Our only rematch from last October will take place in the NL Division Series between the Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies. This matchup is being anticipated as the best of the second round of the MLB Playoffs. Here are the latest odds available from the top sports betting apps we recommend.
The sports betting sites have Atlanta as the favorite to win the World Series. But last October, the Phils dispatched the Braves in four games in this round. Now, you can get Philly to win this best-of-five series, which begins on TBS on Saturday evening.
But many observers are wishing for an Atlanta win, so they can get the matchup of Braves vs. Dodgers in the League Championship Series. First, LA will need to defeat Arizona.
- Game 1: Phillies at Braves, Oct. 7, 6:07 PM ET, on TBS
- Game 2: Phillies at Braves, Oct. 9, on TBS
- Game 3: Braves at Phillies, Oct. 11, on TBS
- Game 4: Braves at Phillies, Oct. 12, on TBS
- Game 5: Phillies at Braves, Oct. 14, on TBS
The Braves were 8-5 against division rival Philadelphia in the regular season. They outscored the Phils, 74-58.
BetMGM Series Winner Odds: Braves -185 | Phillies +150
Atlanta Braves Overview
Atlanta scored an MLB-best 947 runs, and nearly set a record with their 307 home runs. The Braves became the first team in baseball history with five 30-HR players:
- Matt Olson – 54
- Ronald Acuna Jr. – 41
- Marcell Ozuna – 40
- Austin Riley – 37
- Ozzie Albies – 33
There’s really nowhere to take a rest when facing this lineup. Their not just a swing-happy team either: the Braves led the NL in hits, batting average, on-base percentage, OPS, and were third in doubles. They also make contact and strike out far less frequently than a power-hitting team normally does.
Make a point to never be away from your screen when Acuna Jr. is at the plate or on the bases (70 bags swiped): he’s baseball’s most exciting superstar.
The rotation should go like this for manager Brian Snitker and his Braves: Spencer Strider, Max Fried (returning from about two weeks off with an injury); Charlie Morton; and Bryce Elder. That’s a fantastic, but slightly tenuous quartet. Fried and Morton have dealt with nagging injuries, and Elder has never pitched in the playoffs. We could also possibly see a bullpen game from Atlanta if needed.
Atlanta’s bullpen goes eight pitchers deep, and they have basically been healthy all season. The Braves bullpen ranked second in the NL and fifth in baseball in ERA. They fanned more batters per inning than all but two other relief groups.
It’s led by unsung Raisel Iglesias, who had an excellent season on his way to 33 saves. A.J. Minter, Kirby Yates, and Collin McHugh are back to be relied upon. Keep an eye on Joe Jiménez, who will be making his playoff debut. He has a live arm and might be turned to for big outs in middle innings.
More Baseball: World Series Odds | Best MLB Betting Sites | MLB MVP Odds
Philadelphia Phillies Overview
It’s difficult to explain the phenomenon that is Kyle Schwarber. The hulking slugger swatted 47 home runs, one more than last season. But he came under fire by some fans for his .197 batting average and league-worst 215 strikeouts. Amazingly, he only had one more single than he did homers, and since he can’t field worth a lick and can hardly run the bases, his deficiencies are out there for any critic to lament.
But, Schwarber was still a very productive offensive player, posting a 122 OPS+ and a .477 SLG. He’s a lefthanded bat to watch in this short series.
Philadelphia has many ways to score runs, from the booming bat and strong legs of Bryce Harper, to the great hitting of J.T. Realmuto, baseball’s best catcher. Then there’s Nick Castellanos, an aggressive swinger who might be a great pick to be a big star this October.
With Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola, the Phils have the best 1-2 starter punch in the postseason. It helps that both pitched and gained experience last fall in the playoffs. Already, the duo has combined for 13 2/3 innings this postseason while allowing only one run. With starters like that, and Ranger Suárez and Taijuan Walker, Phillies skipper Rob Thompson won’t need to wave to his bullpen often.
Remember the name Orion Kerkering. Not because it’s unusual, but because it’s the name of a 22-year old reliever who only appeared in three games this season. That was prior to the postseason, when he was included on the Phils’ roster and pitched a scoreless inning. Kerkering has magical stuff, and given the way Philly seems to find heroes in October, he’s one to watch.
The closer is now Craig Kimbrel, who some may think is an upgrade from 2022. But we have a feeling Kimbrel is going to be at the center of many tough situations, and we aren’t sure we like his chances. Kimbrel is surviving on smoke and mirrors at this point in his career.
Other MLB Divisional Series Previews
- ALDS: Rangers vs Orioles Prediction
- ALDS: Twins vs Astros Prediction
- NLDS: Dodgers vs Diamondbacks Prediction
Pitching Matchup for Game 1
Ranger Suárez (4.18 ERA, 119 K in 125 IP) vs. Spencer Strider (3.86 ERA, 281 K in 186.2 IP)
Though Ranger Suárez has not been officially announced as the Game 1 starter, it seems likely. Suárez is the epitome of the “crafty lefthander,” and he uses as many as five pitches regularly. That variety can be confounding to enemy batters.
Strider is baseball’s only 20-game winner, and even though he got a few of those thanks to his fantastic run support, he’s a superb hurler. He led baseball in strikeouts by a wide margin. Against the free-swinging Phillies lineup that means we want to hop on the K prop bets, for Over 7.5 or even Over 8.5. Consult your favorite sportsbook for odds.
Braves vs Phillies Prediction
Call us crazy, but we think the Phillies can beat the Braves again. They may not take Game 1, but then again, this team has won each of its last four Game 1’s in the postseason.
Take Atlanta, though, in Game 1. But grab the series winner odds on Philly to win this NLDS series, which may go a full 5 games.