Phillies vs. Braves: Predictions, Odds, Best Bets, Starting Lineups (5/25/23)

The Phillies and Braves meet for the first time this season in an NL East divisional showdown. Both teams’ moneyline odds are less than even money (-110) and the over/under is at 9.5 runs. The Phillies are slight road favorites at -1.5 (+150) on the spread, but the prediction here is that the Braves take the first game of this four-game series.

Braves vs. Phillies Prediction

The pitching matchup in this game should favor the Phillies. Aaron Nola is not off to a great start through his first 10 starts with a 4.31 ERA, but he could be rounding into form after putting together arguably his best start of the season last time out. On Saturday against the Cubs, Nola allowed two runs in seven innings and struck out 10 batters.

On the other side, the Braves are short on starting arms with both Max Fried and Kyle Wright on the IL, so rookie left-hander Dylan Dodd is getting the call to make his fourth career start. A 3rd round pick in 2021, Dodd is the Braves’ No. 10 prospect per MLB Pipeline and worked his way through the minor league system quickly. In three starts this season, he is 2-1 with a 6.46 ERA and seven Ks over 15-1/3 innings pitched.

While an experienced and proven pitcher like Nola certainly gets the nod there, his inconsistency this season means it’s hard to trust the pitching edge alone swinging this matchup towards Philadelphia. The Phillies have never seen Dodd’s stuff, and they have been much better against righties (.270/.341/.422) than they have against lefties (.232/.280/.404). The Braves have been the opposite, hitting .307/.369/.569 against lefties compared to .232/.315/.409 against righties, which bodes well for Nola.

One factor in favor of Philadelphia is the momentum they could be carrying from a five-run comeback in their series finale against Arizona on Wednesday. Trea Turner hit a game-tying two-run homer in the bottom of the ninth and the Phillies walked off in the bottom of the 10th on a hit by Alec Bohm. If that homer helps Turner bust out of his season-long slump that would be a huge boost to the underperforming Phillies offense.

Even with some positive signs recently and a matchup with a rookie pitcher, I am not ready to trust this Phillies lineup. The Braves have one of the best lineups in baseball, with the 9th most runs scored and the 3rd best OPS. I like their odds as a slight home underdog in this game.

On the total, I am taking the under at 9.5 runs. While these teams have plenty of firepower, the Phillies’ inconsistent bats and the Braves’ matchup against Nola are two big factors that push the expectation towards the under. This pick also goes well with the Braves moneyline pick, since the Phillies are 19-2 this season when they score at least five runs.

Phillies vs. Braves Prediction: Braves’ ML (-110), Under 9.5 runs (-100)

Phillies vs. Braves Odds

The Phillies opened as road favorites at -115, while the Braves’ moneyline was also less than even money at -105. As of this writing, those lines have moved slightly and both teams are now at -110.

The run line has the Phillies at -1.5 (+150) while the Braves are getting +1.5 at -182 odds. The over/under for this game is at 9.5, with the over at +100 and the under at -120.

Phillies vs. Braves Key Matchups

Here are the key matchups that could decide Braves vs. Phillies.

Aaron Nola vs. Braves’ right-handed heavy lineup
As noted above, the Braves are much better against lefties than they are against righties. The majority of their best hitters all hit from the right side (Acuna, Riley, Murphy, Ozuna), with Matt Olson being the big exception. The switch-hitting Ozzie Albies also hits much better against lefties (.441/.450/.831) than he does against righties (.169/.236/.315).

For his career, Nola has not faired any better against righties (.232/.280/.373) than he has against lefties (.226/.292/.373), and last season he was actually better against lefties (.200/.247/.310) than he was against righties (.237/.264/.382). However, it has been a different story this year, where he is better against righties (.225/.256/.401) than he is against lefties (.247/.304/.424), though the difference is not very significant.

In five starts against Atlanta last season, Nola went 3-2 with a solid 3.67 ERA. He is very familiar with this lineup, having faced 140 batters last season – more than he faced against any other team. Of course that also means they are familiar with him.

The Phillies need Nola to build on his excellent previous outing and start stringing together multiple outings like that one.

Dylan Dodd vs. Phillies’ lefties

The Phillies’ lineup is a bit more balanced than the Braves’, but they still fair much better against righties than they do against lefties. That is one of the reasons I picked the Braves’ moneyline in my Phillies vs. Braves prediction.

The Phillies’ two biggest power bats – Harper and Schwarber – both hit from the left side. Schwarber could be a player to watch in this game. He has been abysmal to start the season (.170/.317/.721) but he tends to start heating up around Memorial Day and especially in the month of June. He could start getting hot at any moment, and with 12 homers this season (tied for 10th in MLB), it just takes one swing for him to affect the game.

Phillies vs. Braves Starting Lineups (Projected)

Phillies Starting Lineup
2B Bryson Stott (L)
SS Trea Turner (R)
DH Bryce Harper (L)
RF Nick Castellanos (R)
LF Kyle Schwarber (L)
C J.T. Realmuto (R)
3B Alec Bohm (R)
CF Brandon Marsh (L)
1B Kody Clemens (L)

Braves Starting Lineup
RF R. Acuna (R)
1B M. Olson (L)
C S. Murphy (R)
3B A. Riley (R)
LF E. Rosario (L)
2B O. Albies (S)
DH M. Ozuna (R)
SS O. Arcia (R)
CF M. Harris (L)

Noah hails from Philadelphia and is a diehard Philly sports fan. He graduated from Penn where he was a sports writer and editor for the student newspaper and also spent a summer covering the Baltimore Orioles for He has been playing fantasy sports since before live stats were a thing, and he has enjoyed learning the nuances of DFS in recent years. As a current resident of Florida, he is hoping the wave of sports betting legalization will eventually reach his home state.

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