging % when facing Wheeler, Eflin, and Nola in their careers.
The Phillies will need to change their luck if they want to over take the Braves in the standings, as they are below .500 (16-19) in starts from their studs. If the Braves are going to take the series and start making their push to take down the first place Mets, it will be the broad shoulders of Acuña and Freeman.
Photo Credit: John Jones/Icon Sportswire