MLB Picks: Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies Prediction
Date: Saturday, July 24
Time: 6:05pm ET
Where: Citizens Bank Park
Braves vs. Phillies Probable Pitchers:
- Braves: Drew Smyly (7-3, 4.50 ERA)
- Phillies: Vince Velassquez (3-4, 5.00 ERA)
Atlanta Braves vs. Philadelphia Phillies Prediction
The Phillies will look to get over .500 with a win against the Braves. More importantly, they’ll look for the weekend series win before even playing on Sunday.
Drew Smyly has had a weird year thus far. He’s 7-3 with a 4.50 ERA despite walking 8.3 percent of batters and allowing 1.82 home runs per nine innings.
Smyly hasn’t been great as of late. The left-hander has an XFIP of 5.22 in the last 30 days and is walking nearly 7.5 percent of batters in those 30 days.
On top of that, he’s only getting 40.3 percent of ground balls and allowing nearly 35 percent of hard contact recently.
Smyly, as a lefty, has dominated lefties but has struggled against righties. Most lineups play the splits game and bat more righties than lefties. Thus, Smyly has faced 73 righties to 21 lefties in the last 30 days. Those 73 righties have a wOBA of .329 with an ISO of .179.
Again, these aren’t horrible numbers but they’re below average and if he’s going to face mostly righties against the Phillies, he should have a below average performance.
In his last two starts against the Pirates and Rays, Smyly has given up 13 hits and six runs with a home run in each game through 10.2 innings. He has also walked five and struck out 10 in those two games.
The last time Smyly faced the Phillies, he went 4.1 innings and allowed three runs on five hits with a home run. He also walked three and didn’t strike out a single batter.
The Phillies have been really patient at the plate against lefties. The projected lineup is walking 15.5 percent of the time and have a wOBA of .363. The thing is, they’ll need a clutch hit or two against Smyly, who has been above average in leaving runners on base.
Righties like Jean Segura, Andrew McCutchen, Rhys Hoskins and Alec Bohm have all been hot in the last 30 days against lefties, hitting from the right side. Any four of those guys have home run potential and can drive in runners who walk. The only batter that has struggled walking against lefties has been JT Realmuto.
The Braves will face Vince Velasquez so they’ve got plenty of chances to score as well. Velasquez has a 5.10 XFIP in the last 30 days and is walking over 10 percent of batters. He’s also giving up 40.4 percent hard contact in the last 30 days and is inducing less than 30 percent ground balls.
Currently, righties have been getting to Velasquez where he has a .333 wOBA along with a .320 ISO.
The Braves lineup has been on and off but righties like Austin Riley and Dansby Swanson should have power against Velasquez. Freddie Freeman has also been red hot against right-handed pitching and could do damage as well.
The Braves lineup isn’t all that special but against Velasquez, they’ll score a couple runs in this game along with the Phillies early.
No one will be surprised when both starters allow three earned runs through five innings. Let’s roll with the over in the first five innings between the Phillies and the Braves.