Philadelphia Phillies (53-88; 65-66-10 O/U) vs. Washington Nationals (87-54; 63-69-9 O/U)
MLB: Sunday, September 10, 2017 at 1:35pm EST
Line: Washington -295/Philadelphia +259
The Washington Nationals will host the Philadelphia Phillies as the NL East foes wrap up a four game series Sunday afternoon from Nationals Park. The Phillies will give the nod to 26-year old right-hander Ben Lively, and the Nationals will turn to 29-year old right-hander Stephen Strasburg. The Nationals lead the season series 9-5.
Lively Shines in Second Straight Win
Ben Lively will get the call for the 12th time of the season, aiming for his third straight win. Lively was outstanding in his previous start, limiting the Mets to only one run over seven innings and came away with the victory. The rookie right-hander has been very effective in three out of his last four starts and now possesses a 3.92 ERA and a 1.34 WHIP to go with a 3-5 record in 66.2 innings of work. Lively, who will be facing the Nationals for the first time, has not allowed a homer in three out of his last four starts. Nick Williams is swinging a red hot bat, collecting eight RBI’s over his last seven games. The 23-year old right-fielder is having an outstanding rookie season, currently hitting .285 with 10 home runs and 43 RBI’s in 62 games. Williams drove in three runs in Friday’s 11-10 loss to the Nationals. He has been one of the few bright spots this season along with Aaron Altherr.
The Phillies are only averaging 4.17 runs per game, ranking them 27th in the Majors, and are hitting .251 as a team. The Philadelphia pitching owns a weak 4.76 team ERA, placing them down at 23rd in the Majors.
Strasburg Looks to Keep Shutout Streak Live
Stephen Strasburg will take the mound for the 25th time of the season, targeting his third straight win. Strasburg was flawless in his previous start, tossing six scoreless innings against the Marlins and recorded the win. The hard-throwing right-hander has not conceded a run in three straight starts, and now features a stifling 2.79 ERA and a 1.06 WHIP to go with a 12-4 record in 148.2 innings of work. He has shut down the Phillies this season, holding them to only five runs in 19.2 innings and now owns a 9-2 record with a terrific 2.36 career ERA against the division rivals. Freddy Galvis is 4 for 24 against Strasburg, while Cesar Hernandez is 8 for 25, and Maikel Franco is 4 for 17. Anthony Rendon is on an RBI rampage, driving in 12 runs over his last 11 games. The 27-year old third baseman is having a career-year, sporting a .302 average with 23 home runs and 91 RBI’s. Rendon has notched a hit in 16 of 50 at bats with nine RBI’s against the Phillies this season.
The Nationals are currently averaging 5.26 runs per game, good for second in the Majors, and are hitting .270 as a team. The Washington pitching features a strong 3.84 team ERA, ranking them sixth in the Majors.
The Philadelphia Phillies are:
- under is 7-3-1 in Lively’s last 11 starts.
- under is 11-4-1 in their last 16 games against a starter with a WHIP of less than 1.15.
- under is 19-7-3 in their last 29 Sunday games.
The Washington Nationals are:
- under is 6-1 in Strasburg’s last 7 starts against the Phillies.
- under is 5-1 in Strasburg’s last 6 starts overall.
- under is 12-3-2 in their last 17 home games against a team with a winning percentage below .400.
I am taking the under in this matchup. Strasburg has not allowed a single run in three consecutive starts (21 innings), and he is sporting a stifling 2.36 career ERA against the Phillies, so they will be lucky to scratch across a few runs. Furthermore, Lively has also been very strong on the mound, allowing two or fewer runs in five out of his last six starts, and he features a strong 3.43 ERA in seven home starts this season.