Ranger Suarez
The Phillies and Braves open their National League Division Series tonight with Game 1 at Truist Park. Ranger Suarez will start for the Phils while the Braves counter with Spencer Strider. 
Suarez opened the regular season on the injured list with a strained elbow, then missed several weeks with a strained hamstring. He wasn't as dominant as he's been in the past, posting a 4.18 ERA over 22 starts. 
Despite the dip in his numbers, manager Rob Thomson believes he'll get a quality outing from the 28-year-old lefty. Suarez has pitched well over his career against the Braves, posting a 2.92 ERA against the club over seven regular season starts. 
"I think Ranger overall -- like he hadn't pitched against Atlanta this year, but past numbers, they're probably the best out of the group," Thomson said. "We all know that the moment's not going to be too big for Ranger. He's a pretty cool cucumber out there. So we're confident in that." 
Aside from Suarez, Thomson could have turned to veteran Taijuan Walker or Cristopher Sanchez to start the series opener. 
"I feel very happy to be the guy starting for us," Suarez said on Friday. "It's an honor. I know that it hasn't been the best season of my career. I was away for a couple of months due to injuries, but I'm mentally ready for this game. I feel good. I think it's going to be a beautiful day [Saturday]. 
Suarez's career stats against the Braves are good, but Strider's figures against the Phillies are better. The 24-year-old right-hander is has a 2.01 ERA and 67 strikeouts over seven career starts. He last pitched against the Phillies on Sept. 19, surrendering three runs over seven strong innings. 
"He's got an electric fastball and has plus off speed pitches off that electric fastball," Kyle Schwarber said.
"So I think the biggest thing for us is trying to get him, one, in the strike zone. Two, when he is in the strike zone, we do take that swing and we don't want to miss it. That's going to be the biggest thing. 
"He gets a lot of swing and miss and a lot of foul balls on pitches. That's going to be a thing for us to figure out, one, is that we want to find a way when he is in the zone to, one, make contact, but also quality contact, too." 
Phillies Lineup 
Schwarber DH 
Turner 6 
Harper 3 
Bohm 5 
Stott 4 
Realmuto 2 
Castellanos 9 
Marsh 7 
Rojas 8 
Suarez LHP

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