The Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves hook up in Philadelphia for Game 4 and a potential clinching game in the National League Division Series on Thursday.
Atlanta Braves (-162, 8.5) vs. Philadelphia Phillies
The Braves turn to Spencer Strider to improve on the start he had on the mound during the 2022 postseason in Philadelphia, where he surrendered five runs in 2 2/3 innings.
In his nine other appearances against the Phillies, Strider has had success, posting an 8-1 record and a 1.82 ERA — including just one earned run in seven innings allowed in Game 1 of this series.
Strider has also done his best work on the road this season, posting a 3.76 ERA with 13.4 strikeouts per nine innings between the regular season and the postseason. Despite his ERA shrinking to 3.36, his strikeouts per nine innings dipped to 12.3.
The Phillies have the bullpen advantage, owning the league’s third-best bullpen in ERA from September 1 and entering Game 3 with a 2.71 bullpen ERA compared to the Braves 5.03 ERA.
Ranger Suarez gets the start on the mound for the Phillies and will likely be aided heavily by the bullpen as he pitched just 3 2/3 innings in Game 1 of the series despite allowing no runs and just one hit in what turned out to be a 3-0 Phillies win, the first time the Braves were shut out at home this season.
Suarez has had issues at home this season, posting an overall 4.06 ERA between the regular season and postseason with a 5.45 ERA and 1.2 home runs per nine innings allowed at home. On the road, he posted a 2.59 ERA with 0.6 home runs per nine innings allowed.
Although the regular season numbers are less than favorable for Suarez at home this season, he’s delivered in Philadelphia in previous postseasons — and is facing a Braves team that has been uncharacteristically out of form in the playoffs.
The Braves led the league during the regular season in runs, home runs, and on-base percentage, but have scored just seven runs in the first three games of this series — their lowest output of runs in any three-game stretch since their series against the Oakland Athletics to end the month of May.
The Phillies offense also leads the league in home runs since the beginning of August and with an electric crowd behind them, will eliminate the Braves from the playoffs for a second straight season.
The Play: Phillies +136