The Philadelphia Phillies will look to close in on a postseason berth as they visit the Atlanta Braves for the start of a three-game series Monday night.
Atlanta has already clinched the NL East and is closing in on the top seed in the National League playoffs, but is coming off a weekend sweep at the hands of the Miami Marlins. The latest MLB odds see Philadelphia as a near lock to make the playoffs, as the Phillies hold a three-game lead over the Arizona Diamondbacks for the top Wild Card spot in the National League.
Philly isn't out of the woods yet but has an excellent shot at picking up another important win on Monday with Zack Wheeler on the mound. I’ll break down tonight’s matchup in my free MLB picks for the Phillies vs. Braves on September 18.
Phillies vs Braves odds
Phillies vs Braves predictions
The Atlanta Braves hold an unassailable 15-game lead over the Philadelphia Phillies in the NL East. A significant part of that advantage comes from the fact Atlanta has won seven of the first 10 games between the divisional rivals this year. However, there’s good reason to think that Monday’s matchup could go better for the Phillies.
With Atlanta already in command of a playoff spot and at least a first-round bye in the playoffs, it hasn’t exactly been playing inspired baseball as of late. The Braves lost three straight to the Marlins over the weekend, giving up an average of 12 runs per game in the process.
On Monday, they won’t be trotting out the kind of lineup they might use for Game 7 of the World Series, either. Atlanta may be without likely NL MVP Ronald Acuna Jr., who has missed the last two games with right calf tightness. That’s an even bigger problem when you consider the Braves may need to score plenty of runs to back up Kyle Wright on the mound.
Wright has started six games for Atlanta this year and has yet to pick up a win. In fact, the 27-year-old has lasted just 21 2/3 innings in those six starts, compiling an ERA of 7.48 in the process. For a pitcher coming off a 21-win season in 2022, this year has been a massive disappointment — albeit one that looks more in line with his career before last year’s breakout season.
The Phillies still have plenty of motivation to play for every single win they can get. That starts on Monday night when they will give the ball to Zack Wheeler. While Wheeler had a rough outing in his last start — which came against Atlanta — he is enjoying a solid year for the Phillies overall.
Philadelphia hasn’t taken advantage of its opportunities to put away the Wild Card race as of late but seems to have turned things around over the weekend, winning two of three games against the Cardinals in St. Louis. Tonight’s game is the perfect opportunity to continue that momentum. With sportsbooks treating this game as a virtual tossup, I’m backing the Phillies on the moneyline.
My best bet: Phillies moneyline (-110 at Unibet)
Phillies vs Braves same-game parlay
For tonight’s same-game parlay, I’m going to build on my expectation that the Phillies can generate a lot of offense off of Wright and take the Over at 9.5 runs.
Not only should the Phillies be able to score off of Wright, but the Atlanta lineup has had success against Wheeler, notably in its most recent encounter. The Braves and the Phillies both have powerful offenses, and this game’s total will likely get into double digits.
Finally, I’ll round out my SGP by taking Trea Turner to collect at least two total bases. Turner has been hitting well as of late, getting at least two bases on 14 of his past 17 games. That makes this the perfect way to add value to our bet, especially as Turner should feast on Wright while he remains in the game.
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Phillies vs Braves moneyline and Over/Under analysis
Atlanta opened tonight’s game as a slight favorite, with the opening line sitting around Braves -115. Since then, the odds have flipped, with Philadelphia -115 becoming the consensus moneyline fave. You can find the Phillies at -110 at some books, while -104 is available on the Braves.
Atlanta has exceeded its lofty expectations in 2023, and has made a bit over 10 units on the moneyline. Meanwhile. Philly has disappointed its backers, dropping four units on the season.
The Phillies are my best bet for this game tonight. While it makes sense for Atlanta to be favored as a baseline, all the factors impacting this game push it in favor of Philadelphia. Wheeler should outclass Wright on the mound, Acuna may be out, and the Phillies have far more motivation.
The total on this game was set at 9.5 runs and remains at that number at most books. The Under is considered a slight favorite; you can find it at -110 at some books, while the Over is available with odds as short as -104.
The Braves have one of the best offenses in the majors, which has led the Over to an 83-64 record in their games. Philadelphia has been close to balanced against the number this year, with the Under holding a 71-67 advantage.
While I like Wheeler better than Wright tonight, both teams should be able to score off the opposing pitcher. Wheeler struggled in his last outing against Atlanta, and even if he should do better tonight — especially if Acuna doesn’t play — that doesn’t mean he’ll shut the Braves down entirely. With the Phillies lineup set up to succeed tonight, that’s enough for me to lean towards the Over.
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Trend to know
The Phillies are 11-6 in the last 17 games that Zack Wheeler has started. Find more MLB betting trends for Phillies vs. Braves
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Phillies vs Braves game info
|Location:||Truist Park, Cumberland, GA|
|Date:||Monday, September 18, 2023|
|First pitch:||7:20 p.m. ET|
Zack Wheeler (11-6, 3.70 ERA): After three straight years posting an ERA below 3.00 for the Phillies, 2023 has been a small step back for Wheeler. However, his fundamental numbers still look good: He’s striking out 10.1 batters per nine innings, has solid control, and is holding opponents to a WHIP of just 1.074.
Kyle Wright (0-2, 7.48 ERA): The Braves thought Wright had figured out how to pitch well at the major league level in 2022 when he went 21-5 with a 3.19 ERA — by far the best campaign of his career — and his first full season. Wright suffered a shoulder injury earlier this season, and only returned to the Braves last Monday when he allowed six runs on six hits over just three innings against the Phillies.
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