The Philadelphia Phillies would already be resting ahead of their NLCS with the Arizona Diamondbacks, if it weren’t for the last couple of innings of Game 2 of their Division Series with the Atlanta Braves. The Phillies had rolled out to a 4-0 lead and kept the Braves without a hit into the sixth inning. However, things went awry, and a 4-0 lead turned into a 5-4 loss, punctuated by a double play that saw Philadelphia slugger Bryce Harper doubled off first base to end the game. Atlanta shortstop Orlando Arcia mocked Harper in the dugout after Game 2, and his gesture made its way into the media. Harper’s response? A pair of home runs in Game 3, each marked by Harper staring Arcia down on his way around the bases. Read on to get our Braves vs Phillies Game 4 preview and MLB betting prediction.
NLDS: Atlanta Braves at Philadelphia Phillies in Game 4. The Phillies rolled to a 10-2 win in Game 3 to earn a shot at eliminating the Braves on Thursday night at home.
Philadelphia lead, 2-1
When: Thursday, October 12, 2023, 8:07 pm ET
Where: Citizens Bank Stadium, Philadelphia
Radio: ESPN Radio
Live Stream: Hulu
MLB Odds: Atlanta -151 / Philadelphia +128 // O/U 8.5 runs
Pitchers: Spencer Strider (20-5, 3.86 ERA) (ATL) vs Ranger Suarez (4-6, 4.18 ERA) (PHI)
Why should you bet on the Braves?
When the Braves have been favored this season, they have won on 97 of 151 occasions, a 64.2% winning percentage. When their moneyline is at least as good as -151, they have a 73-33 record, winning at a 69% clip. Keep an eye on Matt Olson, who led the majors in home runs (54) and runs batted in (139) this season. He has an eleven-game hitting streak going, and he has a .353 average with a double, a homer, three walks, and seven RBI in his last ten games. Austin Riley is also hot, with a .281 average that includes 32 doubles, three triples, 37 home runs and 59 walks this season.
Spencer Strider makes his second postseason start; on Saturday, he held Philadelphia to two runs (one earned) over seven innings, allowing five hits (including a solo shot) and walking two while fanning eight. The Atlanta bats were silent in a 3-0 loss, but this should continue to fuel Strider’s confidence against the Phillies. He also faced them on September 13 and 19, allowing four earned runs on eight hits over 14 combined innings, with 20 strikeouts against just a pair of walks. If Strider can keep that stuff going, he has an excellent chance of sending the series back down south for Game 5.
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Why should you put your money on the Phillies?
In their last ten games, the Phillies have been underdogs four times. In those matchups, they have a 2-2 record. However, they have won six of their last 10 games against the spread overall. The big sluggers are Kyle Schwarber, who has a team-best 47 home runs; only Olson has more home runs among MLB players this year. Trea Turner hit .266 this season, hitting 35 doubles, five triples, 26 homers and taking 45 walks. Bryce Harper, one of the heroes from Wednesday, led the team with a regular-season batting average of .293.
Suarez started opposite Strider on Saturday, but he came out after 3 ⅔ innings, allowing a hit and a walk while striking out four. The Phillies have a solid bullpen, and starting pitchers don’t get a long leash if they put runners on base. In his last two starts to wrap up the regular season, Suarez allowed 10 runs on 14 hits over 11 ⅓ combined innings against the Mets and the Pirates, seeing his ERA jump from 3.80 to 4.18. In the postseason so far, Suarez has been up to the task, but I don’t know if the Phillies’ bullpen can hold the fort down that long again.
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Braves vs Phillies Final Score and Prediction
The Phillies get a huge charge out of their home crowd at Citizens Bank Park, a force that helped them win the pennant last year after entering the postseason as the last wild-card entry in the National League. The tight confines of their stadium mean that there should be plenty of offense, but the Phillies have controlled this series except for a handful of innings, and I see them maintaining that at home. I predict a final score of Philadelphia 7, Atlanta 5.
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