There is a clear sense of unease for Atlanta Braves fans heading into the NLDS and the reason is obvious. The Philadelphia Phillies easily dispatched the Miami Marlins and are coming into Atlanta hot and in rhythm with the confidence they can take down the Braves yet again.
Last season, the Braves came out flat against Philly and never recovered with the Phillies riding the momentum to the World Series. Philly is a scary team that is arguably the toughest matchup for the Braves in the entire postseason field.
Why Atlanta Braves should want to face Philadelphia Phillies in NLDS
Despite this, Braves fans should have a healthy level of optimism and want to face a Phillies team that has had a full season of bragging rights.
There is the well-worn adage, "To be the best, you have to beat the best." That sentiment is one both the Atlanta Braves and their fans should have even when taking on a team capable of beating them.
This is an Atlanta team that shouldn't want to dodge anyone with one of the best lineups in franchise history. From top to bottom, there is power and plenty of reason to believe there isn't any lead safe for a group that can score five in the blink of an eye.
Atlanta should have a healthy level of fear for the Phillies and a roster that clearly relishes the postseason. However, this is the same group that the Braves consistently beat in the regular season and a team that lost the World Series to a team that the Braves beat in the same situation a season ago.
For the Braves, the most important aspect of this series is going to be getting off to a fast start. Show the Phillies this isn't the same situation as last year and put doubt in their minds after a season of the Braves consistently dominating their division.
This isn't to say that Atlanta is a lock to win this series, but rather pointing out this Atlanta team has been the team to beat all season long. Leading the league in offense and energy, it is a fun team to watch that doesn't shy away from anyone. That includes a Philly team the Braves would love to get a level of revenge on after the frustrating end to the 2022 season.