Phillies vs. Braves Odds, Pick, Preview: The Best Bet for Thursday’s NL East Clash (September 30)
Todd Kirkland/Getty Images. Pictured: Ian Anderson #36 of the Atlanta Braves.
- The Phillies face the Braves in a must-win game to avoid elimination from playoff contention.
- Will Ian Anderson continue to find his form from last season when he was a Cy Young candidate?
- Continue reading for a full breakdown of the game, including a betting prediction.
Phillies vs. Braves Odds
|Over/Under||8.5 (-120 / +100)|
|Time||7:20 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute MLB odds odds here.|
In what could be the last meaningful game of the regular season for both teams, the Phillies will attempt to stay alive in the National League East race in Atlanta. Kyle Gibson will attempt to regain his form against Ian Anderson, who is looking more and more like the young pitcher we fell in love with a year ago.
With everything to play for, could the Phillies be a play here, or should we look at the total? Let’s answer that question by diving into this matchup.
It appeared for a moment that the Phillies were going to make a real run at the NL East. With nine wins in 12 games, they had undeniable momentum heading into a mid-week series in Atlanta, one which could have vaulted them into playoff position. At the start of the series, Philadelphia was just 2.5 games back of the Braves, and with Miami coming up this weekend to end the series, opportunity was knocking.
Well, the Phillies never answered the call. They’ve been outscored 9-3 in this series, failing to capitalize on another gem from Zack Wheeler on Tuesday and watching as Aaron Nola imploded on Wednesday. Now, the Phillies’ elimination number is just one — meaning just one loss, or one win by the Braves will officially end their playoff hopes.
The Phillies have only themselves to blame. They’ve sputtered at the worst time with an 85 wRC+ over the last week and the bullpen has posted a putrid 6.00 ERA over that span. Just about everything has gone wrong, so trotting out Kyle Gibson and his 7.16 September ERA for this one might not go so well.
Is Ian Anderson good? Well, he sure did look the part during last year’s postseason, but he’s had a rocky 2021. His strikeout rate dipped about 6%, and his hard-hit rate ballooned 7.2%. It’s very possible the guy we saw last year was a fluke, with a larger sample size necessary, but he is just 23 and still has an electric fastball.
We’ve seen a bit of an improvement lately as well. Anderson is coming off a gem of an outing against the Diamondbacks where he went seven innings and allowed just a run on two hits and a walk, striking out eight. While that was the Diamondbacks, it’s important to note that he’s struck out 24 in his last three outings and seems to be finding his swing-and-miss groove again. With the way the Phillies have been whiffing, this is a good matchup.
Atlanta’s staff has been the complete opposite of Philadelphia over the last week. Aside from throwing a competent starter, it owns a 3.32 bullpen ERA. With that said, this offense actually rates worse than Philadelphia’s in wRC+ over the last week and has a 25.5% strikeout rate during that time.
It may be cringe-worthy to do this, but I’m going to be taking the under here in a game that means the world to both teams. These offenses are sluggish, and while Gibson has struggled, he’s still put together a great season and should find success against a lineup waving at everything.
On the other side of the coin, I couldn’t love the matchup any more for Anderson. I think this has a playoff feel and we get a tight finish.
Pick: Under 8.5 (-120)