In yesterday’s Phillies Betting Preview, I predicted that new Philly Michael Lorenzen would impress in the home debut for his new club. How much does a no-hitter impress Phillies fans? Lorenzen showed impressive endurance, throwing 124 pitches. In his 2 starts for the Phils, he’s gone eight and then nine innings, exactly what a bullpen needs in the middle of July. He walked four and struck five.
It was a memorable night for the bats as well. Nick Castellanos went yard twice and rookie Weston Wilson, who had spent seven seasons in the minors, homered in his first major league plate appearance.
Nationals (+210) vs. Phillies (-250) O/U 9.0
The Phillies have a chance to win the series tonight, after taking two out of the first three in this 4-game set. With yesterday’s win, Philly improves to 63-52, still 10.5 games out of first. The Nationals sink 15 games below .500 with a 50-65 mark. Winning was important yesterday as both the Braves and Marlins won. However, with the Giants losing two out of three to the Angels, the Phillies are now alone at the top of the wild-card heap. The first pitch in the series finale is scheduled for 6:40 p.m.
Nationals Pitching and Batting
LHP Patrick Corbin (7-11 5.03) will be making his 23rd start for the Nationals this evening. Corbin, who has led the majors the past two seasons in losses, is primed to “win” this distinction again as he is currently tied with two others for the third-most losses in the league. Over Corbin’s last five starts, the ONLY thing decent is his won-loss record, which was 2-2. He had a FIP of 5.41, a 1.50 WHIP, and gave up 19 earned runs in 29.1 innings pitched.
Washington’s bullpen has been lights out over the last week, with a 3-0 record, three saves, and a 1.23 ERA which is the best in the league. Even more impressive, they did this in 22 innings of work. They have been very effective at stranding runners, leaving 91.8% on the basepaths with no place to go.
Before yesterday’s game, the Nats had been batting .257 as a team over the past 9 days, good enough for 6th-place in the MLB. Lorenzen’s no-no caused their team average to plummet to .229 and down to 21st over the past week. Their power, which has been weak through the season, seems to be heating up with the temperature, as they’ve nailed 10 home runs in the last six games.
Phillies Pitching and Batting
RHP Aaron Nola (9-8 4.58) has the unenviable task of following Lorenzen’s no-no this evening. Nola has come to epitomize the issue of the Phillies this season: lack of consistency. The month of July saw Nola post a 2-2 record with a 4.18 ERA. He did, however, have a WHIP of 1.11 over 32.1 innings, and struck out 37 batters, so his control has gotten better. Last year in 205 innings pitched, Nola walked 29 batters. This season, in 143.1 innings pitched, he’s walked 34 and given up 26 gopher balls.
Compared to their NL East rival counterparts, the Phillies bullpen is tan, rested, and ready for action. Over the last seven days, they have thrown a combined 17 innings, third least in the majors. They’ve put up a 3.18 ERA, a FIP of 4.09, and left 75.8% of the runners on base.
Philadelphia’s offense has started to heat up again as well, hitting .284 over the past 7 days. Their 16 home runs leads the league over the past week and their 45 RBIs are second only to the Dodgers. They’ve also hit a home run in nine consecutive games.
My father used to apologize to me because he said I was born a lefty but he forced me to be right-handed. After watching Corbin pitch, I see what Papa Joe (my Dad) meant. How do you lead the league in losses for two consecutive seasons, threatening to make it a three-peat, and still have a major league job? The beauty of being a lefty.
The best way to attack this wager is to take a gander at the Phillies team total. The advantage of this wager is that it’s independent of what the Nats do. Last night’s game went under the total, even though Philadelphia scored seven runs. You get the added bonus of reduced juice, which everyone knows I’m all for.
Bets and Season Record
Pick: Philadelphia Phillies Team Total OVER 5.5 +100 (Fanduel) 3 UNITS
Up 3.8 units (+$380)