Time: 7:05 p.m. ET
Venue: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA
Where to watch: Bally Sports South, NBC Sports Philadelphia
Opening Odds at USA Sportsbooks
DraftKings: Phillies -155, Braves +135
FanDuel: Phillies -162, Braves +136
BetMGM: Phillies -161, Braves +135
Caesars: Phillies -160, Braves +135
We're coming down to the wire in the MLB season. Playoff races are heating up, pennant races are still to be decided, and MVP cases are still to be made. Are you in the right headspace to finish strong entering the postseason? Look no further than what Al McMordie has done as of late, going 53-37 in his last 90 in MLB plays! You know you want that type of winning in your life. Make sure you check out Al's and our other champion handicappers to see who they have down the stretch this season
Braves - Phillies preview and analysis
Braves vs. Phillies
The Philadelphia Phillies will not go quietly into the night. No matter the situation, this team tends to find a way to inch closer to the playoffs. And it’s likely going to happen with this new format, and the city of Philadelphia should be excited.
The Phillies are coming off a 1-0 win over the Atlanta Braves on Thursday to kick off a start to their weekend series against the defending World Series champions. The series continues Friday and the Phillies have to feel good about their game.
Sure, it was just a 1-0 victory for the Phillies but it bolstered their chances of getting that last wild card spot in the National League. They’re trying to pass the San Diego Padres and their inconsistent ridiculousness, and they’re reaping the benefits of it. Matt Vierling drove in the only run of the game on a sacrifice fly in the second inning. Other than that, Ranger Suarez threw six sharp innings.
"I just focused on throwing quality pitches," said Suárez, who earned a no-decision in his previous start against Atlanta last week. "That's the main thing. It's really tough when you face the same lineup back to back. We knew coming in that it would be like that, but I had a good plan with J.T."
Suddenly, the Phillies are in a really good spot. At the same time, they’re playing well enough to play spoiler for the Braves as they continue to push the New York Mets for the NL East title. The reigning world champs settling for the top wild card would be weird, but it’s the current state of how good the Mets are at this juncture.
But the Braves have slipped a little bit, falling 1.5 games behind the Mets with a three-game series in Atlanta set for next weekend. That will ultimately decide the division title and who is settling for that wild card spot. I wonder if the ghosts of Mets past want to win this as much as the current ones do. Don’t tell me you don’t remember the Braves of yesteryear winning 15 straight division titles and the Mets always playing the ugly stepchild.
If you’re the Phillies and you were able to win a 1-0 game with Max Fried pitching at the other end, you have to feel really good. Fried is a Cy Young candidate for a reason. He only lasted five innings but struck out eight. He did all he could, just the Philadelphia pitching staff did better.
"It's a really good lineup and when you face them in back-to-back starts, they are going to grind out at-bats," Fried said. "I would have loved to have been more efficient and gone deeper in the game."
Jake Odorizzi will take the mound for the Braves on Friday, carrying a 5-5 record with a 4.04 ERA. Veteran righty Aaron Nola will oppose him for Philadelphia. Despite a 3.38 ERA and a reliable low-scoring pitcher, Nola is 9-12 this season.
The Braves at some point are going to have to figure things out and get a win to get off the slide. Nola has done a great job keeping the runs at a minimum, but his starts tend to mean the Phillies don’t get enough offense. It’s a good chance for Atlanta to get back on track after just two runs in the last two games. Braves win 6-3
Braves are 1-7 when an underdog between +125 and +175 this year.
Braves are 20-4 when playing on Friday this season.
Phillies are 58-38 when favored this season.
Phillies are 24-25 when favored between -125 and -175 this season.
Dansby Swanson (R) SS
William Contreras (R) DH
Austin Riley (R) 3B
Travis d'Arnaud (R) C
Matt Olson (L) 1B
Vaughn Grissom (R) 2B
Michael Harris II (L) CF
Marcell Ozuna (R) LF
Robbie Grossman (S) RF
Kyle Schwarber (L) LF
Rhys Hoskins (R) 1B
Alec Bohm (R) 3B
Bryce Harper (L) DH
J.T. Realmuto (R) C
Jean Segura (R) 2B
Matt Vierling (R) CF
Bryson Stott (L) SS
Dalton Guthrie (R) RF
Batting average: Austin Riley -- .280
Home runs: Austin Riley -- 37
RBI: Austin Riley -- 92
Wins: Kyle Wright -- 19
ERA: Max Fried -- 2.50
Batting average: Alec Bohm -- .289
Home runs: Kyle Schwarber -- 40
RBI: Kyle Schwarber -- 85
Wins: Zack Wheeler -- 11
ERA: Aaron Nola -- 3.38
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