Pick: Washington Nationals at Philadelphia Phillies 8/29/18
Time: 7:05 PM ET
Where: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, PA
Listed Pitchers: Gio Gonzalez (Wash) & Jake Arrieta (Phil)
TV: MASN2, NBC Philadelphia
Moneyline: Nationals +110/Phillies -120
We thought the Washington Nationals gave up on this season a couple weeks ago, but they’re proving to be a pain in the butt for the playoff-hopeful Philadelphia Phillies. Now the Nats shoot for a series sweep Wednesday night in Philly. How are we playing this NL East rivalry match-up with our daily free MLB picks?
Wednesday’s MLB betting sportsbooks opened Philly at around -125 over Washington, with an over/under of 9 runs. Early betting action then dropped that line about a nickel, to around -120.
The Phillies could also be found getting upwards of +170 giving the run and a half on the MLB run line.
The Nats have taken the first two games of this three-game series by scores of 5-3 and 5-4. Washington got a quality outing from Stephen Strasburg Monday night, then rallied from down 3-0 Tuesday night to win it on an Anthony Rendon homer in the top of the ninth.
So the Nationals are 5-3 over their last eight games, a stretch that includes four wins over Philadelphia. The Phillies, meanwhile, are now just 2-8 over their last 10 contests.
At 70-62 overall Philly now trails first-place Atlanta by 4.5 games in the NL East. But the Phillies are still only 2.5 games behind slumping Milwaukee in the battle for that second National League wild-card spot, so all is not lost, yet.
At 67-66 Washington sits six games from the nearest National League playoff spot.
The Nationals lead this season series with Philly eight games to seven.
This pitching match-up is a rematch of a game played back on July 1, a 4-3 Philly victory.
Arrieta (9-9, 3.37), by our strict standards, is 13/25 on quality starts this season, but only one for his last three. Last Friday he gave up four runs and six hits, including a couple of dingers, through six innings at Toronto, and over his last three starts he’s allowed 10 runs and 18 hits through 17 innings. On the season Philadelphia is 12-13 with Arrieta, with unders going 12-11.
In two starts earlier this year against Washington Arrieta allowed just three earned runs and six hits through 11 innings. The Phillies split those two games, as did the totals.
Lefty Gonzalez (7-11, 4.35) is 10/26 on quality starts this year, and running a bit erratic as of late. Last Friday he held the Mets to one run and seven hits through seven innings, but in his two starts previous to that he got bombed by Miami and St. Louis for 13 runs and 15 hits through 8 2/3 innings. On the season the Nationals are 11-15 with Gonzalez, with unders going 17-8, although poor run plays a part in both those figures.
In two starts earlier this year against Philadelphia Gonzalez allowed just three runs and five hits through 10 innings. Washington split those two games, as did the totals.
We’re giving Philly and Arrieta our handicapping check-mark in this department, but not by a whole lot.
Washington owns a .253/.329/.422 batting average/OBP/slugging percentage split against right-handed pitching this season.
Philly owns a .234/.320/.362 split against left-handed pitching this season.
We gotta give the Nationals a short edge with the sticks in this spot.
The Washington bullpen owns a 3.90 ERA and a 1.23 WHIP. It’s also allowed just two runs in seven innings of work in this series.
The Phillies pen owns a 4.06 ERA and a 1.33 WHIP. It’s also allowed three runs – two earned – through 5 2/3 innings in this series.
We’ll give the Nats the edge in the comparison of the bullpens, too.
Totals are split 31-31 in games played at Citizens Bank Park this year, which are averaging 9.0 total runs per.
Overs are 6-3 in Philly’s last nine games, mostly because Phillies pitching is giving up some runs.
Overs are 8-7 in Nats-Phillies games this season.
Washington isn’t great, but at the moment it’s playing better ball than Philadelphia. Also, the Nationals get two of our main handicapping check-marks. Plus, they’re getting the underdog price. We’ll go with Washington for Wednesday’s free MLB pick.