#904 Philadelphia Philliesvs.#903 Arizona Diamondbacks
Written by Chris Kubala
Arizona Diamondbacks (41-26 SU, 36-31 RL, 32-33-2 O/U) vs. Philadelphia Phillies (22-43 SU, 31-34 RL, 34-27-4 O/U)
MLB: Saturday, June 17, 2017, Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 4:05 pm ET
Lines: Arizona -123, Philadelphia +113; Over/Under: 9
It’s the continuation of a series between a team chasing the top spot in the NL West facing the cellar dwelling team of the NL East Saturday afternoon. The Arizona Diamondbacks play the middle game of a three game series against the Philadelphia Phillies Saturday afternoon. Arizona swept a two game interleague series on the road against the Tigers, winning 2-1 on the road Wednesday night. Philadelphia salvaged the finale of a four game, two city interleague set with the Red Sox, winning 1-0 Thursday night. The pitching matchup for Friday’s series opener saw Patrick Corbin pitch for the Diamondbacks against Philadelphia’s Aaron Nola. First pitch was set for 7:05 pm ET.
Arizona has won four straight and seven of eight by sweeping the Tigers. The Diamondbacks entered Friday one game behind the Rockies for first place in the NL West. Arizona scored twice in the top of the first and despite being shut down the rest of the way, picked up the win. The Diamondbacks had six hits in the game: David Peralta and Brandon Drury each drove in a run for Arizona. Taijuan Walker (5-3) pitched well and picked up the win in his return off the disabled list: he threw five innings, allowing a run on six hits with a walk and six strikeouts. Fernando Rodney struck out the side in the ninth to record his 18th save of the year.
Zack Godley makes his eighth start of the year for the Diamondbacks in this contest. He is 2-1 with a 2.44 ERA, a 0.992 WHIP, 13 walks and 36 strikeouts over 44.1 innings. Godley picked up the win in his last start, which came against the Brewers at home last Saturday. He threw 6.2 innings, allowing two runs on two hits with one walk and four strikeouts in a 3-2 Arizona victory. Godley is 1-0 with a 2.41 ERA, a 0.91 WHIP, three walks and 16 strikeouts over 18.2 innings in his last three starts. He made one relief appearance against the Phillies in his career, pitching a scoreless inning and striking out one. That appearance did come at Citizens Bank Park.
Philadelphia managed to get in the win column against Boston in the finale of their four game, two city set. The Phillies snapped an eight game losing skid with the win Thursday night. The Phillies had just four hits on the day with pinch hitter Ty Kelly doubling home Andrew Knapp with the game’s only run in the bottom of the eighth inning. Nick Pivetta threw seven scoreless frames, allowing four hits with two walks and nine strikeouts yet recorded a no-decision. Pat Neshek (2-1) picked up the win with a scoreless inning of relief. Hector Neris worked around a walk, striking out two in the ninth for his sixth save of the year.
Jerad Eickhoff gets the call on the mound for the Phillies as he makes his 14th start of the season seeking his first victory. He comes in 0-7 with a 5.09 ERA, a 1.528 WHIP, 27 walks and 63 strikeouts over 70.2 innings of action. Eickhoff took a no-decision in his last start, which came Monday on the road against Boston. He threw six innings, allowing four runs (three earned) on seven hits with two walks and six strikeouts. The Phillies lost the game, 6-5. Eickhoff is 0-2 with a 6.59 ERA, a 1.83 WHIP, eight walks and 12 strikeouts over 13.2 innings in his last three starts. He is 0-1 with a 4.22 ERA and a 1.875 WHIP over 10.2 innings in his two career starts against the Diamondbacks. Eickhoff is 7-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 1.222 WHIP over 26 starts covering 158 innings of work at Citizens Bank Park.
Philadelphia was fortunate to snap an eight game losing skid against Boston but scoring one run isn’t going to do much in the grand scheme of things. Arizona has been on a roll with seven wins in their last eight games as they’ve been hot of late. Godley was sharp his last time out while Eickhoff is still looking for his first win of the 2017 campaign. With mediocre offense, it’s tough to like the Phillies here: take the Diamondbacks, even on the road.
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Christopher Kubala has been crunching stats and following sports for over 30 years. His in depth analysis and passion for sports have led him to writing books about sports, regularly being featured on sports talk radio and as the go-to person for any obscure trivia. He keeps an eye on transactions and statistics like a hawk, especially when it comes to football, both the NFL and college, the NHL, the NBA and college basketball and MLB.