That’s the Philadelphia Phillies record against the Atlanta Braves since 2018. In that time, the Braves have won four NL East Crowns, 21 playoff games, and a World Series Championship. 32-35 is also the Phillies record against the Miami Marlins since 2018, whose record in that span is 218-327.
It’s been obvious for years that the Phillies play down to bad teams, a trend exemplified by their 4-3 season-series win against the Los Angeles Dodgers last week.
For Philadelphia to have any shot at snapping their decade-long postseason drought, they’ll have to begin beating bad teams, and that begins right now with their NL East Counterparts.
In the NL East, only the New York Mets’ record rests above .500. The Washington Nationals are mired in a rebuild, while the Phillies and Braves attempt to make noise with aging rosters.
The average age of the two teams currently tied for second place in the NL East are both almost exactly 29-years-old. But unlike the Phillies, the Braves have played to their current 19-22 record.
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With a run differential of -11, both the Braves offense and pitching has been lackluster. While their 2021 World Series-winning Squad rested below .500 until August, their run differential always indicated more potential than their record.
But in losing Freddie Freeman, Jorge Soler, and much of their relief core, the Braves have faltered.
Meanwhile, the Phillies have played like front-runners, scoring runs in bunches, but unable to create come-from-behind energy. The storyline is tired, but they are 3-7 in one-run games and 6-3 in blowouts. Philadelphia’s run differential indicates a 22-19 record, but they’ve been unable to capitalize on run-scoring opportunities throughout 2022.
The Braves are a team the Phillies can, and should, beat. By the numbers, the Phillies have a far superior offense, defense, and starting rotation.
Yes, you read that correctly, even in defense of the Phillies out-class the Braves. The Braves are the worst defensive team in baseball in 2022, accruing 12.5 UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) to begin the year.
The Braves are an aging team with a failing farm system. All signs point to their way out of the picture for NL East contention. If the Phillies aim to be a contender in the National League, the Braves are a team that must be soundly beat.
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