These two series have already been shocking in many different ways, but after the off-day yesterday these four NL teams are back and ready for their Game 2s. The Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves will face off at Truist Park, and the Arizona Diamondbacks are in Los Angeles to take on the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Both road teams have 1-0 leads in this best-of-five series, and look to expand that before heading home.
The Phillies and the Braves is a must-watch matchup, as both teams are very big World Series favorites. Last year the Phillies stunned the league, making it from the Wild Card Series all the way to the World Series. While they didn’t win the NL East this year, either, all that matters in the playoffs is getting and staying hot at the right time.
The NL East champion Braves, have an explosive offense anchored by MVP favorite Ronald Acuña Jr., surrounded by many other sluggers. Yet just as last year, Atlanta came out flat against the Phillies at home in Game 1, shut out for the first time at home all season, 3-0.
The Phillies deserve credit as well. Bryce Harper, Kyle Schwarber, and Trea Turner have led the offense as of late, with younger players like Bryson Stott and Alec Bohm evolving. The playoff atmosphere in Philly has been electric, and the team would love to grab a second win on the road and give the fans what they want at home.
Zack Wheeler and Max Fried will go head-to-head tonight. Wheeler has some postseason experience, appearing in seven games and going 2-3 with a 2.55 ERA. He started Game 1 of the Wild Card series against the Miami Marlins, and got the win as he went a solid 6 2⁄3 innings with five hits and one run, along with eight strikeouts. He has been a vital part of this rotation all year, as has Fried with the Braves. The lefty has quite a bit of postseason experience as well, appearing in 18 games with a 4.43 ERA. Fried has spent his entire career with the Braves, but missed most of this year due to injury. He still appeared in 14 games this season, going 8-1 with a 2.55 ERA and 1.13 WHIP.
You can watch the game on TBS at 5:07 p.m. CT.
The Snakes and Dodgers had a wild Game 1 start against Clayton Kershaw that might have Dodgers fans a little worried. The young D-backs team came out, on the road, against one of the best teams in the league and put five runs on the board before even making an out. Kershaw didn’t even make it out of the first inning before the team had to run to the bullpen.
This has been a theme with the Dodgers — continuously having great regular seasons and not being able to close it out in the postseason. Star players like Mookie Betts and Freddie Freeman need to take charge of this team before it’s too late.
The Diamondbacks have been a surprise team this year, and we saw all their stars on display in their 11-2, Game 1 win. Corbin Carroll, Alek Thomas, and Gabriel Moreno all had home runs, and the pitching was great, just as it was in the Wild Card Series against the Milwaukee Brewers. If they can grab this Game 2 on the road, going back home for their first home game of the postseason should be amazing.
Zac Gallen and Bobby Miller will face off in an exciting pitching matchup. Gallen’s first and only postseason appearance was in the Wild Card Series (Game 2) when he started and got the win. He went six solid innings with five hits and two runs against the Brewers. Gallen has been outstanding this year, appearing in 34 games and going 17-9 with a 3.47 ERA. He started his career with the Marlins in 2019, before being traded to the Snakes midseason for Jazz Chisholm Jr. As we can see now, this looks like to be a trade that worked out pretty well for both teams, as Gallen has evolved into an ace and a key part of this rotation.
Miller will start for the Dodgers, which is actually pretty cool for me to cover. Funny enough, he grew up in my hometown and played high school baseball there as well. The local product made his MLB debut this season after being a first round draft pick by the Dodgers in 2020. He appeared in 22 games this season with a 11-4 record and 3.76 ERA. In a short-handed rotation, Miller has been impressive early on in his rookie year, earning him this Game 2 start. This could go really well, with a young starter getting the start at home for his first postseason appearance, or it could be another Kershaw-like start. Either way, a lot of trust is being put onto Miller, and he is ready for it.
The game will be on TBS, following the Phillies/Braves, at 8:07 p.m. CT.
Let’s get ready for a night filled with exciting baseball.