Well, here we go. We’re now just a few hours away from the first Phillies playoff game hosted at Citizen’s Bank Park since 2011. The series with the Atlanta Braves is tied 1-1 going into tonight, and it’s down to Aaron Nola and the Phils to try and eek out a one-game lead going into the 4th of 5 games.
Let the chaos begin!
Aaron Nola (11-13, 3.25 ERA) vs Spencer Strider (11-5, 2.67 ERA)
The Phillies will be sending Aaron Nola to the mound tonight following his stunning shutout performance against the Cardinals in the Wild Card series. Nola has been excellent this year with spots of implosive pitching. He could go from a shutout performance one week to giving up 4 runs to the Cubs the next. Last week’s outing was one of the strongest we’ve seen this season and hopefully one that sparks a trend for this postseason run.
After a window of uncertainty, the Braves announced that they’ll be sending their prized rookie to the mound, pushing Charlie Morton’s start back a game. This does make sense to a point. Strider was previously dealing with an injury and hasn’t pitched in nearly a month. If the Phils were going to win this game regardless, it would be a lot more stressful with a rookie on the mound who’s less than 100%, pitching to keep his team in the series.
Strider still has a ton of upside. He made 3 starts against the Phils this year and 4 total appearances, allowing only 3 runs and striking out 34 batsmen. His ERA is no joke and has to be respected, but if there is ever a spot for him to falter, it’s in Philadelphia with heavy postseason implications.
Phillies vs Braves betting preview
This game is officially a coin-flip, with both teams priced at -115. The run total is 6.5
From a betting perspective, it’s hard not to like the Phillies. They’ll be high on confidence after splitting the road leg of the series and are now playing in a ballpark that’s been kind to them this year.
The Phillies went 40-41 on the road while going 47-34 at home, making their Game 1 victory in Atlanta all the more important. In ten matchups against the Braves at Citizens Bank Park, each team won five games.
I’ll be backing the Phillies tonight.
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