Play the Total in Braves, Phillies Game 1

Phillies vs. Braves, Game 1

We open the series between the Phillies and Braves. We've already seen this matchup 19 times this season, and the starting pitchers have faced the opposing team multiple times already this year. Pitchers will be familiar with hitters, and hitters will be ready for the pitchers. It should be a good series, but if you want a breakdown of that, I shared my series bets for this in a separate article.

Ranger Suarez is taking the hill for the Phillies, and it will be an uphill battle against a really strong starter for the Braves in Max Fried. Suarez has been better in road starts this year so there is a little reason for optimism there. On the road, he sports a 3.20 ERA and it actually gets better for the Phillies because during day starts, Suarez has a 2.81 ERA. From July through September, he was solid with 13 starts and allowed just 19 earned runs over 73.1 innings. Now for the bad news, his most recent start was terrible - in his last start, he went three innings and allowed six earned runs, including three home runs. His starts against the Braves were interesting this season. The first two of his five starts he allowed nine earned runs in 11 innings. Then, over his next three starts, he allowed one earned run over 17 innings. The Phillies lost both of the games that Suarez started in Atlanta.

Fried had a great season for the Braves, something I am happy to say I called before the season (though in fairness, I thought he would contend for the Cy Young and he never really did). He has a solid 2.48 ERA and in no situation is there a split that makes him look bad. At home he is really solid, and during day starts he is awesome, too. When the Braves needed him most, he was at his best. Over his last six starts, which spanned 32 innings and allowed just seven earned runs. Against the Phillies, he allowed just eight earned runs over 23 innings. It wasn't like he didn't have some trouble with them, though. In those 23 innings, he allowed 23 hits and six walks. The Braves went just 2-2 in his starts against them. They won both of the games he pitched at home and lost both of the ones on the road.

I think this is a game that probably sees a fairly low score. If the Phillies had a team total of under 3 I'd pounce on it but I'm only seeing 2.5. I think the Braves have the clear edge with Fried on the mound. The books obviously do, too. They are a -200 favorite to win, which I think is wild for a playoff game - there is some value on the Phillies, but I don't think they will win. I'm taking the game under 7.5 at -120. Both pitchers are in their optimal position.

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