Phillies vs Braves: How the division race stacks up

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PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 28: Aaron Nola #27 of the Philadelphia Phillies tips his hat to the crowd after being taken out of the game in the top of the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park on June 28, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Nationals 4-3. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JUNE 28: Aaron Nola #27 of the Philadelphia Phillies tips his hat to the crowd after being taken out of the game in the top of the eighth inning against the Washington Nationals at Citizens Bank Park on June 28, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Phillies defeated the Nationals 4-3. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 17: Starting Aaron Nola #27 of the Philadelphia Phillies delivers a pitch in the first inning against the New York Mets at Citizens Bank Park on August 17, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images) /

Starting Rotation

Braves: The Braves rotation is good at the top, but tails off at the bottom. Mike Foltynewicz has been very good all year long. He is tied for the team lead wins with ten, while he leads the team in with a 2.72 ERA and in strikeouts with 161. He might be in the Cy Young conversation, but is a long shot to win it.

After Foltynewicz, Sean Newcomb is 10-6 with a 3.73 ERA and took a no-hitter into the ninth inning against the Dodgers in July.  Julio Teheran is 8-7 with a 3.73 and Anibal Sanchez is 6-4 with a 3.13 ERA. Finally, Kevin Gausman has been good in two starts with the Braves since being traded from Baltimore in July.

The Braves have some good pitchers, but after Foltynewicz, you don’t know what you’re going to get in a big game.

Phillies: The Phillies have a young rotation as well, but Aaron Nola looks like a veteran when he takes the mound and Jake Arrieta is a World Series Champion.

Nola has a legitimate chance at the Cy Young this year. He is 14-3 with a 2.24 ERA and 160 strikeouts. He’ll finish the season with over 200 innings, and he’s been dominant every time he has taken the mound.

PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 18: Jake Arrieta #49 of the Philadelphia Phillies delivers a pitch against the New York Mets during the second inning of a game at Citizens Bank Park on August 18, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA – AUGUST 18: Jake Arrieta #49 of the Philadelphia Phillies delivers a pitch against the New York Mets during the second inning of a game at Citizens Bank Park on August 18, 2018 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Arrieta has been a huge addition to this staff going 9-8 with a 3.25 ERA, but his presence has been even more impactful on the young rotation. His playoff experience will be vital down the stretch and the Phillies will have no doubts handing him the ball in a big game.

Vince Velasquez, Zach Eflin and Nick Pivetta have been decent, but somewhat inconsistent. When each of them are pitching well, they can be as dominant as anyone.

This staff has been the reason the Phillies are in the race for first place.

Advantage: Phillies

They are close in the rankings with the Braves staff ERA at 3.85 and the Phillies having just slightly better at 3.79. The Phillies’ rotation has more talent, experience, and depth than the Braves’ rotation. Because of that, the Phillies have the advantage in the starting rotation.

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