The Braves start their season series with the division rival Philadelphia Phillies on Monday, which is kind of weird, since it’s May 23rd. Regardless, both teams come into Monday with a sub-optimal 19-22 record, although this is more surprising for Atlanta, based on the projection systems. This will be a four game series in Atlanta, so a series win would go a long way. Game one is a significantly unfavorable pitching lineup for Atlanta on paper, as the Phillies will start last year’s Cy Young runner up Zach Wheeler versus Tucker Davidson on the Atlanta side.
Davidson was recalled to the majors last week to make a start against the Brewers where he allowed three hits and three walks over five scoreless innings. With no off days coming up, Davidson has an opportunity to show that he belongs in Atlanta’s rotation going forward.
Wheeler has been slightly worse this season than last season in his inputs, and moderately worse in his outputs, but still figured to be a (very) tough matchup for a Braves offense that has not produced enough this season. Wheeler has lost about 1.4 MPH on his fastball since last season and at 31, with the season he had last year, it wouldn’t be a surprise if last year was the apex of his career. Regardless, this remains a bad matchup on paper, but baseball is baseball and the Braves are overall the better team on paper. They just need to get the offensive production up to the level that it should be to win on Monday and take advantage of this soft section of the schedule to get their record back on track for the season.
Game Date/Time: Monday, May 23, 7:20 p.m. ET
Location: Truist Park, Atlanta, Georgia
TV: Bally Sports Southeast
Radio: 680 FM / 93.7 FM The Fan