Philadelphia Phillies vs Atlanta Braves (5/25/22) Starting Lineup, Betting Odds, Prediction

We’ve got a prototypical NL East battle with the Philadelphia Phillies visiting the Atlanta Braves. These two teams have a pretty heated rivalry built up over the years, and this year should prove no different.

However, also in prototypical fashion, both NL East teams are underperforming. Both the Phillies and Braves sit at 20-23 after Atlanta won Tuesday’s contest in miracle fashion – the Braves scored two runs in the bottom of the ninth after the Phillies scored two runs in the top of the ninth.

With Charlie Morton on the mound for Wednesday’s game, the Braves are considerable favorites. But are we undervaluing Ranger Suarez for Philadelphia?

Let’s dive into the starting lineups, betting odds, and my prediction for this Wednesday matchup.

Philadelphia Phillies vs Atlanta Braves Odds

Atlanta gets the home-field advantage in the odds market. But the smart money is slowly coming in on Philadelphia.

At the time of this writing, the Phillies are getting just 43% of the ML tickets but 53% of the ML handle.

While 8.5 seems like a high total for an NL East battle between a couple of solid starting pitchers, I’d actually lean towards the over in this one. However, the wind is supposed to be blowing in at Truist Field, so proceed with caution.

Philadelphia Phillies Starting Lineup

LF K. Schwarber L
3B A. Bohm R
DH B. Harper L
RF N. Castellanos R
C J. Realmuto R
1B R. Hoskins R
CF O. Herrera L
2B J. Segura R
SS J. Camargo S

Philadelphia Phillies vs Charlie Morton

There’s plenty of reason to worry about Morton.

His 4.95 ERA is backed up by a 4.79 xERA and a 4.72 xFIP. Morton’s strikeouts are down, his walks are up, and there’s nothing in his statistical profile that suggests positive regression.

It’s been a really tough year for a guy who posted a six-win season in 2019. After posting an exceedingly impressive 32.5% hard-hit rate in 2021, that number has risen six percent year over year.

Morton’s curveball still has the stuff, as his curve spin rate ranks in the 99th percentile of qualified pitchers. But guys are picking up that pitch this season, as Morton’s posted a +4 Run Value on the pitch while allowing a .345 wOBA.

That’s a scary prospect, as the Phillies have been crushing curveballs. Philadelphia currently ranks sixth in MLB in weighted curveball runs created (6.0), as Bryce Harper and co. are happy to tee off on overvalued breaking pitches.

Harper continues to dominate, having posted a 175 OPS+ so far this season. But don’t overlook the depth on this Phillies lineup, as eight of the regular nine-man rotation men have posted an OPS+ above 100.

Too bad it can’t all come together for Philadelphia. The lineup is not quite dominant enough to make up for a terrible defensive unit and a questionable pitching staff. The Phillies have a long road ahead of them.

Atlanta Braves Starting Lineup

RF R. Acuna R
C W. Contreras R
LF M. Ozuna R
DH T. d’Arnaud R
1B M. Olson L
2B O. Albies S
3B A. Riley R
CF A. Duvall R
SS D. Swanson R

Atlanta Braves vs Ranger Suarez

Suarez has a fascinating career arc. Last season, he recorded four saves after 20 middle relief appearances and then made 12 starts. The Phillies are trying to stretch Suarez out for all he has.

Through eight starts this season, he might not have the stuff.

Suarez’s 2021 was an outlier in two ways.

First, his 5.8% HR/FB rate was a career-low and about six percent lower than his career average. That has rebounded strongly this season.

Second, his .257 BABIP was also incredibly low for a guy who threw over 100 innings. Suarez paired his ridiculous 1.36 ERA with a 3.38 xFIP. It was clear he was due for regression.

It’s all just come so fast. Suarez has already allowed five home runs this season through 39 ⅓ innings after allowing four in 106 last season. His ERA has shot up to 4.12 as a result.

But Suarez’s expected statistics aren’t much better. Because his strikeouts are down and his walks are up, and his .308 BABIP is more in line with what we should expect.

The Braves haven’t been very dangerous on offense this season, ranking 19h in wRC+ (94). But they are barreling up the ball at the third-highest rank in the league (10.4%). Their .277 BABIP is slightly below average, so maybe some positive regression is coming.

The Atlanta stars just aren’t performing like stars. Only four Atlanta bats have an OPS+ above 100, and none of them have an OPS+ above 120. While the depth is there, there’s no power in this lineup.

Philadelphia Phillies vs Atlanta Braves Pick & Prediction

My pick: Philadelphia Phillies ML (+136 at Fox Bet Sportsbook)

Because of the Braves’ lackluster offensive output, I’m ready to back the Phillies as underdogs in this one.

In fact, I may project Philadelphia as a slight favorite here. Morton is struggling more than ever in his career, while the Phillies’ bats still have plenty of life. And their ability to hit the curveball is huge against a curveball-heavy pitcher like Morton.

I don’t project a huge difference in the bullpens, although the Braves have the advantage there and on the defensive end.

But all-in-all, getting Philadelphia at better than +130 is too good of value to pass up in this contest.

Tanner joined Lineups to cover everything, but he has vast experience in, and unlimited passion for, Major League Baseball and NCAA Basketball. He’s a McGill University grad and former (Canadian) Division-I alpine ski racer who now spends his time drinking beer and betting home underdogs. Patrick Mahomes is a poor man’s Tom Brady.

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