Braves vs Phillies Prediction
The Braves (47-48) and Phillies (47-48) will play in the second game of a four-game series on Friday night. The first pitch for the NL East foes is at 7:05 p.m.
The Braves earned a game one win on Thursday night behind a Dansby Swanson grand slam in the third inning. This was Swanson’s first-ever grand slam.
With that win the Braves are now within four games of the New York Mets and tied Philadelphia for second place in the division. Atlanta has won the past three NL East titles.
“We’ve done a good job of preventing us from slipping into a hole by losing eight or nine in a row, that hasn’t happened,” starting pitcher Charlie Morton said.
Morton (9-4) allowed two earned runs in six innings pitched with eight strikeouts. The Braves have been battling to overcome the loss of their star Ronald Acuna Jr. Atlanta announced yesterday that Acuna underwent successful surgery Wednesday on his torn right ACL.
Game Two 101
In game two tonight, both teams are bringing out solid starting pitching.
The starter on the mound for Atlanta Thursday night is Max Fried. Fried is 7-5 on the season with a 4.29 ERA along with 79 strikeouts.
Fried has faced Philadelphia one time this year all the way back on April 1st. The Braves dropped that one 3-2 in a no-decision for Fried who went five innings giving up six hits and two earned runs.
The 27-year-old pitched a gem in his last start on the mound this past Saturday. Fried went seven innings with four hits, zero earned runs and seven strikeouts in a 9-0 win over the Tampa Bay Rays.
The left-hander has put together back to back solid starts and has won four of his last five starts.
Fried uses an arsenal of about four pitches including a fastball, curveball, slider, and sinker. The fastball touches 94 mph and a curveball that has 21 inches of movement on it with a 49 % strike percentage.
This fastball and curveball combo has made Fried a solid young starter for the Braves in their rotation.
The Phillies hit .256 off lefties with a .332 OBP and .416 slugging. These are all better than when they face righties.
Philadelphia will trout Zack Wheeler out for his 20th start of the year. Wheeler is 7-5 in his 19 starts with a 2.44 ERA which is good enough for 8th in the MLB along with the second-most strikeouts in the Majors with 152.
Wheeler has faced the Braves three times this year with the last matchup coming on June 6, which the Phillies won 4-3 in 10 innings. Wheeler pitched eight strong innings with four hits and no earned runs.
The 31-year-old right-hander is 1-1 against the Braves with a combined 1.53 ERA with just 12 hits. He has been consistently strong facing the Braves lineup this year that is now without their star hitter Ronald Acuna Jr.
The former sixth pick in the 2009 MLB draft features mainly three pitches in his fastball, sinker, and slider. Wheeler has a 97 mph fastball paired with a slider that hitters have a .177 batting average against this season.
Wheeler’s sinker has a 91% active spin rate which makes it an incredibly tough pitch to hit. Zack is also accurate with his pitches with over 50% finding the zone.
Braves vs Phillies Prediction
Based on the two guys on the mound this should shape up to be a low-scoring game. Both Wheeler and Fried are among some of the best second-tier pitchers in the majors.
The Phillies do much better against lefties while the Braves have struggled to do much of anything against Wheeler.
I like the Phillies in this matchup to get past the Braves by a couple of runs behind a strong outing on the mound for Zack Wheeler.