Ian Anderson and the Braves can clinch a playoff spot tonight  

Thursday, September 30, 2021

-Clint Manry

Just one more win. That’s all the Braves need to clinch a fourth-straight NL East title. With a series finale versus the Phillies coming up tonight at 7:20 PM (ET), Atlanta can punch its ticket to an NLDS matchup. All they have to do is win just one more.

Charlie Morton and Max Fried took care of business in the series first two games, going the distance with back-to-back seven-inning outings that featured a combined 16 strikeouts. Now, coming off the second-best start of his 2021 season (per Game Score) versus the D’Backs, it’s Ian Anderson’s turn to shut down the Phillies.

The 23-year-old Anderson has pitched well against Philly so far this season, going seven innings himself in his most recent outing versus the team (back on June 10). In four total starts against the NL East rival in 2021, Anderson owns a 3.09 ERA to go with 24 strikeouts in 23.1 innings. Phils batters are hitting just .224 against the Braves righty this season, and their .671 OPS doesn’t exactly scare anyone either. Can Anderson keep up the good work?

As many of us are aware, Thursday’s matchup is no doubt the biggest game of the Braves season thus far. With the NL Central already decided by the Brewers’ clinching this past Sunday, Atlanta’s postseason opponent is set. In the West, the Giants and Dodgers are battling it out for first, though both are guaranteed a spot in the playoffs. The East is currently the only NL division still waiting for a postseason representative. But that can change tonight at Truist!

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