MLB Odds, Pick, Prediction: Phillies vs. Braves Betting Preview (Tuesday, September 28)
Mitchell Leff/Getty Images. Pictured: Zack Wheeler.
- The Braves are favored tonight as they look to put away the Phillies in the NL East race.
- Zack Wheeler takes the mound for Philadelphia and will be opposed by Charlie Morton.
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of the matchup, including a betting prediction.
Phillies vs. Braves Odds
|Time||7:20 p.m. ET|
The biggest series of the season for NL East teams begins on Tuesday with a three-game set between the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies. Atlanta currently has a 2.5-game lead on Philadelphia in the standings and can all but secure the division crown with a series win.
Both of these teams are 7-3 in their last 10 and likely need to win the division in order to make the postseason.
Philadelphia is 9-7 against the Braves this season and will have their ace on the mound Tuesday, but is that enough to chase down Atlanta?
Harper + Wheeler = Success
At one point this season, Zack Wheeler (RHP) was the betting favorite to win the NL Cy Young Award. While he likely will not end up winning the award, he’s been phenomenal this year, going 14-9 with a 2.79 ERA and 2.86 xFIP.
Wheeler ranks sixth in the league in ERA and second in xFIP. He throws a 97 miles per hour fastball with a terrific slider and sinker as well.
He has the second most strikeouts in the league and leads the league in innings pitched. He also has three complete games.
It might not be Wheeler taking home a trophy at the end of the year, but Bryce Harper probably will. The NL MVP favorite leads the league with a .435 wOBA and 173 wRC+ on the year. He’s been scorching hot since the start of August, batting .341 with a .493 wOBA and 210 wRC+.
As Harper goes, the Phillies’ offense goes, and they’ve picked things up during this hot streak.
Over the last 30 days, Philadelphia ranks sixth in wOBA and seventh in wRC+.
Atlanta will have Charlie Morton (RHP) on the mound and it has been a very Morton-esque season for him.
He’s always consistently good, not great. Morton is 13-6 with a 3.53 ERA and 3.35 xFIP on the year, and has lasted at least five innings in 28 of his 31 starts.
Morton’s 32nd start of the season will tie him for the league lead. As has long been the identity for “Ground Chuck,” he continues to rely on his fantastic curveball to generate ground balls, ranking 14th in the league with a 49.7% ground ball rate.
The Braves’ offense has been able to withstand the loss of Ronald Acuna Jr. for much of the year, ranking ninth in wOBA and 12th in wRC+ on the season. However they’ve slipped a bit recently, sitting 14th in wOBA and 17th in wRC+ in the last two weeks.
Atlanta currently has two guys in the top eight of the NL MVP odds in Freddie Freeman and Austin Riley. Both of them have a wOBA over .380 and a wRC+ over 135 this year.
Morton is as consistent as they come, and has been good all season. But Wheeler has been great. He’s been terrific all season and is 3-0 with a 1.14 ERA this month and hasn’t allowed more than one run in four straight starts.
Wheeler has faced Atlanta four times already this season and is 2-1 with a 1.35 ERA. He’s allowed just four runs with 34 strikeouts in 26.2 innings against the Braves.
Philadelphia has the starting pitching advantage in this matchup with Wheeler on the mound, but anyone who’s consistently watched the Phillies can tell you, it’s a constant sweat when the bullpen takes over.
Instead, I’ll back Philadelphia at -110 for the First Five Innings and would play them down to -115.
Pick: Philadelphia Phillies F5 -110