It’s the start of a series between teams at opposite ends of the postseason picture in the National League out in southern California. The Philadelphia Phillies are on the road as they open a three game set with the San Diego Padres Friday night. Philadelphia dropped two of three on the road to Arizona, losing the rubber game 6-0 Wednesday. San Diego played the rubber game of their road set with the Brewers after losing 8-4 in Wednesday’s middle game of the set. The Phillies took two of three in the last series between the teams, which came July 20-22 at Citizens Bank Park.
Philadelphia Phillies Battling for NL East Lead
Philadelphia dropped two of three on the road to Arizona and used the off day Thursday to regroup. The Phillies fell to 64-50 on the season and enter this one with a one game lead on Atlanta in the NL East race. Philadelphia had just four hits in the contest: Cesar Hernandez had two while Carlos Santana and Roman Quinn had the other hits in the loss. Vince Velasquez (8-9) took the loss as he allowed four runs on six hits with two walks and two strikeouts over four innings before getting lifted after throwing 79 pitches.
Zach Eflin logs his 16th start of the year for the Phillies in this contest. He comes in 8-3 with a 3.61 ERA, a 1.11 WHIP, 18 walks and 78 strikeouts over 84.2 innings of action on the year. Eflin picked up the win in his last start, which came at home against the Marlins Saturday. He allowed three runs on four hits with no walks and six strikeouts over eight innings of a game the Phillies won 8-3. Eflin is 1-1 with a 5.62 ERA, a 1.25 WHIP, four walks and 11 strikeouts over 16 innings of work in his last three starts. In his 38th major league start, he faces the Padres for the first time in his career. As a result, this marks Eflin’s first career start at Petco Park.
San Diego Padres Return Home After Road Swing
San Diego closed out their road trip in Milwaukee Thursday afternoon before getting to return home for this one. The Padres dropped to 45-71 on the season and are in the basement of the NL West, entering Thursday 19 games behind the Diamondbacks. San Diego trailed 5-0 after the first inning and couldn’t dig their way out. Hunter Renfroe (run, two RBI) and Austin Hedges (run) each had two hits in the loss. Brett Kennedy (0-1) took the loss in his big league debut as he allowed six runs on 11 hits with no walks and three strikeouts over four innings of work.
Jacob Nix is expected to get called up to make his major league debut for the Padres in this contest. That obviously means that this will be his first career outing or appearance against the Phillies. Nix takes the mound for the first time in his major league career at Petco Park here. he has made 10 minor league starts this season, nine for Double-A San Antonio of the Texas League and one with Triple-A El Paso of the Pacific Coast League. Nix is 3-3 with a 1.84 ERA, a 0.903 WHIP, nine walks and 44 strikeouts over 58.2 innings of work. He has gone 11-17 with a 3.85 ERA, a 1.248 WHIP, 55 walks and 226 strikeouts over 278 innings in 59 appearances, 54 starts, in the minor leagues at this point.
- Padres are 1-4 in their last 5 home games vs. a team with a losing road record
- Padres are 1-11 in their last 12 home games vs. a right-handed starter
- Padres are 0-4 in their last 4 home games following a road trip of 7 or more days
- Phillies are 7-1 in their last 8 games following an off day
- Phillies are 13-3 in their last 16 games vs. a team with a winning % below .400
- Phillies are 4-1 in their last 5 Friday games
The Bottom Line What to bet on this game.
Full-Game Side Bet
The Phillies are still battling in the NL East race with the Braves chasing them and the Nationals trying to stay in the race. Eflin was sharp against Miami in his last outing and has been solid overall this season after a disappointing rookie campaign. Nix is making his big league debut here and hopes to have a better showing than Kennedy did in his outing on Wednesday, where he gave up back to back to back homers in the opening inning. In this one, you have to lean toward Philadelphia given the fact that they have a pitcher with experience at the big league level going in this one.
Prediction: Philadelphia Phillies -128
Full-Game Total Pick
Philadelphia has been well above their expectations this season, which is why the team made deals at the deadline to bring in talent like catcher Wilson Ramos. He’s still on the shelf for another week or so as he recovers from a hamstring strain but they have the weapons to do damage. San Diego has put runs on the board of late but they have had pitching issues. Throwing a pair of rookie making their big league debut in the same week is a daunting task for a team that let two of their top veterans leave via waiver claims.
The over is 7-2 in the Phillies’ last 9 Friday games, 5-2 in their last 7 games following an off day, 11-0 in Eflin’s last 11 starts vs. National League West foes and 4-1 in his last five starts on Friday. San Diego has seen the over go 4-0 in their last 4 games vs. a starter with a WHIP less than 1.15, 4-0 in their last 4 Friday games, 6-0 in their last 6 home games vs. a team with a winning record and 6-1-1 in their last 8 home games. The teams have gone over the total in 15 of their last 18 meetings in San Diego: with the Padres scoring a lot of runs lately and the fact that they have unproven pitching, this one should go over the number.
Prediction: Over 8
Full-Game Prop Bet
For all the runs San Diego has been putting up of late, they’ve been giving up more than their fair share as well. The Padres have allowed at least four runs in six straight games and 12 of their last 14 contests. While thoughts of that may be tempered with an unknown pitcher on the mound, take note that was the case Wednesday when Brett Kennedy made his big league debut and he was promptly tagged for five runs in the first inning. The Phillies should be able to extend the Padres’ dubious streak here.
Prediction: Philadelphia Phillies Over 4 -150
First Five Innings Side Pick
San Diego has won three of their last four but they’ve had a tough time in the early frames. They trailed 4-2 entering the ninth Thursday before erupting for six runs against the Milwaukee pen and were down 4-0 after one inning in Tuesday’s win before digging out by scoring in seven straight innings. Philadelphia will attack early and that should give them the advantage at the halfway point, something that Padres fans have grown accustomed to.
Prediction: Philadelphia Phillies -140
First Five Innings Total Bet
This one stems again from the Padres’ penchant for giving up early runs. In all three games against the Brewers, San Diego found itself in a hole early: they trailed 4-0 after one Tuesday, 5-0 after one Wednesday and 4-1 after four on Thursday. That’s a lot of runs early in the contest. If Philadelphia follows a similar trend, there’s no reason to think that this one won’t end up over the number when five innings are in the books.
Prediction: Over 4.5 -115
First Five Innings Prop Prediction
This is just riding the trend of late. When you’re giving up crooked numbers in the opening inning of a contest, it’s hard to like your chances of taking an early lead. Factor in that Nix is making his major league debut and he may be dealing with nerves. That means that his control could be off a bit, leading to free passes or pitches that end up catching a little too much of the plate. The Phillies should get on the board early and take the advantage with the game’s first tally.
Prediction: Philadelphia Phillies to Score First -175