The Position Player: Ryan Braun
The last time the two teams met, I ignored one important fact. When I picked Travis Shaw, I seemed to disengage from the idea that Ryan Braun simply owns the Phillies. Every season, the left fielder finds new ways to torture Philadelphia.
In 64 games, Braun has posted a ridiculous line of .372/.412/.682 with 21 homers. The home run number is the most against any non-NL Central team. He has even hit more dingers against the Phils than he has against the Cardinals (20). While we are at it, let’s add another 15 extra basehits.
In Citizen’s Bank Park, Braun has destroyed Phillies pitching with a .383/.433/.717 line. He has 10 homers at CBP, including a three home run game in April of 2014. The Phillies will look to try to slow him this weekend.
He has combined to go 6-22 against Aaron Nola, Jeremy Hellickson, and Jerad Eickhoff in his career. He has one homer against the trio and it was off Eickhoff.
The three pitchers are going to have to find ways to get him out with fastballs away this weekend. Challenging him in leads to trouble. Braun is a player that they may get to chase by throwing breaking pitches out of the zone when they are ahead in the count.
Braun has played in only 46 games this season, but is hitting .258/.339/.528 with 11 homers. He is one of the players who has struggled a bit over the last seven days only going 5-20 with two walks and five homers in that stretch.
The Phillies will try to keep that trend going this weekend.