The NL Division Series between the Phillies and Braves looked like it was headed to a commanding 2-0 lead for Philadelphia. But on Monday, the Braves pulled out a comeback victory. These two teams have met in the Division Series round in the last two seasons, and the Phillies have won four of the six games so far, outclassing the favored Braves in most of the games.
But now, the Braves can steal back home-field advantage if they can follow up Monday’s thrilling win with another in Game 3. Most sportsbooks had the Braves as the favorites to win the World Series when the playoffs began. But, Atlanta will need to shake off the Phils if they wish to win a second title in three seasons and establish a dynastic claim.
- Game 1: Phillies 3, Braves 0
- Game 2: Braves 5, Phillies 4
- Game 3: Braves at Phillies, Oct. 11, 5:07 PM ET on TBS
- Game 4:Braves at Phillies, Oct. 12, 6:07 PM ET on TBS
- Game 5*: Phillies at Braves, Oct. 14, 6:07 PM ET on TBS
The Braves won the regular season series against the Phillies, 8 games to 5.
BetMGM Series Winner Odds: Braves -145 | Phillies +120
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Pitching Matchup for Game 3
Bryce Elder (12-4, 3.81 ERA) vs Aaron Nola (1-0, 0.00 ERA)
The Braves are putting a lot of pressure on the shoulders of Elder, who has made just 40 starts in the big leagues, and none in the postseason. A little over three weeks ago he allowed 4 ER against the Phillies in less than 4 innings. In that game, Nick Castellanos hit two home runs off the Atlanta pitcher.
Elder pitches “backwards,” which means he leads with his change and off-speed pitches, and typically only utilizes his fastball to set up other pitches. He’ll need to keep Schwarber, Harper, and his nemesis Castellanos from sending baseballs out of the playing field if the Braves want to win.
Nola is a bona fide postseason ace and workhorse. The Phillies have won all four of his starts in the playoff rounds. In three of his non-World Series postseason starts, Nola has allowed zero runs.
The tall righthander pitches down and spreads the baseball around the bottom of the zone. That helps when he does need a double-play ball. The Phillies’ defense (often overlooked) could be a key to this pivotal Game 3.
Braves vs. Phillies Best Bet & Game Pick
Take Over 1.5 Runs to be scored in the 1st Inning, at +215 odds from DraftKings. Why? Because more runs are scored in the first inning than any other, and it’s the only time the lineups are set up exactly how the team wants to optimize run-scoring. Additionally, we’ve seen more first-inning runs in this postseason than the last two seasons combined.
This is a tough game to pick. We don’t believe in momentum in baseball, so that doesn’t favor Atlanta. But, we also think the Phillies could blow this game and force a Game 5 by winning Thursday. Ultimately, we’ll hedge and pick the Phillies to win Game 3, and the total runs to go OVER.