Oct 6, 2023 - Sports

Braves begin World Series title quest against rival Phillies

Illustration: Maura Losch/Axios

Well, well, if it isn't Philadelphia.

The Atlanta Braves chase for a second World Series title in three years starts Saturday in the National League Division Series, where they'll play the longtime rival, and sometimes nemesis, Phillies.

Why it matters: The Braves finished the regular season with the best record in the majors — and one of their best all time. Anything short of a championship will be a disappointment.

  • Plus, they have a chance to exact a little revenge.

Catch up quick: The Phillies upset the Braves in last year's NLDS en route to a World Series appearance. Atlanta's spent the past year trying to forget watching Bryce Harper and company circle the bases in that series.

Yes, but: The Braves went 8-5 against the Phillies this year, clinching and celebrating the division crown in Philadelphia.

What we're watching: Pitching health and Atlanta's bats. The Braves placed two key arms on the injured list near the season's end but hope to have Max Fried and Charlie Morton back during the playoff run.

  • Atlanta's offense had a historic regular season, setting an MLB record with four players hitting at least 35 home runs in a single year. If they can keep up that pace (or close to it), they could put together a dominating postseason run.
Ronald Acuña Jr. Photo: Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/Getty Images

Who we're watching: Ronald Acuña Jr., who accounted for 41 homers and 71 stolen bases in the regular season. That's the first time in MLB history a player has had 40 or more home runs and 70 or more stolen bases in a single year.

  • The Braves will likely enter each game with the best player in the series donning an Atlanta jersey.

⚾️ State of play: The first pitch for Game 1 in the best of five NLDS is at Truist Park at 6:07pm on Saturday.

  • Game 2 is in Atlanta on Monday (6:07pm) before the best-of-five series shifts to Philly for Game 3.
  • TBS will broadcast the entire series.

🎉 Watch parties: The Braves are hosting watch parties for the team's away games on Wednesday and Thursday (if necessary) in the Plaza Green at The Battery Atlanta.

  • The watch parties begin 30 minutes before the first pitch.
  • Parking for the watch parties is free in the Red, Green, Silver, Yellow, and Purple Decks for three hours.

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