Prediction, Preview, and Odds
#4951 Atlanta Braves vs.
#4952 Philadelphia Phillies
Sunday, September 25, 2022 at 1:05pm EDT
Written by Blake V.

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Atlanta will wrap up its four-game series in Philadelphia on Sunday afternoon. The Braves came up short in the first two games of the series, including a 9-1 loss on Friday. This story was published prior to Saturday afternoon’s game, which was the third game of the series.

Braves trying to kickstart offense

Atlanta has been one of the top teams in the MLB during the second half of the season, but it is starting to look like the Braves are still going to come up short in the National League East. They rattled off an eight-game winning streak earlier this month before losing four of their next five games. Atlanta added another three-game losing skid this weekend heading into Saturday's game in Philadelphia. The Braves have already clinched their playoff spot, but they are 2.5 games back of New York in the NL East standings heading into Saturday's slate. They are on a seven-game road trip that concludes with three games in Washington next week.

Their offense still ranks inside the top 10 this season, but they have been in a cold stretch of late. Atlanta needs Dansby Swanson, Matt Olson and Austin Riley to get going heading into the playoffs. They are facing a Philadelphia pitching staff that is No. 16 with an ERA of 3.93. Right-handed pitcher Charlie Morton is going to be on the mound for Atlanta on Sunday afternoon. He allowed one run on three hits and three walks while striking out nine in 5.1 innings against Washington on Tuesday. Morton pitched into the sixth inning while striking out at least nine batters for the first time in five starts. He has been up-and-down in September, posting a 3.97 ERA and 1.15 WHIP across 22.2 innings (four starts).

Phillies need better showing from Gibson

Philadelphia has strengthened its playoff resume this weekend after bouncing back from a five-game losing streak that it suffered earlier in the week. The Phillies picked up an extra-innings win over Toronto on Wednesday before winning the first two games of this series. This will be their final home game of the regular season, as they are heading on the road for a 10-game trip that begins in Chicago on Tuesday. Philadelphia has not been able to compete in the NL East this season, but it has a 2.5-game lead over Milwaukee for the final NL Wild Card spot, as of Saturday morning.

The Phillies have been a strong offensive team, ranked seventh in the majors in batting average (.255). Third baseman Alec Bohm leads the way with 158 hits, while first baseman Rhys Hoskins has 136 hits. Left fielder Kyle Schwarber has hit 40 home runs and driven in 85 runs. They are facing an Atlanta pitching staff that is No. 5 with an ERA of 3.47. Right-hander Kyle Gibson is set to start for Philadelphia in the series finale. He is coming off a rough outing, allowing seven runs on 12 hits and a walk while striking out three in five innings against Toronto on Tuesday. Gibson gave up a run in four of his five frames, with 13 of the 27 batters he faced reaching safely. He has struggled in September, posting a 9.68 ERA and 2.15 WHIP in 17.2 innings, which has caused his season ERA to rise from 4.08 to 4.71.

Best Bets for this Game

Full-Game Side Bet

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While trends and form should be taken into account, the starting pitching matchup remains the most important factor when handicapping a baseball game. Atlanta has an edge in that department on Sunday afternoon, so I am going to back the Braves to close this series with a win. Morton is coming off his best start of the month, allowing just one run in five-plus innings. Gibson has been atrocious in September, with an ERA that has almost reached double digits. This is a nice spot for Atlanta’s offense to get going as the playoffs quickly approach.

Prediction: Atlanta Braves ML

Full-Game Total Pick

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Atlanta continues to go under the total as its offense remains in a cold stretch. I expect the Braves to break out of this mini slump somewhat on Sunday afternoon, but I still have to back the under in this game. They have gone under in six of their last seven games and have not shown the ability to hang a crooked number like they were earlier in the month. Philadelphia has been playing low-scoring games as well, cashing the under in four of its last six games. Morton should put together another solid start in this contest.

Prediction: Under
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Written By Blake Von Hagen , "Blake V."

Blake is a lifelong sports fan and hoops junkie. Prior to joining our team at Winners & Whiners and StatSalt, Blake worked for several newspapers and websites. He enjoys combining his beat writing expertise with the knack for finding the winning edge in a matchup. Blake is also an avid sports being expert and you would not be disappointed in following him on a daily basis. Remember, it’s a marathon, not a sprint. 
Follow on Twitter @Blake_Vonhagen