Preview: Atlanta sends Spencer Strider to the mound in game one against Philadelphia

New York Mets v Atlanta Braves
New York Mets v Atlanta Braves / Kevin C. Cox/GettyImages

The Atlanta Braves currently lead the NL East with a 46-26 record and are 8 games ahead of the third-place Phillies. Considering the injuries Atlanta has endured so far in 2023, it's nice to see them still leading the division.

Philadelphia is riding a six-game win streak as they welcome the Braves to town and have been playing a little better than they were the last time the two teams met. Atlanta is also coming in on a six-game winning streak including a 4-game series sweep of the Rockies.

Atlanta had 49 hits and scored 40 runs over the four games with a .360 batting average including 12 homers, 20 walks, and 23 strikeouts in the series. The Phillies have been hitting well during their six-game winning streak as well with a .264 average including 61 hits, 36 runs, 19 walks, and 60 strikeouts. They've only suffered 3 losses in the month of June and the numbers are just astounding..

One thing to notice here, the Braves have been striking out a lot less than the Phillies over that time frame. The Phillies have 658 total strikeouts which is the 9th most on the season so far versus the Braves who have 595 of them which is the 21st most in all of baseball.

Atlanta also leads all of baseball in team OPS at .818 and the second-best team average which sits at .269 on the season. The Braves offense leads the NL in all offensive categories with a .269 average, .339 on-base percentage, .479 slugging percentage, and .818 OPS. Philly carries the 5th best average in the NL at .258, they are 10th in OBP at .322, 6th in SLG at .420, and 6th in OPS with a .742 number in NL ranks.

So, the teams are pretty well matched when it comes to offense and that was expected as the Phillies and Braves are built very similar in that area. Believe it or not, the Braves have a better team ERA than the Phillies in the pitching department. Atlanta carries a team ERA of 3.77 which is 5th best in all of baseball whereas the Phillies are 17th with a 4.33 ERA.

Starters for Braves at Phillies Game One

Spencer Strider takes the mound for Atlanta in game one of the series. Strider started off the season strong but has seen a dip in velocity in the last 3 starts and it's caused him to struggle a bit. His last start against the Tigers only lasted 5 innings allowing 5 runs on 7 hits with 2 walks and 6 strikeouts.

Over his last three starts, Strider carries a 9.00 ERA over 15 innings allowing 15 runs on 18 hits and walking 8 batters while striking out 21 of them. He also has a FIP of 7.48 and a BABIP of .364 during that stretch of games as well. Not the best work and it's certainly a little concerning seeing the velo dip slightly.

Strider has pitched fairly well against the Phillies in his career despite what Philly fans may have you think. They roughed up Strider in Game 3 of the NLDS last season as they tagged him for 5 runs in 2.1 innings of work. Spencer faced the Phillies earlier this season and won the game allowing just two runs on two hits in 6 innings with one walk and nine strikeouts.

He is 5-0 and his career ERA in the regular season against the Phillies rests at 1.65 over 27.1 innings with 8 walks and 43 strikeouts. Hopefully, fans see the former version of Strider and not the one who has been struggling lately or this game could get out of hand quickly.

He will be opposed by Ranger Suarez who has pitched fairly well in his last 3 starts. He has combined for 20 innings of work allowing 16 hits, 2 earned runs, 5 walks, and 18 strikeouts. Polar opposite from what the Braves have gotten from Strider in his last 3 starts. The Atlanta offense will be challenged a bit more tonight as Suarez has pitched fairly well against them with a 3.21 career ERA against them.

We could be in for a low-scoring game if both starters are on their game tonight. We all know how the ball can fly out of Citizens Bank Park if a pitcher makes a mistake though. With how powerful both offenses are, it could just as easily be a slugfest at a moment's notice.

How to watch Braves at Phillies

Game time and location: Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA at 6:40 PM EST

Watch: Bally Sports South and TBS

Listen: 680 AM/93.7 FM The Fan