National League Division Series Picks and Prediction for Phillies vs. Braves Game 3

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Starting pitcher Aaron Nola #27 of the Philadelphia Phillies delivers the pitch in the first inning against the Chicago Cubs. Quinn Harris/Getty Images/AFP.

For the first time in more than a decade, Philadelphia will host an MLB playoff game as the Phillies take on the Atlanta Braves in Game 3 of the NLDS.

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Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies

Friday, October 14, 2022 – 04:37 PM EDT at Citizens Bank Park 

Phillies vs. Braves Game 3 Analysis

Fox Sports 1 has the telecast of Game 3 of the NLDS, and there are absolutely no weather worries, Guardians-Yankees Game 2 of the ALDS was postponed Thursday night to today.

Because the Phillies played the Wild-Card round in St. Louis, this is the team’s first home playoff game since 2011 so Citizens Bank Park should be rocking. 

With the NLDS tied 1-1, the Braves are -150 favorites on the updated series line with the Phillies at +130. The exact favored result is Atlanta in five at +185.

I do think whichever team wins today takes the series, so I guess I’m leaning Philly not to give my MLB pick away. Philadelphia in four is +325 and in five +375. 

Who Starts for the Braves?

We would have had this story earlier, but were waiting on the books to post odds because Braves manager Brian Snitker was being coy about his starting pitcher.

Most thought it would be Charlie Morton, but it will be NL Rookie of the Year candidate Spencer Strider

The 23-year-old right-hander was fantastic this season at 11-5 with a 2.67 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 202 strikeouts in 131.2 innings, he didn’t even begin the year in the rotation but as a reliever.

Strider did dominate against the Phillies, going 4-0 with a 1.27 ERA and .097 opponents’ batting average in 21.1 innings. However, I’m a bit skeptical here because he hasn’t pitched since Sept. 18 due to an oblique injury and those things linger big time. 

Strider's Stats

Strider has thrown off a mound just twice over the 26 days that have since passed so he will likely be limited to just a couple innings.

Then we could see Morton, who was 9-6 with a 4.34 ERA this year and 0-1 with a 5.47 ERA in 26.1 innings against Philadelphia, although the plan for now is Morton to start Game 4.

That likely will depend on how Strider fares. It could be the likes of Collin McHugh and Dylan Lee following Strider instead

Braves Injury Note

Star outfielder Ronald Acuna Jr. was hit near the right elbow in Game 2 by a Zack Wheeler fastball.

If this were the regular season, he might sit out, but is fully expected to play. “I already missed one postseason,” Acuna said after Wednesday’s game (he missed last year’s playoffs due to a torn ACL).

“I’m not going to miss another one.” Acuna is 4-for-7 in this series with two runs scored. 

The Braves are 4-9 in their last 13 road games on the MLB odds vs. a team with a winning record. 

Who Starts for the Phillies?

The Phillies have to be pleased to have gotten a split in Atlanta considering the Braves were dominant at home during the regular season.

Philadelphia was much better in its home park, going 47-34 compared to 40-41 away. That the Phillies are tied 1-1 despite getting little from NL home-run leader Kyle Schwarber (0-for-16) or Rhys Hoskins (1-for-18) is moderately surprising. 

Because it’s a right-hander on the mound for the Braves, it likely will be the same lineup today (it was lefty Max Fried in Game 1, so a bit different):

  • Schwarber LF
  • Hoskins 1B
  • J.T. Realmuto C
  • Bryce Harper DH
  • Nick Castellanos RF
  • Alec Bohm 3B
  • Brandon Marsh CF
  • Jean Segura 2B
  • Bryson Stott SS 

It’s right-hander Aaron Nola on the mound. He was 11-13 despite a 3.25 ERA and 0.96 WHIP during the regular season because of a lack of run support. 

Nola's Stats

The 29-year-old was 6-4 with a 3.53 ERA in 16 home starts and 3-2 overall with a 3.67 ERA in 5 starts spanning 34.1 innings vs. Atlanta. 

Ronald Acuna Jr. hits him well career, going 13-for-36 with four homes and four doubles. Travis d'Arnaud is just 5-for-31 off him and Matt Olson 3-for-15.  

Nola made his playoff debut last Saturday in St. Louis and got the win, shutting out the Cardinals on four hits over 6.2 innings with six strikeouts.

The Phillies are 14-5 in their past 19 at home, and I think they take this one with the starting pitching edge because Strider is limited.  

Score Prediction: Phillies 3, Braves 2 

MLB Pick: Phillies ML (-106) at Heritage Sports (visit our Heritage Sports Review)

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