Atlanta Braves vs Philadelphia Phillies (Opening Day 2019): Predictions, Odds and Roster Notes
How to Watch
Where: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA
When: Thursday, March 28th at 3:05 EST
How (TV/Radio): Braves TV: Fox Sports South, Phillies TV: NBC Sports Philadelphia, Braves Radio: WCNN 680 AM & 106.7 FM, Phillies Radio: WIP 94.1 FM
The Braves completed their rebuild and announced their place at the table among the National League best with a 90-win NL East title in 2018.
Despite their four game exit from the playoffs last season, the Braves have a deep farm system and two of the most exciting young players in baseball with 2018 NL Rookie of the Year OF Ronald Acuna Jr. and speedy 2B Ozzie Albies.
Atlanta are 10-1 favorites to win the National League Pennant. The Braves over/under wins total is set at 86 for 2019.
The Phillies had arguably the best offseason in baseball with the additions of OFs Bryce Harper and Andrew McCutchen, SS Jean Segura and RP David Roberston.
The roster overhaul is in response to a 2018 season that began with the Phillies taking over the NL East before fading in August and finishing out of the playoff picture.
With the revamped roster, the Phillies have the second best odds to win the National League at 6-1. Vegas has set the Phillies over/under win total for 2019 at 89.
Braves: Julio Teheran
2018 was a tale of two halves for Braves opening day starter Julio Teheran.
Over the first four months of the season, Teheran fell victim to giving up the long ball too often but rebounded to suppress home runs and finish with a 2.97 ERA over the final two months of the season.
The 28-year old right hander is durable with 30 or more starts in each of his last six seasons but his walk rate continues to creep up with an average of 4.3 walks surrendered over every nine innings.
- In 2018, Teheran posted a 3.94 ERA with 162 strikeouts over 175.2 inning pitched.
- Last season, right-handed hitters had a .182 batting average against Teheran.
- Through the first four months of 2018, Teheran held a 4.46 ERA and a shocking HR/9 rate of 1.64.
Phillies: Aaron Nola
Nola established himself in 2018 as one of the best starting pitchers in baseball with a 2.37 ERA and 0.97 WHIP over 212.1 strong innings. The 25-year old right hander also struck out 224 batters and finished 3rd in the National League Cy Young voting during his breakout season.
You may remember Nolas strange opening day start in 2018 when new manager Gabe Kapler pulled Nola after just 68 pitches causing frustration for both fans and the young ace. Nola and Kapler rebounded and the Phillies responded by giving the right hander a four-year, $45 million dollar extension this spring.
- Nola threw a first-pitch strike 69.4% of the time, leading to his surge in strikeouts.
- The right hander from LSU posted a 2.34 ERA and allowed just a .210 average to hitters at home last season.
- Despite throwing 44 more innings in 2018, Nola gave up just one more home run, going from 2017s total of 17 to only 18 last season.
Atlanta scored 4.69 runs per game in 2018, good for 10th overall in baseball and 5th in the National League.
The Braves hit just 175 home runs, 11 below the league-wide average of 186.
Look for Josh Donaldson, the Braves heralded free agent signing, to hit 2nd in the lineup behind OF Ender Inciarte and in front of Freeman and Acuna Jr.
- In limited plate appearances, Ronald Acuna Jr. has found success against Nola, going 3 for 6 with a double and RBI.
- OF Nick Markakis is 7 for 27 lifetime against Nola with two homers and four RBI.
- New 3B Josh Donaldson is 3 for 5 against the Philly starter with a solo HR in his career.
One of the reasons that Philly brought in Harper, McCutchen and Segura is because they scored only 677 runs last season, which was far below league average of 721 runs scored for the season.
The Phillies also hit just .234 as a team, the second worst batting average in MLB.
- Bryce Harper has feasted off Teheran in his career, going 18 for 40 with 8 home runs and 19 RBI.
- OF Odubel Herrera has hit just 8 for 34 against Teheran but slugged .500 with three home runs lifetime against the righty.
- New OF Andrew McCutchen is 5 for 18 in his career against Teheran with two homers.
- Scheduled opening day starter Mike Foltynewicz will miss his start due to an elbow injury.
- The Braves will be without relievers A.J. Minter and Darren O Day due to arm injuries.
- Arodys Vizcaino returns to the closer role for the Braves.
- RP Tommy Hunter wont be in the bullpen opening day due to a strained flexor muscle.
- David Roberston and Seranthony Dominguez will start the season sharing the closer role.
- New catcher J.T. Realmuto looks to hit fifth behind Harper and Rhys Hoskins in the lineup.
The game odds will be added as soon as it is made available by the sportsbooks.