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As we head into the final six games of the season, the National League East is still up for grabs, and it all comes down to a pivotal three-game series between the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves.

After taking three of four from the Pittsburgh Pirates over the weekend, the Phillies sit at 81-75, while the Braves, who won their series versus the San Diego Padres, are 83-72.

The Phillies currently trail the Braves by 2.5 games in the division, and it's been said a million times this season, but this series is an absolute must-win for Philadelphia if they have any hope of reaching the postseason.

In the season series against Atlanta, the Phillies are 9-7, but are 2-4 at Truist Park. It's no secret that the Phillies are not a good road team, as they are 34-41 in away games this season.

Additionally, four of the 16 contests between these two teams have been decided by walk-offs, with three in favor of Philadelphia. Needless to say, this series is sure to be intense, as its essentially for all the marbles.

Game 1:

Phillies starting pitcher: Zack Wheeler (14-9, 2.79 ERA)

Braves starting pitcher: Charlie Morton (13-6, 3.53 ERA)

Wheeler is 2-1 in four starts versus Atlanta this season. In his last start against them on July 23, Wheeler went seven innings, allowed one run on seven hits, and struck out eight in a 5-1 Phillies win.

Morton is 2-2 in four starts versus the Phillies this season, and earned the win in his last start against Philadelphia when he pitched six innings, allowed two runs on four hits, walked four, and fanned eight.

Game 2:

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Phillies starting pitcher: Aaron Nola (9-8, 4.64 ERA)

Braves starting pitcher: Max Fried (13-7, 3.12 ERA)

It would be ideal for Aaron Nola to replicate what he accomplished in his last start against Atlanta on July 25 in his start on Wednesday, when he went 8.2 strong innings, allowed just one run on four hits, and struck out nine.

Fried hasn't had much success versus the Phillies this year, as he is 0-1 in just two starts against them. However, Fried has been phenomenal in the second half for Atlanta, posting a 1.78 ERA in 13 starts, hurling two complete games, and striking out 80 in 86.0 IP.

Game 3:

Phillies starting pitcher: Kyle Gibson (10-8, 3.60 ERA)

Braves starting pitcher: Ian Anderson (8-5, 3.60 ERA)

Thursday will mark Gibson's first start against Atlanta this season. In fact, he has only faced the Braves one other time in his career—in 2016 as member of the Minnesota Twins. He pitched a complete game, allowed three runs on eight hits, and struck out six in a 10-3 Twins win.

Anderson has four no-decision starts versus the Phillies in 2021. In his last start on June 10, though, he pitched seven shutout innings, allowing just four hits and striking out four.

All games are scheduled for a 7:20 p.m. EST start time. 


The last time these two teams met was for a four-game series from July 22-25. It resulted in a split, with Philadelphia at 49-49 and Atlanta at 48-51, and the New York Mets still being in first place in the NL East.

But much has changed since then, and now the two teams battle it out for the division title.


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