The wait is over! The Atlanta Braves will begin their quest for a second-straight World Series title Tuesday when they host the Philadelphia Phillies in Game 1 of the NLDS. The Braves overcame a 10.5 game deficit to win their fifth-straight division crown and earned a first round bye. The Phillies secured the final wild card spot during the final week of the season and upset the St. Louis Cardinals in the Wild Card series over the weekend.
Atlanta won the season series between the two clubs 11-8. They swept a three game series at Truist Park in mid-September and then split a four-game set at Citizens Bank Park a week later.
Brian Snitker confirmed Monday that Max Fried will get the ball for the Braves in Tuesday’s opener. Fried’s last start came against the Mets on September 30 where he allowed just one run, but left after the fifth inning despite throwing just 71 pitches due to a stomach bug. He said the stomach ailment bothered him for a couple of days, but that he would have started the season finale in Miami had it been important. Fried faced Philadelphia four times during the regular season and where he allowed eight runs combined in 23 innings.
The Phillies used both Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola in the two games against the Cardinals which means that it will be lefty Ranger Suarez who will get the start in Game 1 Tuesday. Suarez put together a solid season and was particularly good down the stretch as Philadelphia made a late push for a Wild Card spot. Like Fried, Suarez is no stranger to the Braves. He made five starts against Atlanta during the regular season posting a 3.21 ERA in 28 innings. The Braves hit him hard in two starts early in the season, but he allowed just one earned run combined in 12 innings in two starts in September.
Alec Bohm had a pair of doubles for the Phillies in the two-game sweep of the Cardinals. He hit .342 with an .812 OPS in the 19 matchups against Atlanta. Philadelphia’s bullpen ranked 11th in the National League with a 4.58 ERA but were fifth with a 3.71 FIP and allowed three runs five innings against the Cardinals.
William Contreras was 6-for-12 with a pair of home runs against Suarez during the regular season. Austin Riley was 4-for-10 with a pair of doubles and three walks while Matt Olson was 3-for-11 with two doubles of his own. Dansby Swanson was just 2-for-15 with five strikeouts against Suarez while Michael Harris was 0-for-9.
Tuesday’s first pitch is scheduled for 1:07 p.m. ET and can be seen nationally on FOX.
NLDS Game 1
Game Date/Time: Tuesday, October 11, 1:07 p.m. ET
Location: Truist Park, Atlanta, Georgia
Radio: 680 AM / 93.7 FM The Fan