3 Reasons Braves vs. Phillies Could be Best Rivalry in MLB

The Braves and Phillies have had some close battles as of late and tension is rising. This very well could be the start of a rivalry revived.

Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies
Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

In 2022, the Philadelphia Phillies eliminated the reigning World Series Champions (Atlanta Braves) from the playoffs in the NLDS. With the way things are trending, we very well could see a rematch in the 2023 postseason. As we watch these two teams battle it out towards the end of the regular season, the rivalry between these ball clubs seems to be intensifying. Here are three reasons why the Braves/Phillies rivalry could become the best in the MLB. 

1. Consistently Close Games

Almost every time the Braves and Phillies square off, the game goes down to the wire. We saw this in the four game set that wrapped up on Wednesday. Two of the four games took extra innings to be decided and another game was a two run affair.

While it may seem like Atlanta has the edge and wins the majority of these matchups, the Phillies are getting closer and closer to winning the close ones. 

2. Not Much Player Turnover In the Future

These two teams are set up for long term success. Some of the best players in the leagues have chosen to play for the Phillies or Braves for the foreseeable future..

When the same players are competing against each other for an extended period of time in the same division, things will get interesting over time. Take a look below at the players each team has signed and the year they will become free agents. 

Philadelphia Phillies: Trea Turner (2033), Kyle Schwarber (2025), Bryce Harper (2031), J.T. Realmuto (2025)

Atlanta Braves: Ronald Acuna Jr. (2029), Matt Olson (2031), Ozzie Albies (2027), Austin RIley (2034), Spencer Strider (2030), Sean Murphy (2030) and Michael Harris II (2033)

3. Organizations are Not Shy About Their Feelings

2023 alone has brought out an interested side of people associated with the Braves and Phillies organizations. Atlanta seems to be enjoying their success against the Phillies a little more than other teams and are not holding back on their celebrations. This has rubbed the Phillies radio crew and manager Rob Thompson the wrong way. 

Back in June, Marcell Ozuna hit a mammoth homerun in extra innings and did his handshake ritual with Braves’ third base coach, Ron Washington. The Phillies radio booth did not take kindly to that. They complained about the amount of time it took Ozuna to round the bases and labeled the handshake as “an unprofessional hand dance.” 

More recently, Ronald Acuna bat flipped and did the “fly away” celebration after a tape measure shot on Tuesday. Rob Thompson made the comment that he likes players to “act like they have been there before” and deemed Acuna’s celebration as excessive. 

As if this was not enough, Zack Wheeler made a comment about his homeruns given up in Tuesday’s game. Wheeler stated “then I just hung a curveball to… what’s his name? Acuna?” The initial reaction from fans was that Wheeler was just joking. However, the more people watch the press conference and react to it, it seems that Wheeler may have been taking a shot at Ronald. 

Any time two really good teams face each other in the MLB, it is a lot of fun to watch. When it is division rivals competing for a run in the postseason, it is must-see TV.