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Braves head to Philadelphia for four-game set full of rematches

After sweeping the Phillies in Atlanta, the Braves will play three games with the same pitching matchups before a new variant on Sunday.

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Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images

The Braves swept the Phillies last weekend in Atlanta. Three games later, they’re going to Philadelphia... to play pretty much the same matchups. Yes, this is a bizarre part of the schedule, but the Braves have no choice but to play it, and we have no choice but to watch.

Since these two teams met in Atlanta a few days ago, the Braves took two of three at home against the Nationals. The Phillies, meanwhile, returned home for three against the Blue Jays, and promptly got clubbed 18-11. They play the second game of a two-game set tonight.

The Phillies are not really any different than when the Braves swept ‘em. Their only roster change was activating Zack Wheeler (who is starting tonight) and optioning down Sam Coonrod. They hit well (107 wRC+, ninth in MLB), field terribly (third-worst defense in MLB), and have a top-three rotation along with a top-10 bullpen. Anyway, let’s re-type these matchups again for some reason.

Thursday, September 22, 7:15 pm ET (FOX)

Max Fried (28 GS, 175 13 IP, 60 ERA-, 71 FIP-, 78 xFIP-, 70ish xERA-)

Fried’s start last Friday was strange: it was the second time in two games he allowed multiple homers, the first time ever in his career he had back-to-back multihomer games. He also posted a 4/3 K/BB ratio, and was really saved by the fact that those two homers were the only hits off him in six innings of work. It was his worst start of the year by FIP, and second-worst by xFIP. But, the Braves still won, thanks to a go-ahead homer of their own, and proceeded to turn the game into a 7-2 laugher.

This will be Fried’s fourth start against the Phillies this year — the Braves have gone 2-1 in his first three.

Ranger Suarez (26 GS, 140 13 IP, 86 ERA-, 91 FIP-, 94 xFIP-, 85ish xERA-)

After a string of four bad-luck starts where he pitched well, Ranger Suarez benefited from the alternative when facing Fried and the Braves last Friday: he was terrible but was charged with just a run on a solo homer in six innings. He had a 4/3 K/BB ratio, giving him his fourth-worst FIP and third-worst xFIP of the season. Yet, he left with the lead, before it was blown by his bullpen. The Phillies have won just one of his four starts against the Braves so far — which happened to also come against Max Fried. In other words, yes, this will be the third time these two pitchers square off against one another in a game this season.

Friday, September 23, 7:05 pm ET (Bally Sports South)

Jake Odorizzi (19 GS, 93 23 IP, 101 ERA-, 107 FIP-, 116 xFIP-, 99ish xERA-)

It was a more-than-minor miracle that the Braves managed to win Odorizzi’s last start, but he actually pitched quite well, with a 5/1 K/BB ratio that led to a lone run on two hits in 4 23 innings. It was his best start as a Brave by FIP, and second-best by xFIP. Odorizzi was pulled after 18 batters, something we can probably expect again unless the score gets wacky.

Aaron Nola (29 GS, 186 13 IP, 82 ERA-, 66 FIP-, 71 xFIP-, 68ish xERA-)

The Braves got to Nola for four runs last Saturday, including two on a homer, despite an 8/2 K/BB ratio for one of the pitching leaders in fWAR this season. Nola has faced the Braves four times already, and the Phillies have only won two of those games. The Braves will hope that lightning somehow strikes twice. and they’re able to win this matchup again. On paper, this is literally the worst matchup they’ve had (and will probably have) this season, given that they’re playing this game on the road.

Saturday, September 24, 4:05 pm ET (Bally Sports South)

Kyle Wright (28 GS, 170 IP, 76 ERA-, 91 FIP-, 83 xFIP-, 92ish xERA-)

Wright didn’t face the Phillies in the last series, as he started the first game against the Nationals instead. He carved up the Nats as expected, with a 7/1 K/BB ratio in a comfortable, 5-2 win. The Braves are 1-1 in Wright starts against the Phillies so far this season — he hasn’t pitched well in either game, and allowed a longball in both.

This was supposed to be Spencer Strider’s start, but he’s being skipped to give him a bit of a breather and to likely line him up for the big showdown series with the Mets the following weekend.

Bailey Falter (17 G, 13 GS, 73 13 IP, 90 ERA-, 116 FIP-, 109 xFIP-, 109ish xERA-)

Falter managed just a 3/2 K/BB ratio, but was charged with just a sole run in 4 23 innings as the Phillies were swept in Atlanta. It was the first time in eight starts that he failed to complete five innings, and his first subpar K/BB ratio in about a month.

Sunday, September 25, 4:05 pm ET (Bally Sports South)

Charlie Morton (29 GS, 163 IP, 98 ERA-, 102 FIP-, 89 xFIP-, 97ish xERA-)

Morton will round out the non-skipped members of the Braves’ rotation in starting the series finale on Sunday. He had a great 9/3 K/BB ratio against the Nats in his last start, but was removed in the midst of a small rally mounted by Washington in the sixth inning.

Morton has faced the Phillies four times already this season — the Braves won the first two, and have lost the last two. Amazingly, given his homer issues this season and the Phillies’ substantial power output, he’s only allowed a single dinger to them in those four starts. Weirdly enough, the two Morton starts the Braves won against the Phillies were his two relatively poor starts against them; they dropped the two where he pitched much better.

Kyle Gibson (29 GS, 156 23 IP, 115 ERA-, 104 FIP-, 101 xFIP-, 105ish xERA-)

Gibson’s had a weird last five starts — he’s been destroyed in three and dominated the opposition in the other two. His most recent outing involved beginning the destruction that led to the Phillies’ 18-11 loss to the Blue Jays: he somehow allowed seven runs in five innings despite just one walk and one homer.

Gibson has faced the Braves twice this season. He had a really good start against them in May, but the Braves eventually won in walkoff fashion. He went head-to-head with Morton in July and presided over a 7-2 win despite a fairly weak pitching line.

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