The Philadelphia Phillies are one game away from an NLCS Berth. One. More. Game. After exploding against the Braves to take a 2-1 series lead, the Phils will look to seal the deal this afternoon. The Bats woke up and then some on Friday night, with the team pumping 9 runs in as the excitement levels in Citizen’s Bank Park surged to new heights.
Can they go one further and secure their NLCS berth today?
Phillies vs Braves Pitching matchup
Charlie Morton (9-6, 4.34 ERA) vs Noah Syndergaard (10-10, 3.94 ERA)
The Braves have tried to be tactical here. Would you rather your rookie pitcher throw in game 3 of the series where there’s a safety net of a 4th game, or risk Charlie Morton suffering the same fate and having all the pressure in the world on such a young talent? The answer is logical and as a result, Morton takes the mound tonight.
He’s had a strong year, but it should be worth noting that he struggled as the season wound to a close, posting an ERA of 6.25 over his final 5 starts, per Sportsbook Wire.
This should at least inspire some hope here. The Phillies are playing a similar strategy, knowing that Syndergaard is pitching today in a strong spot. It was either Thor, Bailey Falter, or Kyle Gibson. Both of the latter pitchers, like Morton, really struggled over their most recent starts.
Syndergaard has only made one start over the past month so may well be limited. The good news is that the bullpen is rested and bursting at the seams with confidence going into game 4.
- Moneyline: Philadelphia Phillies +105 | Atlanta Braves -130)
- Run Line: Atlanta Braves -1.5 | Philadelphia Phillies +1.5 (-165)
- Over/Under: 8.5
As much as it would be easy to bet the under here, this is a fairly weak pitching matchup and the Braves are in desperation mode. It’s a must-win game for Atlanta and with that increased sense of urgency, should come a bump in scoring. The Phillies will be riding a wave of confidence and should continue to punch in runs for fun, meaning the total of 8.5 should comfortably sail in. That’s where I’ll be putting my money today.
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AP Photo/Matt Slocum