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Braves head out on the road for matchup with Phillies

Atlanta hopes to deal a blow to Philadelphia’s wildcard hopes

Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Fresh off of a dominant homestand, the Atlanta Braves will begin a seven-game road trip with a stop in Philadelphia for a four-game series against the Phillies.

The Braves have been rolling of late, going 17-3 over their last 20 games. They saw their nine-game winning streak come to an end on Sunday with a loss to the Washington Nationals but took three of four in the series to increase their lead in the NL East to nine games while reducing their magic number to 11.

Atlanta has split 12 games with the Phillies this season but have gone 6-3 since an Opening Weekend sweep suffered in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia wrapped up a 4-3 road trip with a 10-7 win over the Mets on Sunday. They are 74-68 on the season and 14 games behind the Braves entering Monday’s series opener. They are very much alive in the Wild Card race, trailing the Chicago Cubs by two games for the second Wild Card spot.

The Phillies have been besieged by injuries for most of the season and were without Bryce Harper for the final two games of their road trip, although he did make a pinch hit appearance on Sunday. Harper was hit in the hand with a pitch by Steven Matz on Friday and was out of the starting lineup for Saturday and Sunday. X-rays were negative, but Harper was having trouble gripping a bat. Philadelphia is hoping that he will be ready to return in time for Monday’s series opener against Braves.

The Phillies have had an odd year. They started out strong for the first two months of the year, but ineffective pitching eventually stopped being able to carry an average-and-injured position player unit, at which point the Phillies faded. The Phillies are 41-44 since the start of June and 27-25 since the All-Star Break; they haven’t been able to get any kind of roll or streak going for much of the year. Their longest team winning streak is four games, the last time they won consecutive series was mid-July (yes, really), and they haven’t won three straight series since the beginning of May.

The Phillies have yet to announce their starters for the final three games of the series but if they follow the same order as last week then the below is what Atlanta will be looking at for the series.

Monday, September 9, 7:05 p.m. ET (Fox Sports Southeast)

Mike Foltynewicz (2019: 17 GS, 92.0 IP, 20.2 K%, 8.5 BB%, 5.28 ERA, 5.45 FIP, 5.03 xFIP, 118 ERA-, 124 FIP-)

Mike Foltynewicz is looking to position himself for inclusion on Atlanta’s postseason rotation and will need a strong close to the season. He has pitched better since returning from a demotion to the minor leagues but is still a far cry from what we saw in 2018. He allowed two hits, walked three and struck out just two over five shutout innings in his last start against the Blue Jays. He has allowed two runs or less in each of his past four starts but has failed to get through the fifth inning in two of those outings.

Foltynewicz has faced the Phillies just one time this season and had a fairly good outing allowing four hits and one run over six innings despite walking five batters. It was one of just two effective outings for him before he was demoted to Triple-A for over a month.

Aaron Nola (2019: 30 GS, 178.2 IP, 26.8 K%, 9.0 BB%, 3.63 ERA, 3.94 FIP, 3.79 xFIP, 81 ERA-, 86 FIP-)

While most of Philadelphia’s starting rotation has been a disappointment, Aaron Nola has once again proven to be their most reliable option. Nola recorded a 2.52 ERA and recorded 41 strikeouts through six starts in August. However, September got off to a rough start as he was knocked around to the tune of five hits and five runs in just four innings against the Reds. Nola has faced the Braves four times this season allowing 19 hits and 10 runs while striking out 28 batters in 25 innings. The Braves have lost each of those games, even though they roughed him up in two of those four starts.

Tuesday, September 10, 7:05 p.m. ET (Fox Sports Southeast, MLB Network)

Max Fried (2019: 29 G, 27 GS, 149.1 IP, 25.1 K%, 6.6 BB%, 3.86 ERA, 3.51 FIP, 3.27 xFIP, 86 ERA-, 79 FIP-)

Max Fried is coming off of one of the best starts of his career after allowing one hit and striking nine over seven shutout innings against the Nationals. Fried retired 19 batters in a row at one point while utilizing a mid-90s fastball to go along with a slider and curveball combination. Two of Fried’s four appearances against the Phillies came in relief during the Opening Weekend series. He has allowed 14 hits and nine earned runs in 11 2/3 innings against Philadelphia this season. The Braves won both starts, including the game featuring Brian McCann’s epic walkoff against Hector Neris on June 14.

Jason Vargas (2019: 26 G, 25 GS, 132.2 IP, 18.4 K%, 9.2 BB%, 4.27 ERA, 4.67 FIP, 5.43 xFIP, 100 ERA-, 106 FIP-)

Jason Vargas has made seven starts in a Phillies uniform posting a 4.93 ERA (4.62 FIP) in 38 1/3 innings. He allowed four hits and two earned runs over 5 1/3 innings in his last start in Cincinnati. Vargas has not faced the Braves since he was acquired by the Phillies but made a very, very short start against them back in April while with the Mets where he allowed two hits, three walks and four runs in just a 1/3 of an inning.

Wednesday, September 11, 7:05 p.m. ET (Fox Sports Southeast, ESPN)

Dallas Keuchel (2019: 15 GS, 90.2 IP, 18.9 K%, 7.5 BB%, 3.47 ERA, 4.51 FIP, 3.89 xFIP, 77 ERA-, 102 FIP-)

After a series of up and down performances, Dallas Keuchel seems to have settled into a groove for the Braves. Since allowing eight runs in a loss at Miami, Keuchel has allowed a total of three runs over his next five starts (31 innings). He allowed six hits and struck out three over six shutout innings against the Nationals in his last start. He faced the Phillies back on July 2 where he allowed five hits and two runs over seven strong innings, though the Braves lost 2-0 against a brilliant Aaron Nola.

Zach Eflin (2019: 28 G, 24 GS, 140.0 IP, 18.6 K%, 6.1 BB%, 4.31 ERA, 4.67 FIP, 4.71 xFIP, 97 ERA-, 102 FIP-)

Zach Eflin is an example of the kind of inconsistency that has plagued Philadelphia’s rotation this season. However, he has pitched well since rejoining the rotation back on August 24. Since that point, Eflin has allowed 15 hits and five earned runs in 18 innings while striking out 11 and walking just one. He allowed six hits and two runs over five innings in his last start against the Mets. Eflin hasn’t had any luck against Atlanta this season allowing 14 hits and 12 earned runs in just 5 2/3 innings spanning two starts.

Thursday, September 12, 7:15 p.m. ET (Fox)

Julio Teheran (2019: 30 GS, 163.1 IP, 22.1 K%, 11.1 BB%, 3.31 ERA, 4.30 FIP, 5.11 xFIP, 74 ERA-, 97 FIP-)

Julio Teheran’s magical season continued in his last start where he allowed three hits and one run over six innings in a win over the Nationals. Teheran has allowed two earned runs or less in four straight starts and 11 of his last 13 overall. Opponents are hitting just .167 against him over his last four starts. Teheran hasn’t faced the Phillies since Opening Day where he allowed four hits and three runs in five innings.

Drew Smyly (2019: 22 G, 18 GS, 101.2 IP, 22.6 K%, 11.1 BB%, 6.20 ERA, 6.44 FIP, 5.33 xFIP, 129 ERA-, 137 FIP-)

Drew Smyly has made nine starts since coming over from Texas and has posted a 3.93 ERA (4.80 FIP) in 50 1/3 innings. After a lackluster August where he allowed 32 hits and 20 earned runs in five starts, he has turned things around so far in September where he has allowed one run over 12 1/3 innings. He allowed four hits and struck out six over seven shutout innings in his last start against the Mets.

Expected Lineups


  1. Ronald Acuña Jr. - CF
  2. Ozzie Albies - 2B
  3. Freddie Freeman - 1B
  4. Josh Donaldson - 3B
  5. Brian McCann - C
  6. Dansby Swanson - SS
  7. Matt Joyce - RF
  8. Rafael Ortega - LF


  1. Cesar Hernandez - 2B
  2. J.T. Realmuto - C
  3. Bryce Harper - RF
  4. Rhys Hoskins - 1B
  5. Jean Segura - SS
  6. Corey Dickerson - LF
  7. Scott Kingery - CF
  8. Brad Miller - 3B

Braves Injury Report

10-day IL - Ender Inciarte, Nick Markakis

60-day IL - Grant Dayton, Jacob Webb, Alex Jackson

Phillies Injury Report

10-day IL - Roman Quinn, Juan Nicasio

60-day IL - Victor Arano, Jake Arrieta, Seranthony Dominguez, Jerad Eickhoff, Tommy Hunter, Adam Morgan, Pat Neshek, Edubray Ramos, David Robertson, Andrew McCutchen

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