After only winning one game in their series with the Marlins, the Phillies continue their road trip and stretch of division opponents. Next stop is Atlanta where they face the Braves in a three game series. This series is crucial as the result of this series will dictate how far the Phillies will be behind the Braves heading into the All-Star break.
Probable Pitching Matchups
Game one: Aaron Nola (6-2, 4.22 ERA) vs. Dallas Keuchel (1-1, 5.06 ERA)
Game two: Nick Pivetta (4-2, 5.63 ERA) vs. Bryse Wilson (0-0, 8.31 ERA)
Game three: Zach Eflin (7-7, 3.34 ERA) vs. Mike Soroka (9-1, 2.13 ERA)
Although the last time these two teams squared off it did not end well for the Phillies, this is a good opportunity to rack up some wins and gain some ground back in the division race. Heading into Tuesday’s game the Braves have a 5.5 game lead on the Phillies in the NL East. Also, although the Braves won the last series against the Phillies, the Phillies still have the season advantage in the matchup. The Phillies have won four out of the six games against the Braves thus far this season.
Game one is great opportunity to set the tone and win a game to kick off the series. The Phillies will be skipping Vince Velasquez’s start and will put Aaron Nola on the mound who looks to be back in ace form. He is coming off two great starts where he racked up double digits strikeouts in each game. It would also be a sweet victory because Nola will be facing off against Dallas Keuchel who the Phillies chose not to sign this past offseason. Keuchel has not been off to the best start after signing with the Braves, he has given up at least three earned runs in both of his starts this season.
This series is huge for the Phillies. They cannot afford to lose, and getting swept would be disastrous. If they were to get swept, the deficit would not be impossible to overcome, but the Phillies would most likely have their eye on a wildcard spot. The Phillies need to keep the race close if they want to be in any position to chase a division title in August. Digging themselves into a bigger hole would likely make Matt Klentak and the front office more reluctant to be buyers at the trade deadline.
The Phillies bats started to heat up at the end of their series with the Marlins just in time for this series. Not to mention in games one and two they will be facing off against two Braves pitchers that have been struggling as of late. They need to capitalize on this opportunity to have good momentum heading into the break.
Stats to keep an eye on
- Bryse Wilson has given up at least four earned runs in both of his starts this season.
- Bryce Harper seems to be heating up, over his last 15 games he has three home runs and 11 RBI’s
- JT Realmuto is hitting .320 over his last seven games.
- Over his last 15 games Freddie Freeman is hitting .311 with 17 RBI’s.
- Dansby Swanson is batting .385 over his last seven games.