The Philadelphia Phillies (76-72) have 14 games left with the next 11 of them on the road. They begin their long road trip with a final trip to Atlanta against the NL East leading Braves (76-72). Up to this point in the 2019 campaign, the Phillies and Braves have split their season series 8-8 with Philadelphia winning two of the last three at Citizens Bank Park.
The two teams are on two different paths as the regular season inches to a close. Atlanta has the opportunity to eclipse the 100-win mark for the first time since 2003. Meanwhile, the Phillies are hanging onto very small hopes of making a run in their last chunk of games to make the postseason for the first time since 2011. They are five games behind the Cubs for the second National League Wild Card spot and Chicago has caught fire, winning their last five games. The Phils are 5.5 games behind Washington, who leads the Wild Card. The Phillies and Nationals play each other five times next week.
Taking the ball for the series opener in Atlanta will be Vince Velasquez. The 27-year-old right-hander didn’t factor into the decision in his last start, allowing four runs on six hits in 4.1 innings during a 10-7 Phillies win over the Mets. Velasquez has held opponents to three runs or less in five of his last seven starts, but he has not gotten through the sixth since August 5. Dallas Keuchel goes for the Braves. He’s 2-0 with a 0.75 ERA in two starts this month.
Here’s how the team will lineup on Tuesday:
- Jean Segura (SS)
- J.T. Realmuto (C)
- Bryce Harper (RF)
- Rhys Hoskins (1B)
- Scott Kingery (CF)
- Sean Rodriguez (3B)
- Cesar Hernandez (2B)
- Jose Pirela (LF)
- Drew Smyly (P)
- Ronald Acuna Jr. (CF)
- Ozzie Albeis (2B)
- Freddie Freeman (1B)
- Josh Donaldson (3B)
- Nick Markakis (LF)
- Matt Joyce (RF)
- Tyler Flowers (C)
- Dansby Swanson (SS)
- Dallas Keuchel (P)
Shibe Vintage Sports Starting Pitching Matchup
- Vince Velasquez (6-7, 4.95 ERA) vs. Dallas Keuchel (8-5, 3.35 ERA)
- Velasquez has appeared in two games against the Braves this season, only one start. He lasted just 2.1 innings, giving up four runs as part of a 15-1 Phillies loss on June 16. Velasquez has never beaten the Braves in his career. He’s 0-6 with a 5.36 ERA in 11 appearances (10 starts) against them.
- In two starts against the Phillies this season, Keuchel is 1-1 with a 2.08 ERA. He allowed just one run on three hits last week in a win at Citizens Bank Park and has a 0.97 ERA in his last six starts.
Pregame Phillies Nuggets
- Phillies outfielder Corey Dickerson is out for the remainder of the season with a broken foot. Edubray Ramos has been reinstated from the 60-day IL and will head back to the bullpen.
- Todd Zolecki of Phillies.com notes that even if the Cubs go 6-7 in their final 13 games, the Phillies would need to go 11-3 to tie them. The Phils haven’t had an 11-3 run since April 2018. This doesn’t even factor in the Brewers, who are 9-1 in their last 10 and sit 3.5 games ahead of Philadelphia.
- Fangraphs currently lists the Phillies playoff chances at 0.7% with 14 games to play.
- The Phillies need to finish 6-8 in order to post their first winning record since 2011.
- Braves starter Dallas Keuchel called out the Phillies front office last week after spinning a gem against them in Philadelphia. “I think a lot of those guys over there in the front office are second-guessing themselves, and, I mean, I would too,” Keuchel told reporters post-game. The Phillies didn’t even call to express any interest in Keuchel before he inked a deal with the Braves.
- Atlanta’s magic number is four to clinch the division. They beat the Phillies last year at SunTrust Park on September 22 to clinch the division.
Ticket IQ Programming Information
- 7:20 p.m. on Tuesday, September 17 at SunTrust Park
- NBC Sports Philadelphia
- SportsRadio 94 WIP
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