MLB Game Preview - Phillies v Braves

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4:10 PM PT5:10 PM MT6:10 PM CT7:10 PM ET19:10 ET23:10 GMT7:10 4:10 PM MST6:10 PM EST6:40 PM VEN3:10 UAE (+1)6:10 PM CT, September 23, 2017
SunTrust Park, Atlanta, Georgia  Attendance: 39,809

Braves' Snitker focuses on Phillies, not job security

According to STATS
According to STATS

Philadelphia Phillies at Atlanta Braves

  1. For the first time since 2011, the Phillies will finish with a winning record against the Braves during the regular season (currently 12-4). Philadelphia's pitchers have recorded a quality start in 62.5 percent (10/16) of its games against Atlanta this season, but have only done so in 38.0 percent (52/137) of its games against all other clubs.
  2. The Braves are 35-43 (.449) at home with an ERA of 4.94 this season, which are both the third worst in MLB. The Phillies are 26-52 (.333) on the road this season, which is the second worst in MLB (Giants, 24-51).
  3. Ben Lively ranks fourth among rookies in September with a .188 opponent batting average (minimum 50 batters faced). Lively pitched a quality start in a losing effort against Atlanta earlier this season (3 ER, 7.0 IP).
  4. Sean Newcomb has struck out 96 batters in his first 17 career games, which is the second most by a Brave since 1913 (2010-11 Brandon Beachy -- 100). Newcomb is 0-1 with a 2.45 ERA in two starts against the Phillies this season.
  5. After hitting 18 home runs in his first 34 games, Rhys Hoskins has failed to get one over the fence in his last seven outings, the longest drought of his career. If Hoskins can hit two home runs by the end of the season, he will be the fastest to 20 home runs all-time (Cody Bellinger, Gary Sanchez, Wally Berger -- 51 games).
  6. Freddie Freeman has a .606 slugging percentage this season, which ranks third in MLB (among qualifiers) and is the highest by a Brave since Chipper Jones in 1999 (.633). Before this season (2010-16), Freeman had a .303 career batting average against Philadelphia. However, he is batting just .191 (9/47) against the Phillies this season.
Notes Applicable For Series Dates: 9/22/2017 thru 9/24/2017

ATLANTA -- Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker said he is not going to worry about whether he will be running the club next year. He plans to show up Saturday, put on his uniform and go to work, just like he has always done.

Snitker could possibly be managing his final home games this weekend as the Braves wrap up their first season at SunTrust Park. His one-year contract expires at end of the season and his future is in question.

Snitker will be at the helm on Saturday when the Braves send Julio Teheran (11-12, 4.52 ERA) against Philadelphia's Henderson Alvarez (0-1, 7.20).

The Braves won the first game of the three-game series 7-2 on Friday. It was Atlanta's third straight win over Philadelphia, which still leads the season series 12-5.

"I don't dwell on stuff like that," Snitker said of his job security. "I come and work and do the best I can today. That's always what I've done with the teams I've had over the years. I've told them the only thing you can control is today."

Snitker was hired as the interim manager last year when the Braves fired Fredi Gonzalez on May 17, 2016. He was named manager in the offseason and given a one-year deal after the team went 59-65. But this year's team is 69-83 and likely to finish third in the National League East, even though it has surpassed last year's win total.

Snitker has been with the Atlanta organization since 1981 and has served as a roving instructor, coach and manager, making stops from Class A to Triple-A Gwinnett. Even if he is fired, Snitker is expected to remain with the organization in some capacity.

"I'd love to be here," he said. "I want to be here. We'll see."

Teheran will make his 31st start of the season. He lost to the Mets in his most recent start on Sept. 17, ending his four-game winning streak. Teheran pitched well in the loss, allowing two runs on three hits with nine strikeouts in six innings.

Teheran has not fared well against the Phillies this season, going 1-2 with a 7.71 ERA in three starts. His career record against Philadelphia is good; he is 8-6 with a 3.52 ERA in 18 appearances, 17 starts.

Philadelphia catcher Cameron Rupp has hit well against Teheran. Rupp is batting .357 (10-for-28) with two doubles, a home run and five RBIs against Teheran.

Alvarez had been sidelined since early 2015 by a pair of shoulder surgeries and may be auditioning for a chance to join the Philadelphia rotation next year. He started against Oakland on Sept. 17 and pitched five innings, allowing four runs on four hits and two walks, with four strikeouts.

"I liked Alvarez," Philadelphia manager Pete Mackanin said afterward. "I liked the movement on his pitches. From what I've seen, he's got a lot of confidence. He made a couple mistakes, but in general, he looked pretty good."

Alvarez broke into the major leagues with Toronto in 2011 and spent 2013-2015 with Miami. He has made 93 major-league starts and would give the Phillies a veteran to join ace Aaron Nola.

The Braves have had success against Alvarez over the years. The right-hander has made eight starts against Atlanta and has gone 1-4 with a 5.70 ERA. Atlanta first baseman Freddie Freeman is batting .333 (7-for-21) with three doubles and one homer against Alvarez.

Updated September 23, 2017

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