Atlanta Braves @ Philadelphia Phillies / MLB 2022 Predictions & Preview

Atlanta tries to chase down the Mets and repeat last weekend’s sweep of the Phillies when the two teams meet in Thursday night’s series opener. Check out our expert prediction for the game, along with all stats and odds.

Two teams right in the thick of things for the NL postseason meet up when the Atlanta Braves visit the Philadelphia Phillies on Thursday to kick off a four-game weekend series.

These two squads met up last weekend, with Atlanta picking up a three-game sweep at home, pushing the Braves’ mark to 9-6 head-to-head this season.

The Braves are still trying to chase down New York in the NL East, currently just a game back with 13 to play. Philadelphia currently holds the third and final wild card spot with a 2.5-game lead over the Brewers.

Atlanta Braves Overview

The Braves have won four straight NL East crowns, so they want to track down the Mets, who have been atop the division all season. Atlanta didn’t help their cause any with a 3-2 loss to the last place Nationals on Wednesday, but they had won five of six games prior.

Thursday’s pitching matchup features Max Fried (13-6, 2.52 ERA) vs. Ranger Suarez (9-5, 3.53 ERA), which should give Atlanta the edge. Fried is on a roll in September, posting a 2.12 ERA in three starts this month.

Fried is making his second straight start against Philadelphia, throwing 6.0 IP last Friday and giving up two solo HRs. Overall he has a 3.50 ERA in three starts vs. the Phillies this season but hasn’t picked up a decision in any of those outings.

The Atlanta bats will try to get to Suarez on Thursday as they face him for the fifth time this season. William Contreras is 5-11 with two HRs against the Phillies starter, which should help pick up some slack from Dansby Swanson, who is just 2-15 in his career vs. Suarez.

Philadelphia Phillies Overview

The Phillies are hoping for some better results compared to when they were swept in Atlanta last weekend. Philadelphia still has an 85% chance to make the postseason as they try to hold off Milwaukee for the third wild card spot. It really is just a two-team race for the last postseason position as the next closest team is the Giants, who are 9.5 back from Philadelphia.

Philadelphia just wrapped up a two-game split with Toronto, with Wednesday’s 4-3 win being much different than their 18-11 loss on Tuesday. The Phillies are home underdogs on Thursday in the series opener against Atlanta, but they have value, with Kyle Schwarber leading the NL with 40 HRs and J.T. Realmuto going deep three times in the past week as well.

Of course, getting the long ball against Fried is a harder task, although Schwarber and Jean Segura hit solo shots off the Atlanta starter last Friday. Bryce Harper has also had some success against Fried, going 8-26 with two HRs (but also 10 K’s) against the left-hander.

Suarez gave up just one ER against the Braves last Friday, a Contreras home run. It was the Philadelphia bullpen that had a meltdown in that game, allowing a six-run 8th inning. Suarez is 0-2 with a 4.09 ERA in four starts vs. Atlanta this season.

Game Prediction

It’s not a bad -145 price tag on the Braves, considering they swept the Phillies last weekend. Atlanta is solid at getting off to a good start in a series (24-7 last 31 openers), but they have gone just 1-4 in their last five road games.

Either way, Fried on the bump gives the Braves the edge.

Ryan Knuppel

Ryan Knuppel

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