After beating the Dodgers on Sunday to avoid a sweep, Atlanta heads to Philadelphia for a three-game series.
Philadelphia has a commanding lead in the National League, sitting 7.5 games ahead of Atlanta with a record of 88-48, while Atlanta has a 8.5 game lead over St. Louis in the wild card race.
While Braves/Phillies games are always great baseball, this series really doesn't mean a whole lot.
As a team offensively, the Phillies rank ninth in the National League in batting average, (.253), tied for fifth in on-base average (.324), seventh in slugging percentage (.401), tied for sixth in wOBA (.319), and fifth in wRC+ (97).
Individually, the Phillies have been led by Shane Victorino, who is having an incredibly productive season. Victorino is hitting .304/.379/.532 and leads the team in wOBA (.399) and wRC+ (152). He also has 15 home runs and 17 steals on the season.
Since being traded to Philly before the trade deadline, Hunter Pence has played very well, posting a triple slash line of .303/.380/.521 in that 31 game period. Chase Utley is also playing well, hitting .263/.346/.433 with a 119 wRC+.
In only 233 plate appearances, John Mayberry Jr. has provided the power, sporting a line of .264/.326/.524 and has launched 13 home runs with a .259 ISO. Placido Polanco has hit for average, but not much else. He's at .274/.327/.333.
Also, Raul Ibanez is very very bad.
Pitching matchups and the Philies bullpen after the jump.
Monday September 5th, 7:05 PM EDT
Game one of the series features Derek Lowe (9-12, 4.52 ERA, 3.60 FIP, 3.61 xFIP) against Cliff Lee. Not that it needs to be said, but Lee is incredibly good. So far in 2011, Lee is 15-7 with a 2.59 ERA, 2.68 FIP, and a 2.77 xFIP. He strikes out a lot of hitters, 9.15 K/9, and walks only a few with a BB/9 of 1.85. This year, he sports he a K/BB of 4.95, which isn't too shabby. In his last start against Atlanta, Lee went eight innings, giving up only three hits and one run, while walking two and striking out nine. The Braves have hit Lee pretty well in the past, so this one will be interesting to watch.
Tuesday, September 6th, 7:05 PM EDT
In game two, Tim Hudson (14-8, 3.05 ERA, 3.48 FIP, 3.51 xFIP) goes up against Vance Worley. On the year, the rookie is 10-1 with a 2.85 ERA, 3.17 FIP, and a 3.66 xFIP. Worley strikes out a good number of batters, 7.76 per nine innings, while walking 2.85 in that same span. He doesn't throwing incredibly hard, with the average velocity of his fastball just over 90 miles per hour. His slider is his favorite off-speed pitch. In his last start, Worley went six innings, giving up eight hits and four runs while walking one and striking out seven in a win over Cincinnati.
September 7th, 7:05 PM EDT
In the series finale, Brandon Beachy (7-2, 3.37 ERA, 3.39 FIP, 3.29 xFIP) takes on Roy Oswalt. Oswalt has battled injuries all year, and lately has struggled to find consistency with his velocity. On the season, he is 7-8 with a 3.80 ERA, 3.50 FIP, and 3.98 xFIP. Oswalt has posted the lowest K/9 of his career this season, as it sits at 5.95, but his control has still been very good as evidenced by a 2.07 BB/9. In his last start, he went 6.1 innings against Florida, giving up eight hits and three runs while walking one and striking out seven.
Ryan Madson -RH (CL)
Antonio Bastardo -LH
Brad Lidge -RH
Michael Stutes - RH
David Herndon -RH
Michael Schwimer -RH