2 Reasons The Braves Will Lose on Thursday
1. Braves Bullpen Struggles
If the Braves have had one inconsistency in all of 2023, it has been their pitching, bullpen arms specifically. During some stretches, it feels like relievers in Braves jerseys are un-hittable. Other times, like as of late, no lead feels safe.
There is a good likelyhood that Spencer Strider will throw a career high in pitches on Thursday night but unlikely he makes it through all nine innings. At some point the Braves will have to call upon the bullpen which could cost them their season.
During an elimination game, the bullpen will be managed differently. High leverage pitchers will be called upon earlier in the game which could result in middle inning guys being summoned to close the door. With the bullpen options the Braves have right now, it feels like Brian Snitker has no where to turn.
2. Phillies Are Pumped but Relaxed
The Philies are up in the series 2-1. All they have to do is win one more game at the toughest place for opponents to play and they will be in the NLCS for the second consecutive year. If they don't win on Thursday, they get another chance on Saturday in Atlanta where they have already won a game this postseason.
Philadelphia is playing with a lot of confidence right now and is on the quest of avengening their World Series loss to the Astros in 2022. Their offense is starting to look like what the record breaking Braves did during the regular season.
Slowing down this offense will be a tough task, especially when they are swinging freely without feeling the pressure their opposition is.