Braves set rotation for crucial series vs. Phillies

Credit: AP

Credit: AP

SAN DIEGO — The Braves announced their starters for a pivotal three-game series against the Phillies that begins Tuesday at Truist Park.

Charlie Morton will start the series opener, followed by Max Fried in the second game and Ian Anderson in the finale. The setup also will allow Morton and Fried to make an additional start if needed. The Braves end the regular season with a three-game series against the Mets on Oct. 1-3, but if necessary, they’ll have to play Colorado in a make-up game Oct. 4, which Fried could now be aligned to start.

Morton (13-6, 3.53) has covered at least six innings in 11 of his last 14 starts. He’ll start against Phillies ace Zack Wheeler (14-9, 2.79), who delivered a couple gems against the Braves earlier this season.

Pitcher comparison

Fried (13-7, 3.12), fresh off his second career shutout, will match up against right-hander Aaron Nola (9-8, 4.64). Fried’s 1.78 ERA in the second half is best in MLB.

Anderson (8-5, 3.60) will start the finale against veteran righty Kyle Gibson (10-8, 3.51), whom the Phillies acquired from the Rangers at the trade deadline. Anderson has a 4.79 ERA in four starts this month (20-2/3 innings).

The series’ astronomical implications mean the postseason is essentially starting early for the Braves and Phillies. The Braves had a 1-1/2 game lead on the Phillies entering Sunday. With the Cardinals marching toward securing the second wild-card spot, it’s likely only one of the Braves or Phillies will qualify for the playoffs. The team that does will do so as National League East champion.