- The Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves clash in Game 1 of their best-of-five NLDS on Saturday, Oct. 7
- Philadelphia ousted Atlanta (3-1) in the NLDS last season, but the Braves have won the regular-season series against the Phillies for three straight years
- Get the Philadelphia Phillies vs Atlanta Braves odds, props and picks for Game 1
A rematch of one of last season’s National League Division Series starts this Saturday with the Philadelphia Phillies (92-72, 41-40 away) visiting the Atlanta Braves (104-58, 52-29 home) at Truist Park in Atlanta, GA. First pitch is scheduled for 6:00 pm ET. Phillies vs Braves is the third of four division-series games on Saturday’s MLB schedule.
Last season, Philadelphia upset the better-seeded Braves three games to one, spurred by a 7-6 road victory in Atlanta in Game 1. Oddsmakers don’t see the same outcome this time around, positioning the Braves as sizable home favorites in the NLDS opener.
Phillies vs Braves Odds: Game 1
|Philadelphia Phillies||+170||+1.5 (-120)||O 8.5 (-115)|
|Atlanta Braves||-205||-1.5 (+100)||U 8.5 (-105)|
The Braves are big -205 favorites on the moneyline and +100 on the runline to win Game 1 by multiple runs. The Phillies are +170 underdogs to take Game 1 and -120 to keep it within a run. The run total of 8.5 is the second-highest on the board for tomorrow’s four-game MLB playoff slate. Only Texas vs Baltimore (9.5) has a higher total in Saturday’s MLB odds.
Atlanta (+279) also remains the favorite in the World Series odds heading into the NLDS, a position the team has occupied for months. Logically, they are also favored in the NL Pennant odds (+181), with Philadelphia third of the four remaining teams at +381.
Philadelphia vs Atlanta Game 1 Probable Pitchers
With all their starters available, it would be a surprise to see Atlanta send anyone other than Spencer Strider to the mound in Game 1. The second-year pro led the Braves in innings (186.2), wins (20), WHIP (1.09), and strikeouts (281), which was nearly 100 more than any other Atlanta pitcher.
Given that ace Zack Wheeler pitched Tuesday and number-two starter Aaron Nola pitched Wednesday, the Phillies are likely to give the Game 1 start to either Ranger Suarez or Taijuan Walker. Considering how badly the Braves lineup has hammered Walker, expect Suarez to toe the rubber on Saturday.
Ranger Suarez vs Spencer Strider
While Braves veteran Charlie Morton certainly has more postseason experience than Strider, the 24-year-old righty has the higher upside and also has a phenomenal track record against Philadelphia. Strider has a perfect 8-0 career record against Philadelphia in the regular season, posting a 2.42 ERA this year and miniscule 1.27 ERA last year. The Phillies’ lineup is batting just .171 against Strider in 146 regular-season at-bats
Of course, that all changed in the playoffs last year. Strider’s only playoff start came in Game 3 during the 2022 NLDS, a disastrous five-hit, two-walk, five-run loss to Philadelphia in which he lasted just 2.1 innings.
Suarez didn’t face the Braves at all in 2023. Last season, he went 1-2 against their NL East rivals with a very respectable 3.21 ERA over 28 total innings spanning five starts. Altogether, Atlanta hitters have a .239/.333/.425 slash-line against Suarez in 113 career at-bats. Compare that to Walker, who’s been mashed to the tune of .347/.413/.571 line in 98 at-bats, and you begin to see why Suarez is the presumed starter.
Suarez also has considerably more – and considerably better – playoff history than Walker, as well. He was dominant for the Phillies en route to their NL Pennant victory last season, going 3-2 with a 1.23 ERA and 1.02 WHIP in 14.2 innings. Walker’s only previous postseason action came in 2017 with the Diamondbacks when he lasted just one inning against the LA Dodgers, surrendering four earned runs on four hits in a 9-5 loss.
The MLB player props for Saturday list Suarez with a strikeout over/under of just 3.5, while Strider’s number is set at a whopping 8.5, two higher than any other pitcher on Saturday. The discrepancy in their total-outs prop is almost as drastic. Suarez is at just 13.5 (needing two outs in the fifth inning to go over) while Strider is at 17.5 (needing to finish the sixth inning to go over).
Phillies vs Braves Predictions & Best Bets for Game 1
Last year’s playoff fiasco against the Phillies looks like an anomaly on Strider’s resume, and it may prove to be just that. But remember that Strider is still just 24 years old and playoff baseball is different. Baseball history is littered with players whose production either significantly increased or decreased when the calendar flipped to October. Until Strider demonstrates he can do it under the brightest lights, I’m going to be hesitant to back him.
The way the Phillies cruised through Miami (outscoring the Marlins 11-1 in the NL Wild Card) coupled with their domination in the 2022 NL playoffs – which included a 3-1 NLDS win over the Braves – has me seeing value in the Philadelphia moneyline at +170. At that price, the Phillies only need a 37.1% win probability to have positive expected-value.
Phillies vs Braves Game 1 Picks:
- Phillies moneyline (+170)
- Suarez over 13.5 total outs (-105)
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