The NLDS matchup between the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves pivoted to Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia for the all-important Game 3 on Friday night. An emphatic beatdown dealt to the Braves has their season hanging in the balance on Saturday.
The Phillies simply exploded in the bottom half of the third. After a nice couple of innings from Braves righty Spencer Strider, The Braves piled six runs together, led by a massive three-run shot from Rhys Hoskins, before Bryce Harper deposited his own home run into a raucous Philly faithful, his of the two-run variety.
The six-run cushion was more than ace Aaron Nola required. Nola was excellent Friday, hurling six innings, allowing just one unearned run on five hits while he struck out six. The Phillies’ bullpen pitched three innings of scoreless relief, and the Phillies tacked on three more runs in a 9-1 beatdown of their NL East rival.
Game 4 of this NLDS matchup goes Saturday afternoon in Philly, where the Braves will be hard-pressed to keep their season alive.
Don’t Waste Your Money on the Braves
Of course, Atlanta’s offense is more than capable of getting them back into this series, and they only need a modest two-game winning streak to advance. Should they win Saturday’s Game 4, they’ll retain home-field advantage for a do-or-die Game 5. However, the club seems down and out.
Following their Game 3 blowout loss, the Braves sit at +170 odds to come back and win the series, with the Phillies boasting -195 odds to take down the NL East champs. At first glance, a value bet on the Braves seems like a worthy wager, but not in my opinion.
Noah Syndergaard goes for the Phillies, while Atlanta will counter with Charlie Morton. Morton is coming off a down year in which he posted a 4.34 ERA across 31 starts; however, not only has Morton not pitched since Oct. 2, he yielded nine earned runs over his final two regular-season starts and at least three in four of his last five. He pitched 5 ⅓ innings or less in each of his last four outings.
Syndergaard, meanwhile, posted a 4.12 ERA and a 3.66 FIP in 10 appearances with the Phillies following a trade-deadline deal with the Angels. He’s pitched a clean inning in this series so far. More frightening is the fact Syndergaard owns a career 2.33 ERA/1.73 FIP in 27 career postseason innings. Morton owns a solid 3.35 ERA/3.55 FIP in his postseason career, but he’s not entering this one on a high note.
Phillies Faithful Ensures Hostile Environment
Sure, the crowd would have been fired up had, this time, won Game 3 1-0. However, the manner in which the Phillies exploded and trampled their opponents Friday will only add to what is going to be a wildly hostile Game 4 environment for the Braves.
Let me tell you, the Braves are going to want to get an early lead, or the atmosphere is going to gain steam. The goal for Atlanta should be to score as early as possible and take the crowd out of it from the get-go. The way the Phillies’ offense exploded with a pair of epic homers in Game 3, I’m just not sure the Braves can match.
Get ready for a wild Phillies atmosphere in Game 4, and while it will provide entertainment for us fans, it will likely help spell the end of the Braves’ 2022 season.
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