National League Division Series Game 2 Picks: Expect a Low-Scoring Matchup Between Phillies and Braves

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Nick Castellanos #8 of the Philadelphia Phillies slides to second base against the Atlanta Braves during Game 1 of the National League Division Series. Patrick Smith/Getty Images/AFP.

It’s not exactly must-win time for the defending World Series champion Atlanta Braves in Game 2 of their NLDS on Wednesday at home vs. the Philadelphia Phillies, but it’s relatively close to one. Which way to lean at BMR’s top-rated sportsbooks

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Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves

Wednesday, October 12, 2022 – 04:35 PM EDT at Truist Park

What You Should Know

FOX has the telecast of Game 2 of this NLDS. There are just the two National League games Wednesday compared to all eight remaining teams playing their openers on Tuesday. 

The Phillies were big underdogs on Tuesday but won 7-6 to take a 1-0 lead – after of course winning two consecutive games at NL Central Division St. Louis in the Wild-Card round.

Hey, who needs home-field advantage? Atlanta did lose Game 1 of its 2021 NLDS in Milwaukee and then won three straight to take the series. The Braves never trailed in the NLCS vs. the Dodgers or World Series vs. the Astros. 

Philadelphia Phillies Analysis

How Did the Phillies Do in Game 1?

Philadelphia’s middle-of-the-order really fared well in Game 1.

  • Catcher and No. 3 hitter JT Realmuto was 1-for-5 with 2 runs scored
  • DH and cleanup hitter Bryce Harper was 3-for-3 with a run
  • Outfielder and No. 5 hitter Nick Castellanos was 3-for-5 with 3 RBIs and a run scored.
  • Leadoff hitter Kyle Schwarber, who led the NL with 46 homers during the year, was 0-for-5

Probable Pitcher: Zack Wheeler 

The Phillies are now a tremendous 17-7 all-time on MLB picks in Game 1 of a postseason series and 8-2 in road Game 1s, winning five in a row. Now they turn to 2021 Cy Young runner-up and right-hander Zack Wheeler in Game 2, and they have to feel great about that.

The 32-year-old missed a bit of time in the regular season but was 12-7 with a 2.82 ERA and 1.04 WHIP in 26 starts. His ERA was sixth-best among NL pitchers with at least 150.0 innings pitched, but he fell 9 innings short of qualifying for ERA leaders. 

Wheeler didn’t allow a run over 5 innings in his regular-season finale at Washington and was dominant in Game 1 of the Wild-Card series vs. the Cardinals with 6.1 shutout innings and only two hits allowed. He struck out 4 and walked one on 96 pitches, his most since Aug. 20, shortly before Wheeler landed on the injured list with forearm tendinitis. 

Against Atlanta this year, Wheeler was 2-0 with a 2.70 ERA and .240 opponents’ batting average in three starts spanning 20 innings. He struck out 25.

  • Travis d'Arnaud has good career splits off him, going 7-for-15 with a double and homer
  • Ronald Acuna Jr. is 8-for-34 with 3 doubles, 3 homers, and 9 strikeouts
  • Dansby Swanson is just 6-for-37 with 13 strikeouts 

Atlanta Braves Analysis

How Did the Braves Do in Game 1?

I personally faded the Braves in Game 1 simply as they hadn’t played a game since Oct. 5 and starting pitcher Max Fried hadn’t pitched since Sept. 30 due to an illness. The lefty was decidedly not sharp, allowing 8 hits and 4 earned runs in 3.1 innings.

About the hitters:

  • Ronald Acuna Jr. was 3-for-4 with a walk
  • Travis d’Arnaud was 2-for-5 with three RBIs and a run
  • Matt Olson hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth to make things very interesting

The Braves are 15-5 in postseason series play on the MLB odds when they win Game 1 and 4-17 when they lose the opener. During the regular season, Atlanta was 55-26 at home, winning at least 55 home games in a season for the seventh time in franchise history. Atlanta went 9-0-1 over its final 10 home series. 

Probable Pitcher: Kyle Wright 

It will be right-hander Kyle Wright on the mound Wednesday, and if MLB gave out a Most Improved Player Award, he would win it in a landslide.

The 27-year-old one-time touted prospect had a career record of 2-8 with an ERA around 6.00 entering this year but went 21-5 (only 20-game winner in majors) with a 3.19 ERA and 1.16 WHIP. He was quite a bit better at home, going 13-2 with a 2.86 ERA in 17 starts

Wright faced the Phillies three times and was 2-1 with a 2.84 ERA over 19 innings with 15 strikeouts and an opponents’ batting average of .123.

  • JT Realmuto is 2-for-9 career off him with two solo homers
  • Bryce Harper is 3-for-9 with a double and homer
  • Wright is 2-1 with a 5.48 ERA in 12.1 career playoff innings

Normally, the Braves would probably start rookie sensation Spencer Strider in Game 2, but he hasn't pitched since Sept. 18 due to a left oblique strain. Strider is on the NLDS roster and threw off a mound again Tuesday.

The Pick

Let’s lean the total as I trust both starting pitchers much more in this one, especially Wheeler, than in Game 1.  

MLB Pick: Under 7 (+100) at BetOnline (visit our BetOnline Review)

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Under 7 (+100)
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