Braves: The Braves don’t have too many big names in their bullpen. Their closer, Arodys Vizcaino is very good with fifteen saves and a 1.65 ERA.
AJ Minter and Dan Winkler both have 54 appearances and a 3.24 and 2.72 ERA respectively. Former Phillies top prospect and Philadelphia native Jesse Biddle has a 2.63 ERA in 41 appearances as he’s revived his career.
There isn’t too much experience in the Braves’ bullpen. Peter Moylan is the only major contributor with experience, and that overall inexperience makes it hard to count on them down the stretch.
Phillies: The additions of Tommy Hunter and Pat Neshek this offseason have solidified the Phillies’ bullpen, and Neshek has been outstanding since his return from injury.
This bullpen has pitched well in big situations for most of the year and has been a huge help to this team.
Seranthony Dominguez has been dominant this year, at least when he gets a days rest. He was a starting pitcher in the minor leagues, but his stuff has translated extremely well to the bullpen.
He has 14 saves and a 2.28 ERA. As long as he has some rest, he’s been as dominant as any closer this year.
The only problem with him is experience and fatigue. He hasn’t pitched this much before and hasn’t even played a full season in the league yet.
Both teams have had decent bullpens this year, but the Phillies’ have more depth in theirs. They have five or six pitchers they have counted on in big situations this year.
The Braves only have three or four that they can go to in big spots. The Phillies bullpen is built to last down the stretch and for that, they have the upper hand.
So who is the better team?
The Braves have the advantage offensively and defensively. The Phillies have the advantage with their pitching staff. Good pitching will always beat good hitting, especially in the crisp fall temperatures at playoff time.
This division will come down the final eleven games of the year when these two teams play seven times. It’s going to be a tight race to the end, but the Phillies have a better pitching staff than the Braves.
They’re a year or two ahead of schedule, but I’m picking the Phillies to win the National League East.