Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard
Sports Betting Commercial Content. 21+. Provided by Action Network, official betting partner of The Inquirer.

Braves vs. Phillies Game 1 prediction: Atlanta in strong spot as big home favorite

The defending champion Braves are heavily favored to beat the Phillies in Tuesday’s Game 1 behind starter Max Fried and one of the best lineups in MLB.

Max Fried of the Atlanta Braves throws a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies during the first inning at Truist Park on May 24, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Adam Hagy/Getty Images)
Max Fried of the Atlanta Braves throws a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies during the first inning at Truist Park on May 24, 2022 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Adam Hagy/Getty Images)Read moreAdam Hagy / Getty Images

After sneaking into the final wild-card spot in the NL postseason field, the Phillies stunned the Cardinals with a pair of road victories to set up a divisional series clash with the defending champion Braves.

The first game in that series will easily be Philadelphia’s toughest test of the postseason, as this well-rested Atlanta team is heavily favored at BetMGM to win Game 1 behind top starter Max Fried and one of the best lineups in baseball. Can the Phillies keep defying the odds with another road win on Tuesday?

Here’s how we’re betting Game 1, which starts at 1:07 at p.m. ET on Fox.

  1. Learn more about the BetMGM Promo Code

  2. Check out more of the best sports betting sites

  3. Read about the best Online Casinos in PA

Braves vs. Phillies Game 1 Prediction: Pick

  1. Braves -1.5 (+110 BetMGM)

Braves vs. Phillies Game 1 Prediction: Analysis

Philadelphia shocked the baseball world when it swept St. Louis at home to advance to this divisional series. But this team fired the two best bullets in its chamber to get here, and I’m not sure it has the ammunition left for a third straight win.

As they have been all season long, Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola were sensational in the wild-card round, allowing a combined six hits in 13 innings of work against the Cardinals’ stable of MVP-level bats. It’s a good thing, too, because Philly’s own lineup combined for just nine hits in those two wins after an uneven finish to the season.

Now comes the hard part for the Phillies, who trot out fifth-year lefty Ranger Suarez (3.65 ERA) for his postseason debut on Tuesday after his first season as a full-time starter. The longtime Phillies arm was a mostly steady presence in the regular season, but he surrendered a season-worst six earned runs in his final start on Oct. 4, and he allowed a combined nine earned runs in his first two meetings with the Braves earlier this year.

» READ MORE: Phillies vs. Braves series odds, prediction: Philadelphia is a live underdog

Suarez settled down with a trio of strong starts against Atlanta, which scored a combined four runs (one earned) in its final three matchups with the Venezuelan starter. The Braves still notched 23 hits in those five total meetings and struck out just four times against Suarez in four of those five contests, so we can expect them to put the ball in play in Tuesday’s sixth encounter.

That should concern Phillies bettors in a big way. Austin Riley ranked third in the NL in home runs (38) and fifth in OPS (.878), while Matt Olson and Dansby Swanson joined Riley as top-25 batters in the NL by fWAR. That’s to say nothing of rookie Michael Harris – who has been among the hottest bats in baseball – or perennial All-Star slugger Ronald Acuna Jr.

The list goes on and on for the Braves, who have won nearly 70% of their games since June 1 behind the best offense in the league. Atlanta paces the field in xwOBA (.331), wOBAcon (.406), and barrel rate (10.9%), and it ranks behind only the historically power-friendly Yankees in home runs (243). It’s also the only team to boast two hitters in the top 15 in home runs in Riley (38) and Olson (34).

Philly has a few big bats of its own in Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, and Kyle Schwarber, but this team lacks the depth down the order that Atlanta possesses. And Suarez pales in comparison to Braves starter Max Fried, who ranked third in the NL in ERA (2.48) and FIP (2.70) and led his team to a win in 20 of his 30 starts in the regular season.

The Braves won 11 of 19 meetings with the Phillies this season, and eight of those 11 wins came by two or more runs. With one of the NL’s best starters on one side and a strikeout-averse rotational arm on the other, there’s a chance this one could get ugly if Atlanta’s bats heat up – which, given the talent and experience of this group, feels more like “when” than “if” on Tuesday.

Braves vs. Phillies Game 1 odds (via BetMGM)

  1. Braves -1.5 (+110), moneyline -200

  2. Phillies +1.5 (-135), moneyline +165

  3. O/U 7 (over -120)

» READ MORE: Full sports betting coverage from The Philadelphia Inquirer

The Inquirer is not an online gambling operator, or a gambling site. We provide this information about sports betting for entertainment purposes only.