What a thriller game 1 was. The Phillies jumped out to a big lead, but their bullpen did almost everything they could to blow the game. Luckily for Phillies fans, baseball is only 9 innings and the Phillies escaped with a 1 run win. Now after using 6 bullpen arms, I love this spot for the Phillies ace to step up and give them some distance, and some strikeouts.
Zack Wheeler will be on the mound this afternoon for the Phillies. I am certainly no stranger to writing Wheeler articles, and did not really hesitate this morning to go this route again. As I mentioned already, the 6 bullpen arms used yesterday will play a massive factor here. The Phillies will need every out Wheeler can accumulate. He pitched into the 7th last game and threw 96 pitches, and I believe we see something similar today. With that kind of distance, I love over 5.5 strikeouts at plus odds.
I do not typically value hit rates from the regular season come postseason time, but given the leash I expect, it is worth noting Zack has 6+ K in 16/27 starts and 7/11 in away games. He brings a great 25.6% away K rate with him to Atlanta. Zack sits in the 74th percentile in K rate, 83rd percentile in chase rate, and 62nd percentile in K per inning. That bodes well vs a K prone Atlanta offense.
Zack has faced the Braves 3 times this season resulting in 10, 8, and 7 strikeouts. Strikeouts have been a problem for them all season long. They are coming off a 12 K game yesterday. They have the 2nd highest K rate vs RHP for the season. They averaged the second most K per game at 9.26, and that number jumped up to 9.34 at home.
I expect Zack to do everything in his power to go 6+ innings today, and love his chances to record 6+ K if he does.