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Phillies bring plenty of power into matchup with Braves

Can the Braves’ pitching hold Philadelphia’s lineup in check?

Wild Card Series - Philadelphia Phillies v St. Louis Cardinals - Game Two Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Braves and Phillies will meet in the NLDS after a mildly surprising Philadelphia win over St. Louis in the Wild Card Round. These two clubs know each other well after locking horns 19 times during the regular season, but as we know, the playoffs bring on a different style of game. Let’s dig into the Phillies lineup.

Braves record vs. Philadelphia in 2022: 11-8

Phillies lineup rankings:

BA: .253 (8th)
OBP: .317 (11th)
SLG: .422 (6th)
wRC+: 106 (10th)
HR: 205 (6th)
SB: 105 (5th)
K%: 22.4 (14th)
BB%: 7.9 (17th)
vs. LHP: 115 wRC+ (6th)
vs. RHP: 102 wRC+ (12th)

Lineup at a glance:

We know the Phillies quite well, with Atlanta taking five of the last seven games in September. Their lineup is headlined by a handful of sluggers in the top four spots, with Kyle Schwarber leading off, followed by some combination of Rhys Hoskins, Bryce Harper, and J.T. Realmuto. All four of those players can and will inflict punishment if you make a mistake.

Nick Castellanos, despite a brutal first season in Philadelphia (hey, only four years and $80 million to go) often assumes the fifth spot in the order. Alec Bohm found his stride a bit in the second half (103 wRC+) and has been a pest. Brandon Marsh was a fine addition at the trade deadline (114 wRC+) and Jean Segura has never made an out against the Braves. We’ll see if that trend continues this week. Rookie shortstop Bryson Stott has improved the infield defense, although his game is more glove than bat at this point.

X Factor: Bryce Harper

It’s pretty simple. Harper, who returned to the lineup August 26, has decidedly not been very good since breaking his thumb in June. He hit just .227/.325/.352 (83 wRC+) over 151 plate appearances and is clearly not 100 percent. Harper did homer in Saturday’s game against St. Louis. If he has a big series against Atlanta, the Phillies’ chances go up significantly. If the Braves keep him under wraps, it could be a quick series.

Closing Thoughts:

Despite a poor finish to the season — the Phillies nearly choked a playoff spot away as the lineup went frigid in late September — there are some real pieces here. Combine a powerful, veteran lineup with top-tier starting pitching and a couple of hard-throwing relievers in the late innings, and this should be a fun series between two NL East foes who know each other very well.

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