Phillies vs Braves NLDS Game 1 Picks and Predictions: Riley Swings a Big Stick

The Atlanta Braves rake vs. left-handed pitchers and perhaps no one exemplifies this better than slugger Austin Riley. He owned southpaws in 2022 and faces one that doesn't miss bats in Ranger Suarez. We're banking on Riley to hit the Over in total bases.

Oct 11, 2022 • 10:56 ET • 4 min read
Austin Riley Dansby Swanson Matt Olson Atlanta Braves MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Game 1 of the NLDS begins on Tuesday afternoon with the Atlanta Braves hosting the Philadelphia Phillies at Truist Park.

Atlanta will begin its World Series defense with ace Max Fried on the mound while Philadelphia will respond with Ranger Suarez on the rubber after upsetting the Cardinals in the Wild Card round.

MLB betting lines opened with the Braves as -195 home favorites for this postseason clash before shifting to -205. Here are my best free Phillies vs. Braves MLB picks and predictions for October 11. 

Phillies vs Braves best odds

Phillies vs Braves picks and predictions

Austin Riley has been a force for the Braves, slashing .273/.349/.528 while clubbing 38 homers and 39 doubles to finish second in the majors with 325 total bases.

The third baseman struggled in the final month of the season but should be in a good spot to get on track this afternoon. 

Riley has gone 5-for-12 at the dish against Suarez in his career and he tends to mash against southpaws, boasting a .671 slugging percentage against them this year.

He also hits better at home than on the road with a slugging percentage of .601 at Truist Park compared to .456 in away contests. Take the Over 1.5 total bases for Riley at plus money today.

My best bet: Austin Riley Over 1.5 total bases (+123)

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Phillies vs Braves NLDS odds

Teams Odds to win series
Steelers Philadelphia Phillies +155
Browns Atlanta Braves -180

Phillies vs Braves moneyline analysis

The Braves went 11-8 in the regular season against the Phillies and although they struggled in the first two months of the season, they caught on fire and never looked back. They went 78-34 since the start of June and managed to overtake the Mets for the NL East title, earning a first-round bye in the process. 

The Phillies claimed the final wild-card berth in the National League and proceeded to knock off the NL Central-winning Cardinals in two games over the weekend. That was due to a couple of terrific starts from Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola and that duo of stud starters makes them a dangerous threat in the postseason. 

However, they won't be able to go until a bit later in this series and the rest of Philadelphia's pitching staff has been less than inspiring. 

Today, the Phillies will give the ball to Suarez, who has been solid and limits hard contact but rarely makes batters miss and has a mediocre OBA of .249. He looked very sharp in a pair of September starts against Atlanta but was lit up in his first two outings of the season versus the Braves, surrendering nine earned runs across 11 innings. 

Atlanta has a powerful lineup that led the majors in slugging percentage (.443) and barrel rate (10.9%) while ranking second in hard-hit rate (43.5%).

The Phillies are no slouches at the dish, either, ranking sixth in slugging (.422) and hard-hit rate (41.1%) while sitting seventh in barrel rate (8.5%). 

That said, they'll have a tough time generating contact against Fried. Not only did Fried end the regular season with an impressive 2.48 ERA across 30 starts, but he improved that number to 1.95 over his final 10. 

Atlanta also has the far better bullpen with their relievers pitching to a 2.87 ERA with an OBA of .205 since the All-Star break while the Phillies bullpen has a collective 5.10 ERA with a .268 OBA.

Phillies vs Braves Over/Under analysis

This total opened at 7 before ticking up to 7.5. Postseason baseball can often see a renewed focus on pitching and low-scoring games but the Braves averaged an impressive 5.20 runs per game since the start of June.

Meanwhile, the Phillies plated 4.67 runs per game over the same period despite playing without their best hitter in Bryce Harper for two months. 

As good as Suarez looked in his two September starts against the Braves, it's tough to overlook his up-and-down play over the course of the full season, especially with this being his postseason debut against a Braves lineup that appears to be a bad matchup for him. 

Suarez is a ground ball pitcher who will be facing plenty of fly-ball hitters. He rarely fans opposing batters so he won't be able to take advantage of Atlanta's tendency to strike out. The Braves also mash against lefties like Suarez, ranking third in the majors with an OPS of .782. 

For their part, the Phillies also bat very well against southpaws, ranking sixth with an OPS of .770, so they might not be completely shut down by the left-handed Fried.

Phillies vs Braves trend to know

The Braves are 42-12 in their last 54 home games. Find more MLB betting trends for Phillies vs. Braves

Phillies vs Braves game info

Location: Truist Park, Atlanta, GA
Date: Tuesday, October 11, 2022
First pitch: 1:07 p.m. ET

Starting pitchers

Ranger Suarez (10-7, 3.65 ERA): After splitting time between the bullpen and rotation last year, the 27-year-old Suarez became a full-time starter in 2022 and had solid results. The lefty had a 3.87 FIP with a 1.33 WHIP and an OBA of .249 across 155 1-3 innings. Suarez did end his season with an ugly start last Tuesday, allowing six runs and three dingers in just three innings versus the Astros.

Max Fried (14-7, 2.48 ERA): The 28-year-old has anchored a fantastic Atlanta rotation by posting career-best numbers in FIP (2.70), WHIP (1.01), and strikeouts to walks (5.31). He closed the season with a very strong month of September where he pitched to a 2.00 ERA with a 0.85 WHIP and an OBA of .190 in five starts — with two of those outings coming against the Phillies. 

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