The Philadelphia Phillies were unable to put two wins together last night at home. After defeating the Braves by a close score of 6-5 on Tuesday night, the Phillies were unable to parlay that into a winning streak. Dallas Keuchel and the Atlanta bullpen put up a wall on the Phillies’ bats. The Phillies generated just 5 hits on the evening.
Keuchel allowed 3 hits in 6 innings, while the bullpen allowed just 2 more. Atlanta are going to be a dangerous team in the postseason if the rotation meets their full potential. Keuchel, Fried, Soroka, and Teheran all in a groove at the same time is going to be tough to match. The Phillies and everyone else in the NL East found out how hard it is to top the Braves.
Atlanta enter Thursday with a record of 91-56 and a 9.5-game lead in the division. With a strong second-half in September, the Braves might have a shot at catching the Dodgers for the No. 1 seed in the National League. The Dodgers looked way too laid back after clinching the NL West last night. They allowed the Orioles to blow them out. The Dodgers were better off not showing up.
I don’t understand the whole popping bottles because of winning a divisional championship, though. It’s rather meaningless, especially for a team like the Dodgers where it’s World Series or bust. In any event, the Dodgers didn’t take last night seriously and it ended up resulting in a loss.
Do that too many times down the stretch and the Braves might sneak up on them and steal the National League. Julio Teheran is next up in the rotation for the Braves, while the Phillies will opt for Drew Smyly. Head below for our free Braves vs. Phillies pick.
Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies Pick:
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Drew Smyly is coming off a hot performance against the Mets in Queens. He allowed just 4 hits and no runs across 7 innings of work. Prior to that game, he was also sharp with 4 hits and 1-run allowed against the Reds. There is certainly nothing wrong with efforts like that. However, what is wrong is how inconsistent he has been in his career. Sure, Smyly is capable of putting forth games like that. But there’s also his bad side where he looks absolutely useless out there.
The last time that Smyly had two standout performances, he was hammered in his next trip to the hill. Smyly allowed 4 hits and no runs against the Giants, only to allow 5 earned runs against the White Sox on August 4th. He proceeded to follow that up with 9 earned runs allowed in his next two starts. His most recent work doesn’t reflect his overall numbers in 2019 with the Phillies and Rangers. The was a mess with the Rangers, posting an 8.42 ERA in 13 appearances on the bump. He’s been able to bring his ERA down with the Phillies, but it still stands at 6.20 on the season.
Smyly hasn’t cared for pitching in Philadelphia since joining the Phillies. He’s been good on the road, but struggling at Citizens Bank Park. Smyly has posted an ERA of 2.60 on the road, though that number increases to a 5.56 ERA at home in Philadelphia. In his previous 10.2 innings at home, Smyly has allowed 9 earned runs. In his last 15.2 innings, he’s allowed 14 earned runs, so it hasn’t been a good look for him in front of the home crowd.
If there’s any warning in this game for him, it’s to stay away from Josh Donaldson. Donaldson has mauled him for a .474 BA and 3 home runs in 19 at-bats. Teheran heads into Washington feeling good, having posted an ERA of 1.50 ERA and 0.94 WHIP in his last three games. He’s allowed just 3 earned runs in his last 25 innings on the hill. Note that Teheran has allowed 2 or fewer runs in 11 out of his last 13 outings. The Braves are in a good position to notch another victory Thursday night.