The Philadelphia Phillies (24-27, 20-31 RL, 22-25-4 O/U) meet with the Atlanta Braves (31-20, 21-30 RL, 30-20-1 O/U) in the third of a four-game divisional showdown on Saturday evening. The Phillies will have Zack Wheeler on the hill. The Braves reply with veteran Charlie Morton. The Braves recorded an 8-5 win on Thursday and the Phillies posted a 6-4 win on Friday.
Wheeler Dealt Third Loss of May
Zack Wheeler will take the mound in this one. Wheeler had more trouble in his previous start, allowing four runs (three earned) in six innings against the Diamondbacks, and was hit with the loss. The veteran ace hasn’t been as dominant as last season, recording a 4.44 ERA this month and a 4.11 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP accompanied by a 3-4 record in 57 innings pitched on the season. Wheeler posted a sharp 2.70 ERA in three meetings against the Braves last season and has accrued a 3.16 ERA and a 10-7 record in 24 career meetings.
Philly is stumbling, dropping three out of their last four series including a series home loss against the Diamondbacks prior to this series. They have now lost seven out of their last ten bouts and are well behind the Braves atop the division. Philly is now on the road for 10 games. They were swept by the Giants in their previous road series.
Bryce hears ur boos #RingTheBell pic.twitter.com/neavG5GCzr— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) May 26, 2023
Nick Castellanos struggled to solve the Braves last season, collecting only seven RBIs and a .602 OPS but had two hits in the series opener. The veteran slugger is having a decent season, accumulating 26 RBIs and a .796 OPS. He is 1 for 13 with one RBI in his career against Morton.
The Phillies are scoring an average of 4.30 runs per game, ranking them 19th. The pitching has been a weakness, reporting a 4.62 team ERA, pegging them 23rd.
Morton Allows Six Runs in Loss to Dodgers
Charlie Morton will make his 10th start of the season. Morton was clobbered in his latest outing, surrendering six runs in five innings against the Dodgers, and was charged with the loss. The veteran has been steady for the most part, limiting his opponent to three or fewer runs in all but two of his starts, and is sporting a 3.61 ERA and a 1.41 WHIP complemented by a 5-4 record in 52.1 innings on the season. Morton struggled against the Phillies last year, yielding a horrible 5.47 ERA in 26.1 innings, and has amassed a 4.81 ERA and a 5-6 record in 86 career innings against the divisional rivals.
Atlanta was able to avoid a home sweep against the Dodgers by recording a 4-3 win on Wednesday and followed with an 8-5 victory in Thursday's series opener. The pitching wasn’t at its best in the series against the Dodgers, conceding 19 runs in three games. The Braves have won two out of their last three series and stand at 6-4 in their last ten decisions.
🎶 Coming up on ya from the South, the A-T-Liens ain't changed 🎶#OutkastNight 🛸 pic.twitter.com/FcQHV5fSXa— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) May 26, 2023
Ozzie Albies hit a stellar .333 along with a .772 OPS against the Phillies last season. The 26-year-old second baseman is having a productive season, bashing 10 bombs with 32 RBIs and a .780 OPS. Albies has cooled down recently, logging only three RBIs in his last ten games.
Atlanta is averaging 5.19 runs per game, good for fifth. The pitching is outstanding amassing a 3.65 team ERA, placing them fourth.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
The Philadelphia Phillies are stumbling, winning only four out of their last ten games. The squad was swept in their previous road series by the Giants and was dealt a series loss by the Diamondbacks this week. They have only won 10 of their 27 road games on the season. The Atlanta Braves have won two of their last three series.
Furthermore, Phillies’ starter Zack Wheeler hasn’t been nearly as strong as last season. The veteran has posted a subpar 4.44 ERA in his four outings this month and the Phillies have lost in three of his last four starts. While Braves’ starter Charlie Morton struggled last time out, the right-hander has been solid, conceding two or fewer runs in two of his last three starts.
Full-Game Total Pick
I expect plenty of scoring. The Phillies usually produce against Morton. The veteran surrendered 17 runs in 26.1 innings against them last season and has a weak 4.81 career ERA again the rivals. Morton has a 3.61 ERA on the season but his xERA is higher at 4.69.
In addition, Wheeler has stumbled when pitching on the road, giving up four or more runs in three of his four road outings on the season. The Phillies' pitching has been exploited, conceding an average of 5.2 runs in their last ten games including 17 runs in their last three bouts. The over is 7-1 in the last eight meetings between these rivals.