Atlanta will try to snap an important two-game losing streak when it faces Philadelphia on Friday night. The Braves lost their series finale against Washington on Wednesday and added a 1-0 loss in Philadelphia on Thursday. The Phillies added some cushion to their lead in the National League Wild Card race with Thursday’s win.
Braves trying to snap two-game skidAtlanta has been one of the hottest teams in the MLB during the second half of the season, but the Braves have cooled off a bit of late. They lost four games in a five-game stretch against Seattle and San Francisco two weeks ago before responding with a five-game winning streak that included a sweep over Philadelphia. Atlanta took the first two games of its series with Washington, but it lost to the Nationals on Wednesday. The Braves were unable to bounce back on Thursday, dropping a 1-0 final. They have already clinched a playoff spot, but they are 1.5 games back of the Mets in the NL East.
Atlanta has been a great offensive team this season, ranked eighth in the MLB in batting average (.253). Shortstop Dansby Swanson leads the way with 164 hits, while third baseman Austin Riley has hit 37 home runs and driven in 92 runs. They are facing a Philadelphia pitching staff that is No. 17 with an ERA of 3.95. Right-handed pitcher Jake Odorizzi is going to be on the mound for Atlanta on Friday night. He allowed one run on two hits and one walk across 4.2 innings against Philadelphia last Saturday. Odorizzi has failed to complete six innings in six of his seven starts since joining the team, and he brings a 4.04 ERA into this start.
Phillies trying to shore up playoff positionPhiladelphia has been very streaky over the last two weeks, but it is still in a playoff position right now. The Phillies went on a five-game winning streak earlier this month, with those wins coming against Washington and Miami. They lost their five games after that, falling to Miami once, Atlanta three times and Toronto once. The Phillies responded with a 4-3 win over the Blue Jays on Wednesday and Thursday’s 1-0 win over Atlanta. They are 2.5 games ahead of Milwaukee for the final NL Wild Card spot heading into Friday’s slate, and they are a half-game back of San Diego for the second spot.
Appreciation post for these two guys. pic.twitter.com/tchysEeHRI— Philadelphia Phillies (@Phillies) September 23, 2022
The Phillies have relied on their offense this season, ranked seventh in team batting average (.255). Third baseman Alec Bohm leads the way with 155 hits, while first baseman Rhys Hoskins has 133 hits. They are facing an Atlanta pitching staff that is No. 5 with an ERA of 3.43. Right-hander Aaron Nola is going to start for Philadelphia on Friday. He allowed four runs on seven hits and two walks while striking out eight across seven innings against Atlanta last Saturday. Nola has allowed four-plus runs in three of his last six outings, but he has allowed one or fewer in the other three starts. He has a 3.38 ERA and 0.98 WHIP overall this season.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
A Philadelphia win on Friday night would not be surprising, but the Phillies are favored too heavily at -145. They were just swept by the Braves last week and do not have as strong of a pitching staff or lineup, especially with Ronald Acuna set to rejoin Atlanta’s lineup on Friday. Nola was tagged for four runs when these teams met last weekend, including a pair of home runs from Acuna. Odorizzi allowed just one run in that game, so he will bring some confidence into this start. The Braves are 15-3 in their last 18 divisional games, and they could desperately use a win on Friday.
Full-Game Total Pick
These teams have both been going under the total at a high rate of late, including Atlanta cashing the under in six consecutive games. The Braves have gone under in five of their last six road games, while Philadelphia has gone under in four of its last five contests. Atlanta’s offense has cooled off over the past week, failing to score more than five runs in any of their games. They are facing a starting pitcher who has been solid all season, so I do not expect them to post a crooked number on Friday. Philadelphia struggled against Odorizzi last weekend, making the under look like a strong play.