Phillies vs Braves NLDS Odds, Schedule
Getty Images. Pictured: Matt Olson and Alec Bohm.
Phillies vs. Braves NLDS Odds
|Phillies Series Price||+160|
|Braves Series Price||-190|
- Game 1: Tuesday, Oct. 11 (1:07 p.m. ET, FOX)
- Game 2: Wednesday, Oct. 12 (4:35 p.m. ET, FOX)
- Game 3: Friday, Oct. 14
- Game 4: Saturday, Oct. 15 (if necessary)
- Game 5: Sunday, Oct. 16 (if necessary)
- World Series Odds: +1100
- Pennant Odds: +460
- Regular Season Record: 87-75
- Pythagorean Record: 87-75
- Team wRC+ (Rank): 106 (10th)
- Starting Pitching xFIP (Rank): 3.54 (4th)
- Bullpen xFIP (Rank): 3.98 (19th)
How They Got Here
Kyle Schwarber led the league in home runs. Bryce Harper put up another monster season (140 wRC+), although he played mostly through injuries. J.T. Realmuto was, again, one of the best-hitting catchers in baseball. Aaron Nola finished second in the NL in fWAR (5.9) and Zack Wheeler finished 11th (4.2). Both pitchers looked like aces at times this year.
Yet the Phillies scraped by, finishing third in the NL East and third in the wild-card race. Their record was largely carried by a 16-3 record against the Nationals. The Phillies went 70-73 with a +12-run differential against everyone else, including 5-14 against the Mets and 8-11 against the Nationals.
The Phillies started the season horrendously, but picked themselves up and built momentum the rest of the way to clinch the franchise’s first postseason berth in 11 years.
This should be a very scary offense.
The key is Nick Castellanos. This is a guy who has posted a wRC+ above 120 in three of his past four seasons, including a 139 mark last year.
What happened to that guy?
That guy stopped hitting the curve. While his xwOBA on fastballs, breaking balls and offspeed pitches all dropped about the same, his exit velocity dropped significantly more on the latter two.
That has led to a massive drop in his overall production.
However, Castellanos might be gearing up just in time for a postseason run. He’s slashed .310/.346/.465 with an .811 OPS since August 1st. He’s beginning to hit for average again and has smacked five dingers in the 34 games since.
If Castellanos becomes the guy we expected him to be at the beginning of the season, that gives the Phillies six plus-hitters. The top half of the lineup consists of …
- Bryce Harper (140 OPS+)
- Kyle Schwarber (130 OPS+)
- J.T. Realmuto (129 OPS+)
- Rhys Hoskins (123 OPS+)
The lineup is a scary on and is likely as productive and powerful as any lineup in baseball.
Also, look out for the youngster, Bryson Stott. The rookie had a slow start, but has excellent bat-to-ball skills and has hit .300 since August. He has yet to flash the power, but on-base skill is never a bad thing in a postseason series.
Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola are as good of a one-two punch as Jacob deGrom and Max Scherzer.
That’s a hot take, probably too hot of a take. However, it suggests just how high I am on these two.
Nola is one of the best pitchers in the game. Only Miami’s Sandy Alcantara had more starts of seven or more innings pitched and two or fewer runs allowed than Nola, who had 11. He’s a real workhorse who may have gotten a little unlucky (3.25 ERA, 2.74 xERA).
Wheeler didn’t put together the same outing he did last year, but putting up an ERA under 2.85 over 150 innings is very solid.
Wheeler led the league in innings last season. Nola finished second in innings pitched this year. These two can pitch seven-to-nine innings of near-shutout ball on any given night.
However, depth is a major issue. The back-half of the rotation will consist of Ranger Suarez, Kyle Gibson and Bailey Falter.
Suarez took a huge step back this season. Gibson hasn’t been the same pitcher since leaving Texas. Falter is just 25 and working his way into the rotation.
The Phillies did finish fourth in the National League in reliever fWAR this season, but I’m not excited to back the Phillies at the end of the game.
The Phillies’ reliever ERA this season was 4.24, which finished 23rd among all MLB teams. The Phillies reliever xFIP was slightly better, but not by much (3.97). I wouldn’t expect much positive regression.
They picked up Corey Knebel from the Dodgers and slid him into the closer role, where he picked up 12 saves. But he was hurt in early August and shouldn’t be returning. Brad Hand was another offseason pickup, but he’s been hurt and I can tell you Phillies fans are not excited for his return.
The key to this bullpen will be the duo of Jose Alvarado and Seranthony Dominguez, who combined for 2.6 fWAR this season.
Jose Alvarado is a menace. He posted a 38% strikeout rate and a 56% ground-ball rate this season. His 2.53 xERA, 1.91 FIP and 2.16 xFIP show he’s due for plenty of positive regression and his 3.18 ERA was driven by a .340 BABIP.
Dominguez has a monster fastball. It travels 98 mph on average and ranks above the 75th percentile in spin rate. But he gets hit hard often (46.2% hard-hit rate, 4th percentile) and needs to avoid barrels to be effective. –Tanner McGrath
- World Series Odds: +600
- Pennant Odds: +260
- Regular Season Record: 101-61
- Pythagorean Record: 100-62
- Team wRC+ (Rank): 111 (7th)
- Starting Pitching xFIP (Rank): 3.50 (3rd)
- Bullpen xFIP (Rank): 3.70 (6th)
How They Got Here
Is any team entering the postseason on a better run than the Atlanta Braves? The Braves swept the Mets two weekends ago to essentially clinch their fifth straight National League East title, but it’s more than just that weekend series as Atlanta went 18-8 (.692) in September.
Of course, the reigning World Series Champions were supposed to be good, so it’s not exactly a surprise to see the Braves in the postseason. However, Atlanta has stepped it up a notch this season. The Braves haven’t had a losing month since May and won 100 games for the first time since 2003.
The roster was talented entering the season, but the Braves have also had several key cogs develop throughout the year. Spencer Strider — who finished the regular season on the injured list — emerged as a front-line starting pitcher and Michael Harris emerged as the favorite to win the National League Rookie of the Year award after making his Major League debut in late May.
The loss of Freddie Freeman would significantly downgrade for most teams, but Atlanta was able to acquire Matt Olson prior to the season (and prior to Freeman’s departure) and he certainly helped fill that void. Olson tallied more than 30 homers and drove in more than 100 runs for the second time in as many years. He also finished in the top 10% of the league in average exit velocity, hard-hit% and barrel %.
The aforementioned Harris also played a key role and gave the offense an added dimension as he swiped 20 bags. Austin Riley took a step forward and hit a career-high 38 homers, Dansby Swanson set career highs in hits, stolen bases and RBI and, of course, the Braves still have superstar Ronald Acuna Jr., who was hurt for last season’s World Series run.
All of that adds up to a team that finished second in the National League in runs per game.
Strider’s health will be something to monitor going forward as he pitched to a 2.67 ERA (.240 xERA) this season and ranked in the 96th percentile in xERA/xwOBA. If Strider is healthy, that’ll give the Braves’ rotation a big boost. Without Strider, Max Fried and Kyle Wright are solid options and Charlie Morton has plenty of big game experience, but isn’t the pitcher he used to be.
Fried headlines the staff and is coming off an impressive regular season campaign. The lefty pitched to a 2.86 xERA and ranked in the 90th percentile or better in the following categories: average exit velocity, hard-hit%, barrel% and chase rate.
The Dodgers are perhaps the Braves’ biggest competition in the National League and when it comes to the Dodgers, their weakness may be figuring out who is pitching the ninth inning. How does that relate to the Braves? Well, Kenley Jansen, after spending the past 12 years in Los Angeles, signed with the Braves prior to this season and led the National League in saves.
Not only did Jansen reach the 40-save plateau for the fourth time in his career, he also ranked in the 90th percentile or better in xERA/xwOBA, hard-hit percentage, xBA, xSLG, fastball spin and strikeout percentage.
Jansen’s dominance will certainly come in handy in the postseason, but he’s not the only contributor. As a whole, the Braves’ bullpen finished second in the NL in ERA, WHIP and batting average against. –Will Boor