The Atlanta Braves finished the regular season at 104-58. From now until the end of time when people debate on the greatest teams in MLB history, the 2023 Atlanta Braves will be mentioned. However, games have not mattered like they will come October 7th. Atlanta's quest for another World Series title will begin with a division matchup: the Philadelphia Phillies or Miami Marlins.
So if the Braves had the choice who would they want to face? The answer is pretty obvious, it's the Miami Marlins. We are not taking anything away from what the Marlins have done this season by working their way into the playoffs, but they are just a better matchup.
During the regular season the Braves went 9-4 against the Marlins while outscoring them 96-65. Miami does not have half the power threats or starters that the Phillies do.
Now, the Braves also fared well against the Phillies in the 2023 regular season. With a 104-58 record it is safe to say they played well against everyone. In their 13 matchups with Philidelphia, Atlanta came out victorious eight times. However, the run differential margin was no where near as wide as it was with the Marlins. The Braves outscored the Phillies 74-58 in head-to-head play.
Miami finished the year at 84-77 and sort of snuck into the postseason so to speak. The Phillies are hungry and looking for redemption following a loss to the Houston Astros in the 2022 World Series.
Trea Turner, Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, Kyle Schwarber, Alec Bohm and Nick Castellanos can cause havoc at the plate in a hurry. Aaron Nola and Zach Wheeler have the potential to throw a no-hitter each time out and former Braves superstar Craig Kimbrel stays lurking in the Philly bullpen ready to shut the door on a close game.
The Marlins have the National League Batting Title champion in Luis Arraez and a major power threat in another former Brave, Jorge Soler. Outside of those two players and Jazz Chisholm Jr., the Miami offense does not seem as much of a threat as the Phillies.
In addition, their starting rotation is led by Jesus Luzardo who has an ERA approaching 4.00. The Braves offense has proven they can score runs on anyone but it may come a little easier against the Marlins staff.
Some may argue that the Braves want to play the Phillies to get revenge from last season when they eliminated Atlanta from the playoffs in the NLDS.
While revenge is always sweet, Freddie Freeman, Mookie Betts and the Los Angeles Dodgers are almost a lock for the NLCS. Having to face the Phillies and Dodgers would be exhausting entering the World Series if Atlanta was fortunate to make it that far and could have a lasting impact.