Tuesday is MLB trade deadline day, so many of the teams could look a lot different by the time the evening’s first pitches are thrown. Both the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves would appear to be buyers, with the Braves 3.5 GB from the Mets in the division and Philadelphia currently in the third wild card slot.
These teams met last week with the Phillies taking two of three at Citizens Bank Park, but oddsmakers are expecting an Atlanta resurgence back at home, listing them as whopping -240 favorites for the series opener. Philadelphia has been playing well and has some value at +198.
Phillies Clicking Right Now
Even without a trade, the Phillies will get a big addition to their team with Bryce Harper returning from a broken thumb – but that won’t be until the end of the month at the earliest. Philadelphia has been linked to adding another starting pitcher but seems content with their current positional player lineup.
The Phillies just wrapped up a four-game sweep against the Pirates, averaging just over five runs/game. Kyle Schwarber has belted out three home runs in his last six games, while J.T. Realmuto and Alec Bohm are both hitting .444 over the past week.
Nick Nelson (3-1, 3.94 ERA) makes just his fourth career MLB start on Tuesday, one of the big reasons Philadelphia is such a lofty underdog. Nelson will serve in an opener role, going just 2.0 IP in his last start.
Braves Seem Set
The Braves have already made a couple of player moves, bringing in veteran outfielder Robbie Grossman and swapping reliever Will Smith for Jake Odorizzi. The team also solidified their future by signing MVP candidate Austin Riley to a 10-year, $212 million contract.
The 62-41 Braves don’t need to make a ton of moves as this is a team that was 21-6 in June and then went 18-8 in July. The Phillies and Atlanta have split their 10-game series so far in 2022.
Spencer Strider (5-3, 2.91 ERA) makes his second straight start vs. Philadelphia, going six innings with a solo HR by Schwarber being the lone run he gave up.
Phillies vs. Braves Pick and Prediction
Philadelphia took two of three at home against Atlanta last week, and they followed that up with a sweep of the Pirates, so the Phillies are on a nice run right now. They did get swept by the Cubs at home right out of the All-Star break but have since improved to 6-4 in the second half.
Atlanta just wrapped up a sweep of their own, taking all three at home against the Diamondbacks to push their mark to 6-3 since the break. This week marks the first time Philadelphia has visited Truist Park since the end of May when the teams split a four-game series.
Philadelphia’s biggest issue for Tuesday’s series opener is pitching, as it will be a bullpen day against a stacked offense. There’s still very little value on the Braves at -240, so this is a total play.
Pick: Over 8.5 (-110)