MLB Atlanta Braves vs Philadelphia Phillies Same Game Parlay picks: Bryce Harper stares down a win at +552 odds

Philadelphia Phillies first baseman Bryce Harper (3) hits a solo during the fifth inning against the Atlanta Braves in game three of the NLDS for the 2023 MLB playoffs at Citizens Bank Park.

In a shocking turn of events, the World Series favorite since Opening Day is just one loss away from its season ending. That’s right — the Atlanta Braves have their backs against the wall. That felt weird to say because with the way the Braves played in the regular season, I never expected this to happen so soon. But here we are, and I’ve crafted a Same Game Parlay that pays out at over 5/1 odds at FanDuel Sportsbook.

Alternate total Under 7.5 (+114)

Bryce Harper 2+ bases (+150)

Same Game Parlay odds: +552

Atlanta Braves vs Philadelphia Phillies Under 7.5 (+114)

Fans aren’t the only people in the stadium who get tense during big games — players do too. Whether they want to admit it or not is their choice, but the human instinct is to get nervous when in a high-leverage situation. It’s not the middle of summer when teams would roll out their lineup and face a below-average team and the fans are going to the game for a social event. Postseason baseball is completely different — especially Citizens Bank Park. The crowd will be in the game for every pitch, and hitters will be strategic about moving runners over and not just going for the long ball (yesterday is a bad example). When you combine all of these factors together, the output is a low-scoring game.

Also, there’s the aspect of getting under another player’s skin. We all know about the Orlando Arcia “Atta-boy Harper” comment which led to Harper hitting two homers and staring at Arcia as he rounded the bases last night. But late in the game, the Philadelphia crowd started chanting “We want Strider”. This… seems like a mistake. Atlanta’s ace was a top-10 pitcher in baseball in the regular season and now has the opportunity to push the series back to Atlanta for a Game 5 — that’s a lot of motivation. 

A benefit of going down by so much early on was that the Braves didn’t use any high-leverage relievers. Kirby Yates, Joe Jimenez, Pierce Johnson, A.J. Minter and Raisel Iglesias are all rested and ready to pick up where Strider stops. In Game 2, those five relievers combined to throw 5 innings with 0 earned runs, 3 hits and 4 strikeouts. I’m guessing that Snitker’s plan is to get 6 innings out of Strider before moving onto the bullpen which should put the Braves in a great position if Strider allows 2 runs or less. For the Phillies, every high-leverage arm is available for this game. So expect Jeff Hoffman, Seranthony Dominguez, Jose Alvarado, Matt Strahm and Craig Kimbrel to be the five relievers that get used tonight. Unlike Wednesday, I think tonight’s game will be very close. I have five to six runs being scored tonight, so the alternate total under is an excellent option for the first leg of this Same Game Parlay.

Check out our Atlanta Braves vs Philadelphia Phillies predictions

Bryce Harper 2+ total bases (+150)

The hottest hitter on the planet right now is Bryce Harper. It also helps that he was given some extra motivation, but we’ll get to that later. Harper has been a man on a mission in the NLDS as he’s 5-for-11 with 3 home runs in 3 games. Something about Citizens Bank Park is like magic for Harper, as he always seems to be at his best in front of his home fans in the playoffs. The face of the franchise will also be facing a pitcher he just saw in Atlanta a few days ago, and Harper was 2-for-2 with a single, a home run and a walk against Strider. For his career, Harper is 5-for-18 (.278) with 2 home runs against Strider. If Harper can avoid chasing Strider’s slider or changeup and time up the high-velocity fastball, he should be able to split the gap and find a hole.

Circling back to the motivation thing earlier — the Braves gifted Harper a chip on the shoulder. A comment that apparently wasn’t meant to leave the locker room made it to the media and into the Phillies dugout, and Harper took it personally. If he gets at least four at-bats tonight, it shouldn’t be too hard for the red-hot Harper to get at least 2 bases.

Check out today’s YRFI/NRFI best bet for this Braves vs Phillies matchup

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