Philadelphia Phillies vs. Atlanta Braves Series Preview

Starting Monday, traditional NL East powers clash as the Atlanta Braves welcome in the Philadelphia Phillies for a three-game series.

The last-place Phillies have won four of their last six to remain relevant in the NL East conversation, as they are still just 6.5 games out midway through June.

Atlanta remains one game up on the Nationals and Marlins for the division lead, taking two out of three from a very tough Los Angeles Angels squad over the weekend.


Home: Atlanta Braves (36-32, 20-15 home)

Away: Philadelphia Phillies (29-38, 13-17 away)

Key Stat:

What's been the problem for Philadelphia this year?

The offense.

The Phillies rank in the bottom third of the Majors in batting average (.242 - 24th), runs scored (259 - 24th), and OPS (.682 - 23rd), amongst several other offensive categories.

Phillies Notes:

The next 35 games for the Philadelphia Phillies could spell the end of the teams' already-fading playoff hopes if the current records of their opponents during that stretch are any indication.

32 of those 35 contests come against teams currently with winning records, while the other three are against a rejuvenated Pittsburgh Pirates team sitting at just one game under .500 (34-35).

The season may be on the line for the Phils during this run spanning all the way through the middle of July.

It's up to Ryne Sandberg's crew to respond in kind.

Braves Notes:

Since May 2nd, the Atlanta Braves have played just three games against their rivals in the NL East.

That's going to change in the next few weeks or so, as the Braves will play 18 of their next 24 games inside the division.

The good news about that? 14 of those games come against the New York Mets and Philadelphia Philles, occupying the bottom of the division at 31-38 and 29-38 respectively.

What to Watch For:

Monday's series opener could provide a candidate for pitcher's duel of the week, as 23-year-old Julio Teheran (6-4, 2.31) takes the mound against Philadelphia's Cole Hamels (2-3, 3.07).

The young Teheran saw his ERA balloon by 52 points (from 1.89 to 2.41) on Wednesday, giving up seven earned runs on ten hits in 6 1/3 innings in a 8-2 road loss to the Rockies. Before that, Teheran had given up just four earned runs in his previous 29.1 innings.

Cole Hamels? Just filthy as of late - giving up one earned run his past three starts (22.2 IP), putting his June ERA at a miniscule 0.40.

What They're Saying About the Phillies:

Rollins has hit record, will he stay with Phillies? (Halo Hangout)

Rough patch ahead could finish off Phils (

What They're Saying About the Braves:

Part of what makes Kimbrel dominant is damage control (Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Freeman in third place in NL voting update (Official Site of the Braves)

Back to the Atlanta Braves Newsfeed