Why NLDS Game 2 is a Bad Matchup for Atlanta Braves

The Atlanta Braves will send Max Fried to the mound against Zack Wheeler in a battle of the aces in Game 2 of the NLDS tonight. Atlanta fans are hopeful that their ace will hold the Phillies down while the offense bounces back to life. However, the numbers behind the matchups don’t look good for Atlanta.

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Phillies Hitters Good Career Numbers vs. Max Fried

In 210 plate appearances against Fried, Phillies bats are hitting .299 with a .349 on-base percentage and a .495 slugging percentage. Ugh. That’s an .844 on-base percentage. That doesn’t even include last year’s 3.2 inning outing in the NLDS against Philadelphia.

The star bats for the Phillies have no issues with Fried. In 118 at-bats, Bryce Harper, J.T. Realmuto, Trea Turner, and Nick Castellanos have combined for a .381 average and seven homers off the left hander.

Atlanta Braves Hitters Bad Career Numbers vs. Zack Wheeler

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Meanwhile, Braves hitters have a less than stellar track record against Zack Wheeler. Atlanta players are hitting.217 with a .661 OPS. Ozzie Albies, Orlando Arcia, Michael Harris II, Marcell Ozuna, Kevin Pillar, Eddie Rosario, and Matt Olson have combined for a .188 average against Wheeler, over their careers.

Atlanta Braves Hitters with Good Numbers vs. Zack Wheeler

Ronald Acuna Jr. has a .900 OPS with a .609 SLG, drilling four homers in 46 at-bats. Travis d’Arnaud is hitting .381 with a 1.006 OPS against Wheeler, so maybe we’ll see his bat in the lineup on Monday night. Austin Riley has five doubles and a homer in 40 at-bats against the Phillies ace.

Atlanta Braves Hope For Game 2

Atlanta’s offense has risen to new levels in 2023. Several hitters have achieved career highs in offensive numbers. Acuna Jr. set career highs in hits, runs, steals, RBI, doubles, and OBP. He also tied his career high in homers with 41.

Marcell Ozuna had a career year with his first 40-homer season. Matt Olson set the franchise record for homers and RBI, also setting his own career highs. Olson also set career marks in batting average and OBP. He led the league in slugging percentage for the first time with .604 on the year. Ozzie Albies also set a career high in homers and RBI with a 33 – 109 season.

So, while the Braves have traditionally struggled against Zack Wheeler, this team has reached new heights. The Braves need the bats to rebound tonight no matter who is on the mound. Acuna has a decent track record against Wheeler, so we hope to see him set the tone leading off the game.

The Braves take on the Phillies in Game Two of the NLDS tonight on TBS at 6:07 EST. The Phillies lead the series 1-0.

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