Spring Training Preview: Phillies host Braves for the first time since NLDS

Typically when the Braves come to town, there isn’t a joyous feeling among Phillies fans.

Aside from the fact that it’s Spring Training and the best players on both teams are playing in the World Baseball Classic, there still is a different feeling when it comes to the Atlanta Braves. After the Phillies eliminated them in the 2023 NLDS, it feels like the Phillies have finally gotten over the hump with the division rival.

For some reason, if things go back to the status quo, we’ll always have this moment.

Phillies vs Braves betting odds

Moneyline: Phillies -130 | Braves +110

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Starting Lineup and Pitchers

The Phillies are running out of a starting lineup for today’s action. Minus the players who have left the team for the WBC, everyone in this lineup (minus John Hicks) will start games for the Phillies in 2023.

Cristopher Sanchez will toe the rubber with the Phils today. Sanchez has been dealing with back issues in camp and has not yet started a game. With Ranger Suarez most likely being out til April, it gives Sanchez a chance to force his way into the starting rotation.

Watson’s Watchlist

I will be at the game in Clearwater this afternoon. The following is what I am looking to see from the Phillies today.

Nick Castellanos 2-Hit Game

The former All-Star has not had a good start to his Spring Training. While many Phillies fans are worried that the Nick Castellanos of old may never return, I have full faith in Nick to bounce back.

Having a couple of days with multiple hits would be really good for Castellanos’ confidence and for the fans’ well-being. I would like to watch the Nicky C of old in today’s action.

Opportunities for Sosa

The Phillies are giving Edmundo Sosa another chance to play center field today. With Sosa trying to learn the position on the fly, I would like to see him get some opportunities to make plays in the outfield.

Running to his right and being forced to catch balls on the run is just one example of the less routine kinds of plays that can occur in the outfield. We all know the Florida sun and wind can make fly balls exciting as well.

Giving Edmundo a chance to shine would be a real positive takeaway from today’s game.

Phillies vs Braves betting odds