It’s the final game of a weekend set that has had its schedule rearranged between NL East foes in the nation’s capital. The Philadelphia Phillies are on the road as they finish off a four-game weekend set against the Washington Nationals Sunday afternoon. In the opening game of the series Friday afternoon, the Phillies snapped their losing skid as they picked up a 5-1 victory. There was supposed to be a doubleheader Friday but the nightcap was rained out, setting up Saturday to be a doubleheader day. This article was published prior to the conclusion of either game of Saturday’s slated pair at Nationals Park.
Philadelphia Phillies Trying to Hold On to Wild Card SpotPhiladelphia snapped a five-game skid as they took the opening game of this series Friday afternoon before rains washed out the nightcap. The Phillies entered Saturday afternoon third in the NL East, 13.5 games behind the Mets and Braves for the top spot in the division. They held the final wild-card spot in the National League playoff picture by a half-game over the Brewers. In Friday’s game, the Phillies got two hits each from Brandon Marsh (run), Jean Segura (run, RBI), Bryson Stott (run), J.T. Realmuto (RBI) and Rhys Hoskins (run, two RBI) in the victory. Hoskins hit his 30th homer of the season in the win for Philadelphia. Bailey Falter (6-4) earned the win on the mound as he threw six scoreless frames, allowing three hits with two walks and six strikeouts.
Zack Wheeler is on the mound for the Phillies as he makes his 26th start of the season in this contest. He comes in 11-7 with a 2.92 ERA, a 1.061 WHIP, 34 walks and 156 strikeouts over 148 innings of work on the year. Wheeler didn’t factor in the decision in his last start, which came Tuesday on the road against the Cubs. He threw six frames, allowing one run on seven hits with one walk and five strikeouts in an eventual 2-1 Phillies defeat. In his last three starts, Wheeler is 0-1 with a 2.93 ERA, a 1.11 WHIP, five walks and 14 strikeouts over 15.1 innings of work. Wheeler makes his 28th career start against the Nationals in this contest. He comes in 9-14 with a 4.44 ERA, a 1.389 WHIP, 61 walks and 137 strikeouts over 162 innings of work against them. Wheeler is 6-4 with a 4.21 ERA, a 1.429 WHIP, 28 walks and 66 strikeouts over 77 innings in 14 career starts at Nationals Park.
Washington Nationals Looking to Play SpoilerWashington came up on the short end of the opening game of this series Friday afternoon as they continue to play out the string on a disappointing campaign. The Nationals entered Saturday last in the NL East, 43.5 games behind the Mets and Braves for the top spot. They have long been eliminated from playoff contention. On Friday afternoon, Washington finished with seven hits with Joey Meneses the lone player with two. The Nationals were just one of six with runners in scoring position in the contest. Erick Fedde (6-12) took the loss on the mound as he allowed three runs (two earned) on seven hits with one walk and three strikeouts over five innings of work.
Patrick Corbin is expected to make his 31st start of the season in this contest for the Nationals. He comes in 6-18 with a 6.08 ERA, a 1.662 WHIP, 46 walks and 125 strikeouts over 148 innings of work on the year. Corbin didn’t factor in the decision in his last start, which came September 20 against the Braves on the road. He threw two-thirds of an inning, allowing no runs on one hit with no walks and one strikeout in a game the Nationals eventually dropped 3-2. In his last three starts, Corbin is 0-1 with a 4.05 ERA, a 1.27 WHIP, no walks and seven strikeouts over 13.1 innings of work. Corbin makes his 19th career start against the Phillies in this contest. He comes in 6-8 with a 4.57 ERA, a 1.407 WHIP, 32 walks and 89 strikeouts over 102.1 innings of work against them. Corbin is 18-20 with a 4.20 ERA, a 1.338 WHIP, 100 walks and 323 strikeouts over 323.2 innings in 55 career starts at National Park.
Best Bets for this Game
Full-Game Side Bet
One has to think that Saturday’s doubleheader could be taxing on each team’s bullpens which will make things difficult, especially for Washington. Corbin had his last start skipped due to back spasms so one has to be concerned if that flares back up at all. On the plus side, for Corbin at least, is that he’ll avoid becoming the first 20-loss pitcher in the majors since Mike Maroth back in 2003. Wheeler pitched well in his last start, though it didn’t result in a win, against the Cubs. The Phillies have a lot at stake here as they head to Houston for their final series of the season. That means taking care of business against a sub-.500 team like the Nationals, who they have owned all season. Give the upper hand to the Phillies in this contest.
Full-Game Total Pick
Philadelphia comes into Saturday’s action having seen the over post a 76-73-7 mark this season. The Phillies are 7th in runs per game this season as they average 4.63 runs a contest. Philadelphia puts up 4.35 runs per game on the road and has seen an average total of 8.84 runs per game entering Saturday. That number drops to an average of 8.62 runs per game as the road team. Washington entered Saturday’s action with the under holding a 79-70-7 advantage in regard to the total this season. The Nationals are 26th in the majors with an average of 3.74 runs per contest and they are 27th at home as they put up 3.60 runs per game as the home team. Washington has seen an average total of 8.96 runs per game and that number slips to an average of 8.86 runs per game at Nationals Park. We saw only six runs in the opening game of the series Friday afternoon. Wheeler does his part in keeping the Nationals in check and that helps keep this one under the total.