The Braves got repulsed in their attempt to return to .500 on Friday and will look to bounce back against a divisional foe on Saturday in the Philadelphia Phillies. Drew Smyly will take the mound for Atlanta and he has been solid to good since a disastrous April which raised a lot of eyebrows, given the contract he was given in the offseason. Smyly has a 4.50 ERA on the season, but has had a pretty good ERA of 3.46 since, although he does appear to be outperforming his peripherals some, with his FIP, xERA, and xFIP being somewhat higher than his pure ERA.
Fortunately for Atlanta, whatever you may think of Smyly, the Phillies are sending a worse option to the mound in Vince Velasquez. Velasquez has an ERA of 5.00 on the season, which is a nice round number but that is about the only way that it is nice. His bad numbers aren’t significantly higher than his career numbers either, so he doesn’t appear to be a guy with a true talent level much higher than his sub-par performance. He gives up a lot of walks and a good bit of home runs, despite pretty good strikeout rates. Velasquez should be a nice soft target for an Atlanta offense that is lacking significantly in talent and depth at the moment.
This matchup comes at a fairly significant stretch of nine games against divisional rivals in the Phillies and the Mets, both of which are rivals of the Braves near the top of the NL East. This also is the lead-up to the trade deadline, which looms a week from today. All three of these clubs are expected to be buyers to some extent, barring significant changes in the records or standings.
Game Date/Time: Saturday, July 24, 2022, 6:05 pm EDT
Location: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA
TV: Bally Sports Southeast
Radio: 680 AM/93.7 FM The Fan, WNNX 100.5, Braves Radio Network
XM Radio: Online / Ch. 185