Featured Video from Scott Reichel
The Atlanta Braves will face up against the Philadelphia Phillies in game 2 of their series from the Citizens Bank Park on Wednesday evening. Dallas Keuchel, who is 7-5 with a 3.47 ERA, will start for the Braves, while Zach Eflin (8-11, 4.31 ERA) will begin for the Phillies.
Braves lose two in three
Prior to their two losses in the last three games, the Braves were in tearaway form, racing away to nine consecutive wins. They now have a 90-56 record, first in the NL East. In their previous game, however, they were beaten 6-5 by the Philadelphia Phillies.
After winning the series opener 7-2, the Phillies came fighting back in game 2. “It’s a good-hitting team over there and when you leave some pitches over the middle of the plate that aren’t as sharp as they normally are, they’re going to hit them,” starter Max Fried said.
The pyrotechnics of the Braves has come down to their batting efficiency which is in the top third of the MLB in all major batting stats. Here’s the breakdown: runs scored (783, 6th in the league), batting average (.259, 8th in the MLB), on-base percentage (.339, 7th) and a slugging percentage of .457, which puts them 6th in the MLB.
Nick Markakis, battling a wrist injury, is expected to participate in live batting on Wednesday. He is currently on the 10-day injured list.
Phillies keep improving
The Phillies may not have the same form and confidence that the Braves do. But they’ve still had a very good season. Three wins in their last four games have taken them to a 75-69 record, third in the NL East, still 14 games behind Atlanta in the division.
— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) September 11, 2019
Comparative to the Braves, the Phillies don’t have great batting statistics, but they are still in the top half in the league. They have hit 705 runs, 13th in the MLB, and also have a batting average of .248, which puts them 19th in the league.
Seranthony Dominguez will get back on the field to do some light catching as he recovers from an elbow injury.
Philadelphia Phillies are:
- 3-7 in their last 10 after scoring 5 runs or more in their previous game.
- 2-5 in their last 7 when their opponent allows 5 runs or more in their previous game.
Atlanta Braves are:
- 5-0 in their last 5 Wednesday games.
- 6-1 in their last 7 road games vs. a team with a winning record.
- 5-1 in their last 6 games vs. a starter with a WHIP greater than 1.30.
- 10-3 in their last 13 when their opponent allows 5 runs or more in their previous game.
- 6-2 in their last 8 games following a loss.
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
After game 2, the Braves will consider their 6-5 loss an anomaly, the one bad day that every MLB team will have every so often in a competitive tournament like this one. But in almost all match-ups, the Braves are much better than the Phillies: batting, efficiency, pitching, form, confidence. It will take another special play for the Phillies to stay in touch, but I don’t see them matching up with the batting efficiency of the Braves.
Prediction: Atlanta Braves
Full-Game Total Pick
These are two very strong batting units. The Braves are one of the best batting teams in the country. They should score several runs. But not just the efficiency of the Braves, the Phillies are no pushovers in batting either.
They have notched up their fair share of runs this season, which even puts them in the top half of the MLB. Keuchel might have a strong game against Philadelphia, but that might not be enough to prevent the total from heading over.
Prediction: Over 9.5