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As the season reaches it's climax in late June and throughout July, the race for each division is on. The National League East is no exception, with three games separating the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves.

The upcoming series between the two will prove to have serious implications in the division standings.

The Phillies rebounded after a two-game series sweep against the Texas Rangers in a big way by taking three of four games from a good San Diego Padres team. Though the biggest story to come out of the series wasn't Philadelphia's triumphs, but an injury to Bryce Harper during Saturday's game.

Bryce Harper is helped off the field after getting hit by a pitch from the San Diego Padres' Blake Snell.

Bryce Harper is helped off the field after getting hit by a pitch from the San Diego Padres' Blake Snell.

The Phillies have yet to release a timetable for Harper's return to the lineup, and he will be sorely missed. The rest of the lineup—including sluggers like Nick Castellanos, J.T. Realmuto, and Rhys Hoskins—will all have to step up in his place.

The Braves, on the other hand, are coming off of two difficult series against the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Dodgers, but overall, are 4-3 on their current home stand.

Over the last seven games, Atlanta's offense has come alive to score 36 runs, as Dansby Swanson, Marcell Ozuna, and Matt Olson are all swinging hot bats.

The series between the Phillies and Braves has the potential to be an offensive firework show regardless of Harper's absence.

Let's take a look at the pitching match-ups for this series:

Game one:

Phillies starter: Zack Wheeler (6-4, 2.77 ERA)

Braves starter: Charlie Morton (4-3, 4.84 ERA)

Zack Wheeler will open the series for the Phillies as he looks to regain his composure after an uncharacteristically short start against the Rangers in his previous outing. Wheeler pitched 4.1 innings while allowing two earned runs, yet he still managed to strike out eight batters.

Former Phillie Charlie Morton will get the start for the Braves on Tuesday, coming off of a seven-inning gem against the Giants. In that start, Morton fanned a season-high eleven batters while allowing five hits over six innings.

First pitch: Tuesday, 7:05 p.m. EST

Where to watch: NBCSP, 94 WIP


Game two: 

Phillies starter: Ranger Suárez (6-4, 4.23 ERA)

Braves starter: Kyle Wright (8-4, 3.18 ERA)

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In his previous outing, Ranger Suárez pitched his longest outing of the season, a seven-inning performance in which he only allowed two runs and seven hits. The last time Suárez faced into the Braves, he lasted only 4.1 innings and allowed five runs, so he'll be looking for some revenge on Wednesday night.

Kyle Wright's last outing against Philadelphia was a stellar one, as he only allowed three runs and three hits across 6.2 innings. 

First pitch: Wednesday, 7:05 p.m. EST

Where to watch: NBCSP, 94 WIP


Game three:

Phillies starter: Aaron Nola (4-5, 2.98 ERA)

Braves starter: Ian Anderson (6-4, 4.60 ERA)

To close out the series, the Phillies will hand the ball to Aaron Nola. Nola is coming off of a slew of hot starts, striking out 45 over his previous six outings. When he started in late-May against Atlanta, Nola fanned ten batters over 8.1 innings while only allowing five hits.

Ian Anderson will wrap up the series for the Braves as he continues to struggle on the mound, sporting an ERA of 5.06. If the Phillies work to press Anderson's pitch count up, they may be able to get him out after four innings which has happened twice over his last five starts.

First pitch: Thursday, 6:05 p.m. EST

Where to watch: NBCSP, 94 WIP


Players to watch:

Phillies: Kyle Schwarber

Kyle Schwarber celebrates after hitting a go-ahead three-run home run in San Diego against the Padres.

Kyle Schwarber celebrates after hitting a go-ahead three-run home run in San Diego against the Padres.

As June comes to a close, one can only hope that Schwarber's hot streak can continue when the calendar flips. This month, Schwarber is hitting .283/395/.674 with ten home runs and 23 RBI. The slugger has hit nearly half of his home runs in the month of June alone, so make sure to keep an eye on him during this series. He'll be looking to end the month on a good note.

Braves: Dansby Swanson

Dansby Swanson races down the first baseline against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Dansby Swanson races down the first baseline against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Swanson is currently on a hot streak, slashing .387/.406/.807 with four home runs and six RBI over his last seven games. This, paired with Swanson's ability to strike Phillies' pitching, could make for quite the combo. For his career, Swanson has batted .293/.361/.480 across 82 games against the Phillies, so he will need to be kept in check.

More From SI's Inside The Phillies:

  1. How Mike Trout Will Join the Phillies
  2. Andrew Painter is Off to a Historic Start
  3. Could The Phillies Soon Be Playing in Wawa Park?
  4. 18-Year-Old Phillies Prospect is Making History
  5. How did Philadelphia end up with Citizens Bank Park?
  6. How the Phillie Phanatic Came to be America's Favorite Sports Mascot
  7. This Unlikely Draft Pick Could be the Final Piece in the Phillies Next Blockbuster Trade
  8. "The Family Was More Nervous Than Him," Stott’s Relatives on Debut
  9. Picking the Phillies' All-Time Single Season Lineup
  10. Drawing Comparisons to Harper, Phillies Prospect Wilson is Heating Up

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