Braves already have decisive mental edge over rival Phillies for Opening Day

The Philadelphia Phillies are prepared to open the season against the Atlanta Braves, where they'll match up with Spencer Strider, who has had their number in regular season games, especially in Philadelphia.

Atlanta Braves v Tampa Bay Rays
Atlanta Braves v Tampa Bay Rays / Mike Ehrmann/GettyImages

Opening Day should be exciting as always. The Atlanta Braves and Philadelphia Phillies will clash in a rematch of the 2023 NLDS.

Atlanta will be going with Spencer Strider, who has developed a new pitch arsenal. Strider has pitched well against Philadelphia in the regular season but has struggled in his postseason outings against them. This could make for an interesting day.

As noted by David O'Brien, who covers the Braves for The Athletic, Strider owns an 8-0 record with a 1.90 ERA in his eight regular-season games against the Phillies. What's more, he's 3-0 with a 1.42 mark on the road at Citizens Bank Park.

Braves, Strider have huge Opening Day advantage over Phillies

This should give the Braves a big advantage heading into Opening Day. While the postseason has been a different story, Strider's regular season numbers against Philadelphia are no joke. And with a new curveball developed, facing the Braves ace will be no simple task for the Phillies.

Strider is also a strikeout machine. Last season, the 25-year-old right-hander tossed 186.2 innings and punched out 281 batters.

Of course, the Phillies have seen him before, but Strider has some extra weapons at his disposal as he faces the Phils and looks to put the memory of his postseason struggles behind him. Strider is 0-3 in postseason play with a 5.40 ERA. All three of those starts have come against the Phillies.

But his new curveball should contribute heavily to the early advantage the Braves have over the Phillies.

Atlanta won the NL East by 14 games over the Phillies last year before succumbing to their NL East rivals in the NLDS for a second straight year. Strider lost both of his starts against the Phillies in the division series.

But he'll be extra motivated to try out his new pitch against the powerful Phillies lineup and continue his regular season dominance over the Braves division rivals. We'll see how Strider fares against Philadelphia and if he can continue his regular-season winning streak against them.

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