Phillies vs Braves - the better team as of Sept 16 2022

Yesterday a poster on TGP posted "the Braves are a better team" and I wondered how valid that was, so I spent too much time this morning comparing the Phillies and Braves. The tool I'm using is Fangraphs Depth chart which shows a projected value for the rest of the season both in PAs/Innings and various somewhat advanced calcs. The sDef - is to show Fangraph's 2022 Season defense number they use in their WAR calculation.. When it was close I also looked at splits in Fangraphs and Baseball reference (because sometimes it is quicker there).


Braves: d'Arnaud wRC+: 106, PA: 41, sDef: 19.5 Contreras wRC+: 113, PA: 32, sDef: -1.7

Phillies: JT Realmuto: wRC+: 116, 58, sDef: 16.3 Stubbs: wRC+: 94, 12, sDef: -3.0

This is among the best matchups you could find for Realmuto - but it takes two players to get it. Statistically baseball reference ranks the Phillies catching #1 in WAR for the season and the Braves #3. d'Arnaud is the better catcher, Contreres the better hitter - so much so - that he's hitting as DH often if he's not catching. By these stats Realmuto has only a small edge in hitting over the two players and d'Arnaud - when catching has the edge behind the plate. But JT is hot right now - he has the best of both skills in one package, and he still has a good backup.

Slight Edge to Phillies..

1st Base

Braves: Matt Olson wRC+: 133, PA: 79, sDef: -7.5

Phillies: Rhys Hoskins wRC+: 127, PA: 75, sDef: -13.6

This is not as big a gap as you might expect given their reps and paychecks, but Olson is the better hitter and the better glove.

Edge to Braves

Second Base

Braves: Albies wRC+: 112, PA: 51, sDef: 3.0 & Grissom wRC+: 104, PA: 25, sDef: -2.7

Phillies: Jean Segura wRC+: 107, PA: 70, sDef: 1.5 (Maton)

This is another case where two players split time for the Braves and Segura is expected to get almost every remaining PA for the Phillies and where it is pretty close. Albies is a little better, but it's close

Slight edge to Braves

Third Base

Braves: Austin Riley wRC+: 134, PA: 78, sDef: -2.6 (Grissom)

Phillies: Alec Bohm wRC+: 104, PA: 73, sDef: -5.0 (Sosa)

Riley is having a great year and Bohm is having a better year (than last year) - but Riley is probably the better player anyway.

Edge to Braves


Braves: Darby Swanson wRC+: 105, PA: 78, sDef: 19.5 (Grissom)

Phillies: Bryson Stott wRC+: 97, PA: 65, sDef: 3.0 (Sosa)

The hitting is closer than you might think, but Stott is not (yet) Swanson.

Edge to Braves

Left Field

Braves: E Rosario wRC+: 95, PA: 37, sDef: -8.7 & M Ozuna wRC+: 104, PA: 25, sDef: -12.3

Phillies: Klye Schwarber wRC+: 127, PA: 67, sDef: -16 (Vierling)

The Braves tried hard to give us some left fielders that would make Schwarber look good defensively, but not even these guys pulled that off - Schwarber has the big stick though and kind of blows them out there.

Edge to Phillies

Center Field

Braves: M Harris wRC+: 111, PA: 72, sDef: 5.0 (Heredia)

Phillies: B Marsh wRC+: 85, PA: 62, sDef: -.4 (Vierling)

Harris handles this handily

Edge to Braves

Right Field

Braves: R Acuna wRC+: 138, PA: 57, sDef: -10.4 (Grossman)

Phillies: Nick Castellanos wRC+: 111, PA: 49, sDef: -19.1 & Nick Maton wRC+: 90, PA: 13, sDef: -1.1

Two Nicks don't make an All-star, Acuna has this one

Edge to Braves

Designated Hitter

Braves: M Ozuna wRC+: 104, COntreres wRC+ 113, Rosario wRC+: 95, Albies wRC+: 112

Phillies: B Harper wRC+: 153, PA: 71

Bryce over the "committee of not gloving it today" pretty easily

Edge to Phillies

Starter #1

Braves: Spencer Strider FIP: 3.05, WAR: .4

Phillies: Zach Wheeler FIP: 3.21 WAR: .3

This is close, and perhaps closer than the stats reveal - Wheeler is coming back from injury - but he's rested and Strider is showing some signs of tiring. Wheeler is more experienced. Strider is great. But I've got to say if the season was on the line and all other things were equal (with Wheeler still coming back as he is from the IL) - I'm a Phillies & Wheeler fan and I still might send Strider out there.

Slight Edge to Braves

Starter #2

Braves: Max Fried FIP: 3.24, WAR: .5

Phillies: Aaron Nola FIP: 3.21, WAR: .5

Too close to call - even looking at the season stats - Fried gives up fewer home runs, but more walks,


Starter #3

Braves: Charlie Morton FIP: 3.66, WAR: .3

Phillies: Ranger Suarez FIP: 3.81, WAR: .3

There's not a lot of difference in these projected stats and Ranger has been a better pitcher on the season in almost every way. Morton has been pitching better recently. I'm sure some on TGP would say Falter should be in this spot - but I'm not sure he offers a clear edge on Morton either

Edge to Braves

Starters #4, #5, #6

Braves: Kyle Wright FIP: 3.99, Braves: Odorizzi FIP: 4.39, Anderson FIP: 4.09

Phillies: Kyle Gibson FIP: 4.37, Falter: 4.36, Syndergaard: 4.11

Both Kyles have ERAs over 8 in September and have been up and down. The projections probably overstate Syndergaard and underestimate Falter - and similar effects on the Braves. Odorizzi has not been good lately (one could say the same for Syndergaard)


Relievers - top two

Braves: Jansen ERA: 3.59 Iglesias ERA: 2.86

Phillies: Dominguez 3.16 Robertson 3.56

It's not reflected in the numbers above, but right - looking at recent data - Dominguez is pitching a little better than Igleisas and Robertson who is fading is pitching better than Jansen who is more like crumbling. This could be an edge to Phillies but it's close

Slight Edge Phillies

Relievers - the rest

Braves: Minter 2.83, McHugh 3.46, Matzek 3.83, Chavez, 3.94, Lee 3.61, Yates, 3.78

Phillies: Alvarado 3.29, Hand, 4.26, Brogdon 3.85, Eflin 3.95, Bellatti 3.73, Coonrod 4.05

We all know our guys can pitch, but we've also had trouble with Lee & Yates and they aren't necessarily the 3 & 4 guys..



Catcher: Phillies Realmuto over d'Arnaud & Contreras (maybe pretty narrowly)

1st Base: Braves Olson over Hoskins

2nd Base: Braves (slight) Albies (& Grissom) over Segura - not as much as you'd think

3rd Base: Braves Riley over Bohm

Shortstop: Braves Swanson over Stott

Left Fld: Phillies Schwarber over Rosario & Ozuna

Center Fd: Braves Harris over Marsh (& Vierling)

Right Fld: Braves Acuna over the two Nicks, Castellanos & Maton

Des Hit: Phillies Harper over the ensemble (Ozuna, Contreres, et al)

Starter#1: Braves (slight) Strider over Wheeler (very close)

Starter#2: Even too close to call between Fried & Nola

Starter#3: Braves Morton is pitching better than Suarez or maybe Falter right now (or maybe not)

Oth SPs: Even Not a clear team edge between the 4, 5, & 6 starters

Top 2 BP: Phillies (slight) Dominguez over Iglesias & right now - Robertson over Jansen

Bullpen: Even Not clear that either is better

The bottom line - over the rest of the season - we can expect the Braves to be the better team (but anything can happen, especially in a single game or three game series).