Phillies vs. Braves NLDS Game 1 Preview: Rivalry Renewed

Phillies vs. Braves

The stage is set for a thrilling showdown as the Phillies face off against the Braves in Game 1 of the NL Division Series. It’s a rematch of last year’s intense battle, and both teams are hungry for victory.

A Familiar Matchup

For the second consecutive postseason, the Braves, fresh off their sixth consecutive NL East title, find themselves up against the Phillies. Just like last year, Atlanta earned a first-round bye and awaited their opponent. And just like last year, the Phillies blazed through the Wild Card Series, setting the stage for a clash with their division rivals.

Braves manager Brian Snitker acknowledges the challenge ahead, saying, “[The Phillies] scare me as much as any team in the game.” The teams are no strangers to each other, having recently squared off in Philadelphia.

Last Year’s Drama

In the 2022 NLDS, the Phillies took an early lead in Game 1, holding off a late Braves rally to secure victory. Game 2 saw the Braves bounce back with a shutout win, setting the stage for a decisive Game 3 in Philadelphia. The Phillies emerged victorious, ending the Braves’ season and advancing to the NL Championship Series.

Both teams know each other well, and as Phillies outfielder/designated hitter Kyle Schwarber puts it, “It’s going to be a dogfight, no doubt about that.”

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Game Details

Game 1 will take place at Truist Park on Saturday. While the exact start time is yet to be announced, you can catch the game on TBS. For fans in the U.S., MLB.TV offers live coverage with authentication from a participating Pay TV provider. International viewers can also watch the games live (excluding Canada). Game archives become available about 90 minutes after the game concludes.

Starting Pitchers

The Phillies are likely to send Ranger Suárez to the mound, the same pitcher who started Game 1 of the 2022 NLDS against the Braves. While Suárez faced some command issues in that game, he held Atlanta to just one run in a 7-6 victory. His season has been marked by ups and downs, including a stint on the injured list.

The Braves will counter with Spencer Strider, who has an impressive track record against the Phillies. Strider boasts a 7-0 record with a 2.01 ERA over seven career starts against them. However, there’s some chatter about his performance in last year’s NLDS Game 3. Despite a strong start, he struggled in the third inning due to fatigue, having had limited mound time due to an oblique strain.

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Strider’s remarkable season includes an MLB-leading 281 strikeouts and consistent outings, with 18 of his 32 starts lasting at least five innings and allowing two runs or less.

Projected Lineups

The Phillies are expected to deploy a lineup similar to their NL Wild Card Series lineup, with some tweaks in the batting order. Left-handed hitter Brandon Marsh will replace Cristian Pache in left field, considering the Braves’ right-handed starter, Strider. Otherwise, the lineup remains unchanged from the late-season matchups against right-handed pitchers.

  • Phillies Lineup:
    1. Kyle Schwarber, DH
    2. Trea Turner, SS
    3. Bryce Harper, 1B
    4. Alec Bohm, 3B
    5. Bryson Stott, 2B
    6. J.T. Realmuto, C
    7. Nick Castellanos, RF
    8. Brandon Marsh, LF
    9. Johan Rojas, CF

The Braves, known for their explosive offense, have several key players who’ve excelled against the Phillies this season. They’ll need to decide whether to play postseason hero Eddie Rosario or right-handed hitter Kevin Pillar, considering the Phillies are starting a left-handed pitcher.

The stage is set, and baseball fans can anticipate an electrifying start to the NLDS as the Phillies and Braves renew their rivalry in Game 1.

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