The Braves will take on the Philadelphia Phillies in a three-game series at home this weekend. This will be the first meeting for these two teams since the opening series of the season, a three-game sweep by the Phillies. The Braves will be hoping for different results and to extend their lead in the NL East.
The Braves are riding high coming into the series with the Phillies. Since the start of June, the Braves are 10-2, and 22-9 in their last 31 games. Atlanta seems to be heating up just as the Braves are, which is good timing. Since going on this extended run of success, Atlanta has overtaken the Phillies in the NL East race. As of Friday, the lead sits at a game and a half for the Braves, who will be looking to extend their lead this weekend.
The Braves have had a steady balance of offensive success mixed with some good pitching to keep this team winning. Julio Teheran has been leading the charge since May. Since May 5th, Teheran has made 8 starts and has only given up 4 earned runs in those starts. Teheran’s May and June have been just as good as any pitcher in baseball. Mike Soroka has been as steady as ever at the top of the rotation, while Max Fried has slowed down slightly, but nonetheless is a pitcher the Braves can rely on. Dallas Keuchel will be with the team sooner than later, which will add more depth to this Braves rotation.
The Atlanta offense has been very good since going on this run of wins. The Braves have hit 100 home runs this season when the team hit 175 all of last season. It seems like the Braves offense is going to outpace those numbers before we get to September. Freddie Freeman has been the spearhead of the group. Since the start of June, Freeman is hitting .326 with 4 doubles, 5 home runs, 13 RBI, and 9 runs scored. Acuna, Riley, Albies, and Swanson have all be big-time contributors this season, too. The Braves are clicking on all cylinders at the moment.
The Braves will be hoping to ride their momentum through this series to pad their lead on the Phillies. The Braves will be sending out Fried, Newcomb, and Foltynewicz this weekend. Fried has struggled lately, posting a 7.20 ERA in two starts. Newcomb, who has been great in the bullpen since being promoted again, will start in the place of Kevin Gausman. It will be interesting to see what the Braves do with Newcomb if he can have a decent outing. Foltynewicz has been up and down this season. The Braves are still waiting for Folty to recapture what made him look like the number one starter on this roster last season.
The Braves have a golden opportunity this weekend. Atlanta is playing their best baseball of the season and with their chief division rival coming into town. It’s a great spot to be for the Braves. If the weekend goes well, we could all be looking for the Braves to cushion their lead even more after this series concludes. The Braves should also be weary of the Phillies immense pool of talent. This Philadelphia team swept the Braves to start the season, but luckily, for the Braves, this Atlanta team looks completely different. First pitch tonight at 7:20.