Phillies

Braves suffer a potentially big blow in NL East race

Phillies

The Phillies needed to pick up ground in the NL East this week and, so far, both they and the Dodgers have done their part.

The Phils have opened the week with consecutive road wins over the Nationals, while the Braves have dropped two in a row in Los Angeles. 

This is such a crucial week in the division race because of the difference in the quality of opponent. The Phils’ first three games this week are against a team that has lost 21 of its last 27. The Braves’ first three games are against a team that is 35 games over .500.

Atlanta held a late 2-1 lead Tuesday over the Dodgers, who went ahead in the eighth inning. The Braves also lost dynamic second baseman Ozzie Albies, who was carried off the field after fouling a ball off of his knee. 

X-rays were negative and Albies is day to day. Losing him for any length of time would be a big blow to the Braves, who have spent much of the season without Ronald Acuña Jr. and Marcell Ozuna. Albies has been an extra-base hit machine this season with 34 doubles, six triples, 23 home runs, 86 RBI, 82 runs scored and 17 stolen bases.

After playing their postponed series finale Thursday at Nationals Park, the Phillies finish the week with three games in Miami. The Marlins are the only NL East team left that the Phillies have more than one series against. Both are in Miami, with the other ending the season October 1-3. The Phillies must go no worse than 4-2 in those games. They took four of five games against the Fish in July and lead the season series 7-6.

 

While the Phillies are in Miami, the Braves will play at Coors Field. The Rockies are waiting on time to run out this season, but they have gone 9-1 in their last 10 home games, thanks in large part to better starting pitching. 

The early action in the NL playoff races this week has increased the Phillies’ postseason chances to 29.8%, according to Baseball-Reference. They have a 23% chance to win the division with 30 games to play.

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