Phillies vs Braves Picks and Predictions: Where There's a Wheel, There's a Way

The Phillies and Braves head into a series that will decide the NL East. And while both have explosive lineups, innings-eater Zack Wheeler presides on the mound, and has a strong influence on our Phillies vs Braves picks.

Last Updated: Sep 28, 2021 12:04 PM ET Read Time: 4 min
Zack Wheeler Philadelphia Phillies MLB
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

With just six games remaining on the 2021 MLB schedule, The Atlanta Braves (7-3 SU L10) hold a 2.5-game lead in the NL East over the Philadelphia Phillies (7-3 SU L10) with their three-game set kicking off at Truist Park. Philadelphia leads the season series 9-7 SU but is 5-2 SU over the last five meetings.

The Phillies will send Zack Wheeler to the mound with their season on the line, as Philadelphia is 5-0 SU in Wheelers’ last five starts. The Braves will counter with Charlie Morton, who has led Atlanta to just one win across his last six starts.

Here are our free picks and predictions for Philadelphia Phillies vs Atlanta Braves for Tuesday, September 28.

Phillies vs Braves odds

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Phillies vs Braves picks

Picks made on 9/28/2021 at 11:10 a.m. ET.
Click on each pick to jump to the full analysis.

Phillies vs Braves game info

Location: Truist Park, Atlanta, GA
Date: Tuesday, September 28, 2021
Time: 7:20 p.m. ET
TV: NBCSP, Bally Sports South

Phillies vs Braves betting preview

Starting pitchers

Zack Wheeler (14-9, 2.79 ERA): The Phillies’ right-hander has been absolutely on fire over his last four starts, having allowed just three earned runs and not giving up more than one run in any of those starts. Wheeler owns a 1.14 ERA this month over 23 2-3 innings and has surrendered just one home run while striking out 32, compared to just five walks. He’s seen Atlanta four times this year and has a 1.35 ERA and a sub-1.000 WHIP. The Phillies are 19-12 SU in Wheelers’ starts this season, including 5-0 SU in his last five turns.

Charlie Morton (13-6, 3.53 ERA): Morton continues to eat innings for the Braves in his 14th season in the league. Morton has been consistent all year, having not posted an ERA over 3.80 since May. However, it hasn’t resulted in success in the win column, as the Braves have dropped five of his last six starts and have scored just 14 runs in those five losses. Morton’s splits favor the road (3.06 ERA) to home (4.00 ERA) and the right-hander is 2-2 SU with a 3.06 ERA with a 1.528 WHIP versus the Phillies over four starts this year. 

Weather

Be sure to monitor the gametime conditions with our MLB weather info.

Key injuries

Phillies: Rhys Hoskins 1B (out).
Braves: Ronald Acuna Jr. (out), Marcell Ozuna OF (out).
Find our latest MLB injury reports.

Betting trend to know

The Under is 4-0-1 in the Phillies’ last five vs. the National League East. Find more MLB betting trends for Phillies vs. Braves.

Phillies vs Braves predictions

It’s do-or-die-time for the Phillies, who sit 2.5 games back from the Braves for the top spot in the NL East. Philadelphia enters the three-game set as +113 on the ML ,which isn’t a terrible price considering they come into this series hot. They've won nine of their last 12, and averaged +125 in the six other away games versus the Braves this year. In the last series these two teams played — both in Philadelphia — the best price the Phillies offered was -130.

The visitors come into this important series with the edge in starting pitching. It’s not a knock on Charlie Morton, who has been solid for the Braves, but Zack Wheeler comes into Tuesday’s match on a heater.

Wheeler has won four of his last five starts and has allowed just three earned runs over his last 23 2-3 innings. He’s had at least seven strikeouts in six of his last nine starts and has hit the double-digit mark twice over that stretch. He's also stymied the Braves’ bats all year, including an eight-inning scoreless performance with 12 punchouts and zero walks.

The Phillie bats have also been a major reason for the late playoff push. They sit in the Top 10 in OPS, HR/gm and runs scored over the last 14 days and are being led by Bryce Harper, who is slashing .382/.508/.814 over the last month. Six players on the Phillies have a lifetime batting average equal to or greater than .333 versus Morton, including Jean Segura, who is hitting .344 against the Braves starter over 32 at-bats with two long balls.

Home field is given too much credit, and that especially goes for the Braves who are 37-37 SU at home this year. Morton’s 1.500-plus WHIP versus the Phillies this year also is a red flag for us, as we have no problems getting a good price (+113) with the hotter team with more on the line and the better starting pitcher. Wheeler can get deep (19 starts of six-plus innings) and keep the below-average Philly bullpen from throwing three or more innings.

Tuesday’s match gives us a total of 7.5 runs, which is leaning to the Over. It briefly hit 8, before getting bet back down to 7.5 in a two-hour stretch. Something moved that line (Under 8 -112,) which has us doubting if the books will move it back off the 7.5 to 8 later today.

Looking at both these offenses – which rank inside the Top 10 in most important statistical categories over the last month – might have many bettors leaning on the Over, but Morton versus Wheeler is a decent pitching duel. 

Morton owns a 3.39 ERA across 13 second-half starts, while Wheeler has a 1.085 WHIP in the second half himself. This game has major playoff consequences and we assume both teams are coming into this series amped up having a day off yesterday to prepare.

Both bullpens will be fully available and if Morton does struggle early, he is backed by an Atlanta bullpen that has a 3.30 ERA in the second half which is the fifth-best mark in baseball. 

Wheeler has hit the Under 7.5 in his two most recent starts against the Braves, while the Under is 4-2 across the last six meetings. Philadelphia is 2-6 O/U in its last eight games while Atlanta is 4-5 O/U in its last nine. Ball Park Pal also has Truist Park at -1.38 total bases, which is the fourth-most pitcher-friendly park on the slate today.

Phillies vs Braves betting card

  • Philadelphia ML (+113)
  • Under 7.5  (-106)
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