The Atlanta Braves head to Eastern Pennsylvania to take on the Phillies in today's doubleheader. The Braves have been up and down since their series with the Dodgers and are looking to gain momentum after clinching a playoff spot yesterday. Atlanta will look to hamper Philadelphia's playoff hopes, who currently are up four games in the top wildcard spot. The Phillies have been streaky throughout the season, but have been struggling recently, going 4-6 over their last ten.
On average, the Bravos lineup is scoring 4.8 runs per game in September and has consistently given stability throughout the order. Acuña has a chance to get to the coveted 40/70 season. His power has seen an uptick, hitting six home runs this month. Pitching has struggled somewhat, with a few games getting out of hand early.
Charlie Morton, who has been reliable throughout the season, will get the start in the first game. He will match up with Taijuan Walker, who has received a lot of run support. Game two is more unclear. Kyle Wright is expected to return but Atlanta may utilize Dylan Lee as an opener, according to Mark Bowman. Philadelphia will start Michael Lorenzen for the final game of the double dip.
Pitching Matchup for Braves vs. Phillies
Charlie Morton has been exceptional for Atlanta over the last five games, giving up only three runs. The 15-year vet has been in full command, locating his pitches and suffocating batters. Morton owns a 3.32 ERA with a 14-11 record. When watching Morton, he has primarily relied on a low 80s curve and 95-mph four-seamer. He will pair these with a changeup, sinker, and slider combination that are all thrown with a lot of tail and strength.
Taijuan Walker has been knocked around some in 2023 but has posted a 15-5 record with a 4.15 ERA. The Phillies play well in front of Walker, gathering heaps of run support. Viewers can look to see five pitches from Walker, primarily an 88-mph splitter and low 90s sinker. Sprinkled in, expect a four-seam fastball, cutter, slider, and curve to give plenty of variety.
For game two, Braves fans hope to see Kyle Wright in some capacity. The young pitcher was fantastic last year, holding a 3.19 ERA and gaining a 21-5 record. However, Wright struggled before his shoulder injury, holding a 5.79 ERA. Wright has not pitched since May 3rd, however, there is a lot of hope he can regain his form in time for the playoffs. When watching, expect a lot of heavy 12-6 curveballs paired with a 93 mph sinker and 95 mph four-seamer. Also in his arsenal, is a changeup mixed with a rare slider.
In a day full of hard throwers, Philadelphia will place Michael Lorenzen as the starter for game two. Lorenzen has been knocked around over his last four games, giving up 19 runs. The Braves should have fresh eyes; seeing a lot of pitching from game one, expect them to be patient for the right pitches. Lorenzen relies on a 94 mph four-seam fastball, mid-80s slider, and changeup at the same speed. In rare cases, he will also throw a cutter and curve.
Hitters to watch
Ronald Acuña Jr. will always be in the must-watch territory. However, through the end of the season, it will be exciting to see how he battles the 40/70 expectations through the end of the season. The potential MVP has been mashing all season, especially through September. Acuña has hit six homers and driven in nine runs over his last nine games.
Matt Olson has also been lethal toward pitchers over the month. He has risen his average by 13 points since September 3rd, knocking in another nine runs simultaneously. Expect him to continue his patience at the plate while his power and contact become more synced.
Where to watch
Date/Time/Location: 9/11/2023 at 1:05 PM EST at Citizens Bank Park
TV: Bally Sports Southeast, MLB Network ( Out of Market )
Radio: 680 AM/ 93.7 FM The Fan
Date/Time/Location: 9/11/2023 at 6:40 PM EST at Citizens Bank Park
TV: Bally Sports Southeast
Radio: 680 AM/ 93.7 FM The Fan